This posting reminded me of something I discovered last night. When you make a toll-free call to a US number using FWD, the ANI (if you’re not a telco guru, think “Caller ID”) shows up as a fixed number. This fixed number has nothing to do with your FWD account number, and it is the same for all FWD member who make outbound calls to toll free numbers. As a result, if you call a service which is personalized based on your ANI (like Tellme) you get whatever personalization someone else set up, or worse, other people can mess with your settings.
That sucks, because it means I can’t use my VoIP phone and FWD to call into a Tellme-operated toy I use and have it recognize me as Jeff Allen and let me do things like “call mom”. As it is now, I’m likely to end up calling someone else’s mom. Not good.
How am I ever going to have Dialtone 2.0 at home? If I want to find a way to do it for free, I’m going to have get more clever!
UPDATE (1/20): Jeff Pulver interpreted this posting as a complaint, and upon re-reading it, I see how that could happen. I’ve apologized to him personally, but I’d also like to make it clear, publically, that I’m a real fan of FWD. I know precisely why he’s got it configured this way, and it makes all the sense in the world to me. It just so happens it prevents me from setting up something cool I was hoping to do; that’s the nature of technology sometimes. So I’m currently thinking about another way to do this, and perhaps I can even get Jeff to help me with it, if he’s the forgiving type.