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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

SUNDAY, MARCH 31

PROTECT YOURSELF

If you're tired of missing telephone calls while you're online, you might want to try Internet call waiting. Services such as Internet Call Manager (www.internetcallmanager.com), BuzMe (www.buzme.com), and Pagoo (www.pagoo.com) act as personal receptionists while you're online. BuzMe has an intuitive design and offers a call-management system with Caller ID, unlimited disk space for voice mail, and the retrieval of messages over a phone. It's only $5.95 per month.

One caveat: BuzMe automatically discontinues your voice messaging service with your telephone company. Because BuzMe's messaging service works through your PC, you don't receive phone messages unless you're dialed-up 24 hours a day or have an answering machine.

Pagoo advertises that they offer Internet call waiting, but what they really offer is an online messaging service. If a call comes through while you're online, Pagoo's software picks up the call. Seconds later, you can play the voice message on your computer. You are alerted to the call instantly, but you don't have the option to answer the call. It's only $4.95 a month.

Internet Call Manager works much like the others, but it offers a free trial so you can see if you like the idea before you sign up for the $5.95 a month service.

In all three cases you'll incur additional charges from your local phone company to add call-forwarding services to your line.

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