Once in a blue moon, a new product comes along with an idea so obvious that you just want to slap your forehead that you didn’t think of it first. For a couple of years, companies like Jajah and Skype have been offering “Free” phone service. But both still collect your credit card number and charge you for calls that you make off their networks. So they aren’t really “Free,” although they can come close if you call mostly other Jajah or Skype users.
A new beta service called Plumble offers actual free phone calls without collecting your credit card number or even your name. The service is still in a limited Beta status, so it is unclear how many countries will be supported, but it promises to remain free by inserting a short Ad during the call setup. The people you call won’t hear the Ads, just you.
When I called Plumble today, I heard a short Ad from Goog411 and then my call was completed for free. A potentially slick service when it is fully rolled out. The main domain for this site is still closed to general traffic and is in a Coming Soon state. However, there is a back door which will allow you to make some free calls. The following link allows you to call anywhere in the US and Canada for free by visiting http://www.plumble.com/G and then calling the number on the page. We’d list the number, but it might be dynamic or change, so we’d suggest that you visit the link directly.
As tired as I am of advertising in every corner of our lives, I’d gladly be exposed to a couple of short ads in exchange for free phone service. The price of long distance calls has been falling for years, but it appears to have finally hit bottom.
The Marketing folks at Plumble wrote to let us know that they have not officially launched this service and the page that we reported about above is just for testing purposes. However, users are welcome to make free phone calls as long as the page remains available. They simply want you to know that they might take the site down at any time or change the locations which can be called and/or the length of calls.