The other day I was looking up the phone number of a certain business on Google when I noticed something interesting… After searching for the business keyword and city/state, I clicked on the “Local results” link at the top. This pulls up what amounts to a phone book/map combination. Pretty standard stuff. However, just after the phone number for each listing was a little link that said “call.” Clicking on that link revealed that you can enter your phone number and have Google connect the call for you.
From their FAQs:
â€¢ How does it work?
When you click the “call” link next to a business’s phone number, you’ll be invited to enter your phone number. Once you select “Connect For Free, ” Google Maps calls the number you provided. When you pick up, you will hear ringing on the other end as Maps connects you to the business. When they answer, you simply talk normally as if you had directly dialed their number on your phone.
â€¢ Who will get my phone number?
â€¢ Whose caller ID do I see when connected?
The business’s phone number appears on your caller ID when Google calls you. This allows you to save the business’s number on your phone so you can quickly call the business again at a later time.
â€¢ Am I charged to connect to the business?
No. Google pays for all calls, both local and long-distance. However, if you give us a mobile phone number, the normal airtime fees or other fees charged by your phone provider may apply.
This is a pretty slick workaround for getting free long distance calls to businesses that are out of your area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work for residential listings, but beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.