Trap Call is a great service with some exceptions. However, the service is not great if you utilize Google Voice for everything. One maybe asking what is Trap Call, and why would one want it? Well, this service was looked into for the desire to unblock anonymous calls. The concept is simple. An anonymous caller calls the phone. You reject the call, and it is sent to Trap Call for removal of the CID block. The call is sent back to you displaying the phone number.
This requires call forwarding if unavailable – so many MVNOs will not support the service. In addition, some prepaid service plans will not support it neither. Now this requires a person to reject the call so it is forwarded. This is a slight problem as some people may find this a bit of more tedious work. There is an Android, and iOS app which I can only assume will automate this process for you.
However, it is also this issue that causes problems with Google Voice. If you are a Google Voice user for everything including the phone number, and voice mail – then you must deactivate the call forwarding for voicemail features. Some versions of Android can handle this if you have the Google Voice app, but with Android fragmented – this is not a realistic option. Another problem is it seems that calling the forwarding number that Trap Call provides (by providing the forwarding code), will result in a busy signal. What does this mean? Well Google Voice can not authenticate the number. This means that you can not tell Google Voice to forward to the Trap Call Number.
So, what if you want to unblock numbers, and still want to utilize Google Voice? Well, it will seem as if the only real option is to have two phone numbers. The first number will be the Google Voice number. If you don’t want to deal with anonymous callers, you set up Google Voice to send such callers to voice mail, and maybe even provide with a unique greeting. The second number will be a toll free number with a provider that will unmask phone numbers. This is allowed when calling toll free numbers, but not every provider does this. You then set that number to forward to your Google Voice number. The cheapest solution I could find was with Call Centric which is $3.95 for the number, $1.50 for the E911 fee, and 5¢ per minute if you have no calling plan, and forward the call. This is demanded by Call Centric for any account in the US that has a phone number, or a calling plan. If you have a SIP phone, or an ATA, I will recommend getting a free New York number, set up your Call Centric Account with the SIP device so you have an alternative to using your cellular phone if you had to call 911.
So, what should Trap Call do? Well, let’s face it – for those that know the potential of Google Voice, they love it. I have found very few people who used Google Voice, and said – it’s not for me. SMS is practically free (1,000,000 SMS = 1.45MB of data), visual voicemail with transcription, and the ability to decide what people ring what phone (up to 6 phones). Whole Services and products have been built around Google Voice. Trap Call should therefore try to work with Google Voice to try to provide integration with their service. This will increase the number of customers Trap Call can get, and if it integrates like Gizmo used to, this could even offer a seamless integration. Think of this Anonymous callers calling a Google Voice number could be sent to a phone number, and the option of that phone number could be Trap Call. In a matter of fact, there might even be a lower demand of number resources if it could be done properly. Google can then promote that their voice services now supports Trap Call. In an ideal negotiation, Google Voice could offer this as a feature and pay Trap Call directly – making the demands for their service even greater.