In November I was asked to try out a new feature from Cricket Wireless before it was released to the public. The feature, called Global Local Number, works like this:
#1. You are assigned a phone number in the city and country of your choosing.
#2. You give that phone number to your friends and family in that city and country.
#3. Your friends and family call that number – (at no cost to them.)
#4. The phone call is transferred seamlessly to your regular cell phone.
#5. You can talk for as long as you want, any time you want and it costs you only the $5 to $10 (depending on country), per month on your regular Cricket bill.
I have to admit, this sounded too good to be true, but I wanted to check it out. I was assigned a phone number in San Salvador, El Salvador which I then gave to my friends living there. (“Tengo una linea guanaca!” is what I believe I actually told them, since explaining Global Local Number would have been more challenging.)
So I gave friends this number and told them to call any time they wanted – that it wouldn’t cost them anything. Days passed and no one called. I began to feel unpopular but finally, a friend tentatively called, asking several times if we were sure it was okay. They were worried they were costing us money or bothering us. We had this conversation almost every time they called over the next month. “Me da pena” was a frequent phrase used. We assured them “Hablanos! Sin pena!” – but the hesitation remained.
We later also realized that these friends don’t have a home phone and they were calling from their cell phone. Although it technically didn’t cost them anything to call us, they were using up their minutes, (and they don’t have unlimited minutes.)
Another friend called from her home phone in San Salvador and though we talked for a good thirty minutes she also said she didn’t want to call too much and bother me.
Regardless of our friends’ reluctance to use Global Local Number, when they did call – we all loved it. The conversation came through loud and clear. Not once did we get the tunnel or echo effect you get with some international calls, and it was nice not to mess with phone cards.
In the end – I highly recommend Global Local Number. It’s a genius idea and you can’t beat the price. After our trial and error though, I do believe Global Local Number is a better option for some than it is for others. You’re a good candidate for Global Local Number if:
#1. It’s available for the city/country where your friends/family live.
#2. It’s available to you in the city where you live here in the United States.
#3. Your friends/family wish they could call you but can’t afford it.
#4. Your friends/family have unlimited cell phone minutes or a home phone line.
#5. Your friends/family lack the technology or know-how to use Skype or other online options.
#6. Your friends/family have no qualms about “bothering” you, (I know for many of you, this is definitely not a problem and you will have people calling you all hours of the day and night!)
To see if Global Local Number is available for you – check out the Cricket website which also answers other frequently asked questions.
Disclosure: Cricket’s Global Local Number was made available for me to use for review purposes. All opinions are my own.