Archive for ‘User Accounts’

February 3, 2011

Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

Update for International Calling

Google Voice services are available at very low rates for international calls. The rates are competitive in sample comparisons with other long-distance calling providers. For example, cost to landlines in the UK, France, Spain, Argentina, Taiwan and Australia are merely 2 cents per minute.

Rates are higher if calling mobile or satellite phones.

Google Voice

Google Muy Pronto!

The rate chart (price per minute) is comprehensive. Rates are broken out by country and sometimes city, which generally allows more affordable rates for calls to metropolitan areas.

Features and instructions

Google Voice users can enable a function to record individual telephone calls.

Before using any Google Voice feature, review the Google Voice Legal Notice carefully. It includes important instructions!

  • Google Voice is not capable of placing or receiving emergency services calls
  • Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content that you or your callers upload, transmit or store in your Google Voice account.
  • We will not use any of your content for any purpose except to provide you with the Service.
  • Users may buy prepaid credits to be used for Google Voice services.
  • Google will be under no obligation to offer any refunds or reimbursements for the purchase price of such prepayments.
  • Usage of minutes is billed in one minute increments.
  • Prepaid credits are billed at the time of purchase.
  • Unless prohibited by law, outbound calling credit purchased will expire six (6) months from the most recent date of use, and may not be transferred.
Using GMail Voice

Gmail voice instructions

When launching calling in Gmail in August 2010, Google:

… wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010.

According to the Official Gmail Blog, free phone service will be extended all year, through the end of 2011.

Dialing a number works the same way as it would for a regular phone. Look for “Call phone” at the top of the chat list once logged on to Gmail. Either dial a phone number or enter a contact’s name. And that is all!

To learn more, visit Gmail Chat and Voice call. Phone calls with Gmail are available free of charge for U.S. and Canadian based Gmail users only.

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January 7, 2011

Contacting Support or Aardvark

These are the options offered by Google for contacting user support:

  • Email
    1. Report a problem:  contact_type = problem
    2. Send feedback:   contact_type = feedback
  • Search the Help Center
  • Ask an expert

Don’t expect a response to your email. Google says that isn’t their policy in most cases.

Next option is The Help Center. The Help Center for most Google products is a distinctly user do-it-yourself arrangement, also known as users helping other users, a.k.a. the blind leading the blind in the worst-case scenario. Google employees do track and respond to issues, but with a varying amount of attentiveness and follow-through.

I really like the sound of the last option…. What’s that about?

vark.com is Aardvark!

Can’t find what you’re looking for in our Help Center? Let Aardvark try to find an expert for you.

Ask an expert at http://vark.com .

Aardvark is alive and well as a Google product. Don’t be misled by the seemingly non-Google domain name.

Aardvark logo from CrunchBase

An Aardvark from TechCrunch

More details should be available from the Google contact page: contact_type = contact_policy .

Not fluent in Python? Me neither. This is the URL syntax for using contact_type :

http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/request.py?contact_type=

Note that everything in this post is specific to Google Toolbar. Contact options differ to varying degrees for each Google product.

January 3, 2011

Phone calls and more in Gmail

In addition to sharing voice and video chats with your contacts from computer to computer, you can also place and receive phone calls to any landline or mobile phone number in Gmail.

To get started, make sure to install the voice and video chat plug-ins.  Sign in to Chat, click on the “Call Phone” link, and a “Call” window will open. You’re all set to go!

I noticed this option: If you use Google Voice, you can enable Google Chat for forwarding and receiving phone calls in Gmail!

gmail logo

Google Gmail

Phone calls in Gmail are a feature available only in the United States as of December 2010. If you don’t see the “Call Phone” link at the top of your Chat list, and you’re in the U.S.A., check and make sure that your Gmail language is set to English (US).

For complete details, including a 40-second YouTube demo video, see Phone calls in Gmail – Gmail Help.