[sf-lug] Centralised phone number for Linux Support

Tom Haddon tom at greenleaftech.net
Fri Sep 14 17:01:58 PDT 2007

Hi Folks,

I've been mulling over an idea that came up in my head after reading
about Grand Central:


The idea is related to phone support for the Hayes Valley Learning
Center project that a few members on the list have been working on, but
could related more generally to a number of other projects. I was
thinking that often non-technical users need support, especially in
something they're as unfamiliar with as Linux, and that ongoing support
is pretty vital to the success of any project like that. Preferably
phone support, because if they could get online and/or get to a
ticketing system to enter a problem for a support team to deal with,
chances are they don't have a problem in the first place :)

So, are there any sustainable free centralized phone services like Grand
Central out there (or Grand Central itself) that anyone has experience
with and could recommend? What I'm looking for (in an ideal world):

- One phone number that could be relied upon to last for a good few
years at least
- You could subscribe multiple phones to this number at will
- Voicemail if no forwarding numbers are subscribed 
- Email notification of messages and online storage of voicemail

This would allow for a fairly nebulous group (like the SF LUG) to
provide a project with one support phone number to call, and behind the
scenes (and without too much administration) to turn that into a phone
support system that would be reliable enough to cope with members
leaving/joining the project and/or being away on holiday or something.

Any ideas or recommendations?

Thanks, Tom

P.S. All I know about Grand Central I read on their website. I haven't
used them and while I tried to sign up, it seems like they're in a
closed beta at the moment.


Tom Haddon
mailto:tom at greenleaftech.net
m +1.415.871.4180

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