Yesterday, Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager, posted on the Google Voice Blog sharing the good news: Google Voice is expanding. The calling service is now available in 38 languages in over 150 locations.
Google Voice is a service that allows the user to call a landline or cell phone from Gmail. Google Voice is popular because users aren't charged connection fees and they only pay for the time they use. Now, users outside the United States can get in on the low cost calling action.
Users can purchase their calling credit in four currencies: U.S. dollars, Euros, British pounds or Canadian dollars. Google Voice also announced that they're lowering their calling rates. Prices are as low as two cents per minute in some countries (for landline calls). For example, users can call landlines in the U.K., France, and Germany for two cents per minute. They can call mobile phones in the same countries for 10 cents per minute.
"We're always trying to make it easier for people to connect -- whether that means sending an email, chatting or video chatting, you can reach the people you care about from right inside Gmail," Lebeau wrote on the Google Voice blog.
Google Voice is being rolled out in new destinations and languages over the next few days. You'll know when it's available because a green phone icon will appear at the top of your chat list. (See diagram on Google Voice blog.)
Just be careful! Last week, The Consumerist shared the story of a woman who received a $700 T-Mobile bill as a result of a Google Voice connection failure, according to her.
She wrote, "I haven't changed any setting on my phone, and every time I call, I hear the little message saying that it's using google voice and I'm being charged 0.02 cents/minute. When I look at my calling history on google voice, most of my calls never occurred but they sure did occur on my t-mobile bill."
T-Mobile customer service told her that her phone records indicated that the calls came from her device, so it wasn't their deal. Google Voice customer service responded: "If these calls don't show up in your Google Voice call records (available online), they were not made through Google Voice. Looking into the bill you've attached and comparing against these records, it would appear correct that T-Mobile is billing you for these international calls appropriately."
It looks like she was stuck with a $700 T-Mobile bill. Ouch. So, the lesson: If you're using Google Voice, make sure you're actually using it!
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