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Q: voicemail ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: voicemail
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: thomtchsd-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 25 Nov 2004 20:45 PST
Expires: 25 Dec 2004 20:45 PST
Question ID: 434172

I am looking for a website that offer voicemail services with phone
numbers in (almost) all US states. They should provide local numbers,
not only Toll Free numbers.
Example: if I call this DC number 2027237890, there should be an
answering machine answering with my predefined message. After someone
leaves me a message, I should be able to listen to it on the internet
or by calling the number of the voicemail company.
You should post at least 3 websites providing this kind of services
for the answer to be accepted.


Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 25 Nov 2004 21:54 PST

It would help guide my research if you can clarify a few things:

1. One of your criteria is the availability of local numbers in almost
all US states. Can you define what you would accept as 'almost all'? I
can give you the three with the most number of locations, but
unfortunately no provider has service in every state. Is there a lower
limit to what you will accept?

2. Are you looking for a service that can provide multiple local
numbers all linked to the same account, or would you accept services
that only allow one number per account, but that number can be based
in one of many area codes?

3. By "listen to it on the internet", this can mean through a website,
by an e-mail attachment, or through a special software... do you have
any preference, or methods you would object to?


Google Answers Researcher

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 25 Nov 2004 23:49 PST

One additional clarification request:

4. Do you have a budget in mind for the service cost?


Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by thomtchsd-ga on 26 Nov 2004 16:14 PST
1. Well, almost is almost. I am sure you can't find one that delivers
services in all states, but I am looking for one that offer the
service especially in FL, NY, CA, DE.
2. One or multiple numbers doesn't matter.
3. Listen it trough the internet is more appropriate (email, website)
4. Around $100-200 but they must accept credit cards.


Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 26 Nov 2004 18:24 PST

Thank you for the clarifications. I will use them in narrowing the
list of vendors down to those that match your needs.


Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by thomtchsd-ga on 26 Nov 2004 19:20 PST
Subject: Re: voicemail
Answered By: aht-ga on 27 Nov 2004 13:06 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Based on your clarifications, I am able to provide you with the
following list of vendors to consider, in alphabetical order:

jConnect Premier (j2 Global)

  - local numbers available globally (over 1400 cities), including
cities in CA, DE, FL, and NY
  - service cost is $15.00/mo, includes a local number
  - messages delivered as email attachments
  - free trial is available online

RingCentral Online

  - local numbers available in 18 states, including cities in CA, DE, FL, and NY
  - service pricing for $19.99/mo. and includes a local number, add an
additional local number for $9.99/mo.
  - messages delivered as email attachments 
  - free trial available online

VoiceNation Unified Messaging

  - local numbers available in most major US markets, including ones
in CA, DE, FL, and NY
  - service cost is $9.95/mo + $1.00/mo. for e-mail delivery of messages
  - can upgrade to Elite Questioner service, up to eight questions
with responses delivered by e-mail


Within your criteria, these are the best ones I could find that met
all of your needs. This list is based on the fact that you are looking
for service providers who can provide you with a local number in a
specified area, receive phone calls made to that number, collect voice
messages generated by the callers, and deliver those voice messages to
you electronically as either an e-mail attachment or through a
website. As well, billing through a credit card was mentioned as
important to you.

The choices are selected from these two lists of unified messaging
service providers, as well as from my own experience in the
telecommunications industry:

Google Directory

Yahoo! Small Business Directory


The reason I started with these, is because the features you are
seeking are a close match for the standard feature set of a hosted
unified messaging solution (online retrieval of messages in a single
mailbox). The most difficult criteria is the need for a local number;
as you most likely already know, the vast majority of the 'national'
voicemail service providers provision their customers with a toll-free
number, and leave it up to the customer to obtain a local phone number
from a local telephone company and forward that number to the
toll-free number. This is not an option if you do not have a home or
place of business in that region for the telephone number to be
provisioned to.

In addition to the ones above, here is one that meets all of your
criteria except for the credit card billing one:

American Voicemail (Segway Communications)

  - local numbers available in 83 market areas in 32 states including
CA, DE, FL, and NY
  - services start at $9.95/mo.

American Voicemail caters to a lot of large corporations, so their
standard billing method is to send an invoice. I have not been able to
confirm if a credit card billing option is available for small


Please let me know if you would like clarification on any part of this Answer.


Google Answers Researcher

PS: On a side note, I came across this not-for-profit organization
that is using local-access voicemail services for a good cause:

Clarification of Answer by aht-ga on 28 Nov 2004 23:28 PST

It has just occurred to me that your requested solution can also be
provided through the services of an IP telephony service provider,
such as Vonage. As you will see from the Vonage website, they can
provide you with a local phone number in almost all of the US, and in
particular in the states you mentioned:

With Vonage, you would set up an account with a 'primary' number
located in one of the states where you want a local number, then add
'Virtual Numbers' for each of the other states where you also want a
local number. All calls will be connected to the primary number
regardless of which number was dialed. Callers will be connected to
the voicemail of the primary number, meaning that all of your callers
will end up in the same voicemail inbox. You can configure that inbox
to email you with every new message as an attachment, and you can log
into your account through a web browser to listen to your messages. If
you are using this strictly as a voice-mail solution, then pricing
begins at $14.99/mo. for the basic package, plus $4.99/mo. for each
additional virtual number. So, to summarize as an addition to the

Vonage Broadband Telephone

  - local numbers available in 43 states, including CA, DE, FL, and NY
  - service cost starts at $14.99/mo., including one local number
  - additional local numbers are $4.99/mo. each
  - messages delivered as email attachments and can be retrieved
through a web browser
  - credit card billing


Google Answers Researcher
thomtchsd-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Nice. Thanks. I looked up to Google Directory but I was unable so find something.

Subject: Re: voicemail
From: aht-ga on 01 Dec 2004 21:43 PST

Thank you very much for the generous tip and rating! Good luck with
setting up your voice-mail service.


Google Answers Researcher

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