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August 25, 2010

Make Free Phone Calls from Gmail

Gmail added a long-awaited feature: making phone calls. If you install the voice and video chat plug-in, you can call phones in the US and Canada for free. You can also call in other countries, but you'll have to pay. Fortunately, Google's rates are really low and the service is cheaper than Skype.

"Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates. We worked hard to make these rates really cheap with calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan — and many more countries — for as little as $0.02 per minute," informs Google.



If you have a Google Voice phone number (anyone in the US can get one), you can also receive phone calls in Gmail. Now that Google Voice integrates with Gmail, a lot more people will use it.


To try the new feature, make sure that your Gmail interface language is set to English (US) and that the voice and video chat plug-in is installed. You get an initial calling credit ($0.10), but unfortunately you can only add credit if you're in the US.

118 comments:

  1. I don't see the option to call and I have the plugin installed. How do I get it to work?

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    1. hi there i have the gmail phone facility and its great it costs very little to call and u have a timer in front of u so u know exactly how long ur on the call,that means it easy to calculate what its costing u there and then ok,plus the call rate is up on the screen also

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  2. Visit www.google.com/chat/voice With a desktop computer.

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  3. Who is this intended for? Most in the US have cell phones already.

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    1. I'm in the US and I don't have a cell phone

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    2. I have one but it costs me minutes in/out with limited number of texts too.

      The main advantage is that you have a buffer between you and the person you are calling.

      Example would be you call a hotline to complain anonymously. If you use your cell they get your real identity and can give you problems later when you go back to a company to do business. With google it would be anonymous (except for law enforcement of course).

      Just be forewarned that anyone can subpoena google records easily in a civil suit (look up right of discovery).

      So, if you want to be anonymous just be nice and don't do anything illegal or anything you could get sued for.

      Plase note: for those who want to do bad things with this technology, google DOES record hardware ID's, especially your MAC address and IP address. You can be traced anywhere in the world.

      When you use java/javascript or plug-ins you have no idea what they are getting from your computer. Adobe flash is really bad. It can turn on your and use cam and mic without you even knowing. Spyware can too.

      Another interesting fact: phone calls to say bill collectors for example - calls only protect their interests not yours.

      I believe that google phone is designed and intended for a typical phone call - nothing important.

      I can't get it to work at all and no call icon either in my gmail.

      Google voice want a CC which I don't have.

      I may try Skype but have to pay for the service...sigh
      Target stores sell skype phone cards.

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  4. I installed it and it doesn't work

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  5. Is it available in Canada?

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  6. got this feature, tested it, and it works! Great thing they've made the plugin available for linux recently

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  7. Useless unless they make it avalable worldwide.

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  8. hope they will make it available worldwide soon

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  9. U.S. U.S. U.S.
    When I changed to Google from Yahoo was because I felt that Yahoo U.S. users get it all while Worldwide users had only the basics, I'm starting to have this feeling again with Google.

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  10. I have the language set to English UK and I still get this! :-D

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  11. Would be nice if it worked for Canadian users since you can call "anywhere in US and Canada".

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  12. Works fine for me in Canada. My language is set to English US however. Would be nice if it appeared in my google apps account though, I prefer to use that now.

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  13. Great service!! News about release of google voice in Italy??
    Thanks!

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  14. I can spend my 10 cents they've credited me with, but i can't top up after that until they open Google Voice internationally. I hope that comes soon!

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  15. Finally! A step forward for Google Voice. Glad to see that they've finally opened it up a bit so that people other than those in the US can use the service. Now if only they would allow users outside the US to get their own Google Voice phone number.

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  16. The news is that you can make phone calls, but the plug-in is voice and video chat... Is the video chat available too?

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  17. can some one tell me how it works..i dont see the call phone icon in the chat window!!!!

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  18. I have the plugin installed AND tested, and it works fine. But I don't see any user interface controls that will allow me to initiate a phone call. Where are you finding those controls?

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  19. Very slow to roll out, still not showing up in some accounts.

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  20. Hey guys! I just topped up my credit, using a Visa Electron card issued in Slovenia (Europe)! So Italy, things might not be over yet! Perhaps for non-US countried you need "Electron" or similar (an online, no-credit card) to be able to top up?
    Also, I don't know if it might be related, but I have since earlier tried to enable "Google Voice" just after US-public launch with error messages of "sorry, not so fast".

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  21. Wow, this was quite a surprise this morning! I'm in the UK with UK English set as my language, and it shows up. What a shame I don't know anybody in the US or Canada to call, but I have friends spread all over Europe, so the cheaper calls are very welcome - if I could top up!

    This doesn't seem very well integrated with the rest of Gmail though. In the Contacts list, there should surely be a 'call' button next to phone numbers that I've entered. Nearly all of my contacts have their phone numbers. The same option should be available from the contact card - Email - Chat - Call phone - Call Computer - Video call to computer. No? And while I'm at it, why not have phone numbers listed below the email address in the contact card?

    Also, they need to tidy up their tariffs, since some of them just don't seem to make much sense. Take Italian mobiles for example: 'Italy Mobile' is listed at $0.30, but then every Italian mobile operator (3, TIM, Vodafone & Wind) are listed individually at $0.21. So what's the $0.30 referring to? Same with needlessly having both 'France - landline' and 'France - Paris' listed separately. Why?

    Nice to see this though - just needs to be tidied up a little and thought out a bit better in the interface.

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  22. You did not mention that currently only US and Canada users can use this service, others will have to wait.

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  23. Not exactly. You can call to any phone number in the US and Canada from anywhere in the world.

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  24. Well I'm in spain right now and I have the option to make calls from within my gmail, but unfortunately it does not work, I seem to have an amount of 0.10$ but the voice always says "we could not complete your call, please try again". The page where I'm supposed to add credits does not work either.

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  25. International top up possible, it's Google Voice interfaced via Gmail, now all they need is to add countries for incoming calls. Probablky done as they get the relevant paperwork sorted, and negoiate a deal they're willing to work with.

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  26. I do not see "Call Phone" option on one account whereas I see on another account being on same computer and browser. But I do have google voice account for the account this option is not popping up. Could anyone help me out getting "Call Phone" option on my other account.

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  27. wonder when it will come across europe?

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  28. to ooze above, it has only rolled out to us and canada, even though it show's on your gmail - europe cannot top up yet

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  29. Works with the English (UK) langugage setting however I use Opera as my main browser and the plugin doesnt seem to work which is a pity.

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  30. Interesting. The 'Call phones' option is no longer there - perhaps they've taken it away while they fix the problems people are having? Or have they just taken it away from users outside the US until they can top up? We shall see...

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  31. Works Perfectly...I'm in Toronto and it works like a charm..

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  32. I just topped up from the UK via google checkout, works perfectly!

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  33. Yo solo en espera a que llegue este servicio en Mexico, es una pena. Porque de lo contrario todos los mexicanos sin exepcion estarian con Google Voice saludos a todos..

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  34. I have the phone call icon on some of my gmails, but the other 2 gmails the icons are missing. I can't figure out what I need to do. Help anyone.

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  35. like a couple of others above, I am in the U.S. have both google voice and google voice/video chat and have never seen the call phone option in my gmail account.

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  36. I tested this and it seems that CallerID works now. A call from my Gmail account to my home phone shows my Google Voice number. Before it had shown the number for Google 411.

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  37. I'm in Poland, on Linux, set the language to Eng (US), topped-up with Google Checkout and it works like a charm! With a slight delay on the receiving end, but still fab.

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  38. Thank YOU Google! Thank you, thank you! The call phone application is absolutely wonderful and incredible! I LOVE it and that it is available in Canada. I am just thrilled with this new communication tool.

    I'm also wondering if we just call someone and use their call display to find out the number we are calling on? Are these numbers assigned to an individual IP address or to each gmail address? I'll have to test it out. So much fun playing with new Google stuff like this!!

    Just LUV IT!

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  39. I like your post about the phone. Have you ever tried for your blog? If not, you must try for your blog.

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  40. I noticed that Google Voice gives you the option to call Google Talk when making an outbound call. Nifty.

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  41. I called hawaii from british columbia,it worked good on my end but not so good on their end.can it be tuned in better some how?

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  42. I call new zealand from Papua New Guinea and it work well from my end but the recipient end wasn't any good. Can't get a respond. Can it be tuned well so we can really talk.

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  43. I called from my gmail to ground and mobile phones but can't get any answer. I don't believe this unless I can really get a respond from my calls.

    Better get things work right before make a good show of advertising...

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  44. I used it (in Vancouver) worked fine but the call phone icon in my gmail vanished, now I have to go Chat and drill down to my contacts and then cll from there, you click on to a contact and when the chat dialogue box opens there is a call option, pity they did that worked much better when I had the call option open and obvious.

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  45. It worked fine for me, and I'm in Vancouver. I assume that b/c I'm in Canada I won't be able to top up my time from .10, but so long as I call Canada and the U.S. it's all free anyways!

    Thank you Google.

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  46. I was really amazed by Google, the way it handled the Google voice, and fortunately it was free for US and Canada, it is just so amazing.

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  47. i Have Installed the plugins but could not see Call Phone Option into Gmail Account . Please Help Me

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  48. I see the call phone option and i've never used it before but I can't try out the international calls as there's no free credit available...I'm reluctant to buy $10 or credit when I don't even know if it works

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  49. it is really good to make free calls. anyone knows how long will they allow us to make free calls. i am sure eventually they will stop it.

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  50. Force the "Call phone" button appear if it does not:
    http://vohoangmanhhung.com/Free-to-U-S-call-using-Gmail.php

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  51. A friend in Spain is using it why can't I use it in mexico, needs to be a worldwide service

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  52. call phone appeared for two days in my gmail account.But today it disappeared.Pl. help me how to get it again.

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  53. I dialed and could hear the voice from the other end, but my voice was not heard by the party I called. Please advise me what I need to do so that I could be heard. I also would like to know how to get my own number so that it would not appear to others as a number from California by a unknown caller. Thanks.

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  54. I love it, but why can't we make/receive calls from the Google Voice? Full VOIP calling controls should be right there on the Google Voice site. Maybe they're overhauling the Voice interface and will include this down the road?

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  55. Today it was raining and stormy and my cell reception was terrible. I needed to attend a conference call, and thanks to this service I was able to! Also I didn't have to spend all of my monthly minutes on the call either!

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  56. does the recipient of the phone call have to pay for it? like will it show up on their phone bill? especially with verizon?

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  57. Is it true that Call Phone is not enabled for Indian IP address. I don't see in my gmail even after installing the video-chat plugins

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  58. Is it true that Call Phone is not enabled for my gmail account. I don't see in my gmail even after installing the video-chat plugins

    I don't see the option to call and I have the plugin installed. How do I get it to work?

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  59. I have this service enabled on my one account and I can not find this service on two other account and I can not find it on other computer too with same account

    let me explain in details

    I have account 1 I loged in on this account with my laptop and I can see call icon in this account.

    on same laptop same browser same internet connection I loged in with my account number 2 and I can not see this call icon there

    now I loged in with account one on my desktop a new internet connection new IP, I cant see call icon here. tried all the accounts and all the browsers on this desktop no luck

    I feel this system is bit bugy till this time.

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  60. I had seen this option some 3 days back. when i logged out and logged in... it vanished...

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  61. Hey, I am at the UAE. I called two days ago and it worked but not anymore available in my chat. Is it still available in the UAE.

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  62. im in UK and been using this a bit but, there is no way i can be charged via my phone provider is there?
    i got a call back from america so i know it knows my phone number (dont know how :s )

    im thinking since my PC only has access via filtered ADSL line surely its impossible to be charged for the calls?

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  63. I had this call phone option today morning and I called my friend to USA, now suddenly this option is no more available in my chat .... Please help me out guys

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  64. it is not working in india
    this make me discourage

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  65. I am from India, i am not seeing the call phone options. what shall i do?

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  66. i am from Malaysia, what can i get google phone number,and what can i do for call other country?

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  67. i am from haiti, what can i get google phone number,and what can i do for call us and canada free?

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  68. I used call phone option in Italy. I am left with balance in account. Now i am in India but I do not find that option avialble in my Gmail Account. I am not sure how to access that again..
    Any one has idea about it?

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  69. i am from saudi arab,what can i get google phone number. and what can i go for call us and canada free.

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  70. How does it work? I was able to contact my Aunt from California, it really works, I am just worried that my Aunt will be billed/charged for the call. Does anybody know? pls share thanks

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  71. Can you make calls to any phone that does not have this google app installed? ie regular land lines, cells, etc that are not hooked up to a PC and if so, at what rates?

    Can these calls originate from outside North America?

    Tbanks for your input !

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  72. MJPaula,

    I have made several call to places ranging from North Carolina to Hawaii, and have never been charged for using this service. And all the people I call, including my wife, have never seen a charge. I am pretty sure that your Aunt will not get charged.

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  73. Be aware that there is a problem with many users getting caught in an endless loop of trying to install the voice plugin, trying to make a call and then being told to install the voice plugin again. This has been going on for 5-6 months, Google is aware of the problem but still hasn't done anything about it. It doesn't seem to be browser specific, but only happens to users of browsers other than Google's Chrome.

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  74. I have same issue using google chrome... BTW i have two laptops one of them working fine and i can find call option while in second laptop i couldn't found call option, i use Google chrome on both laptops.

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  75. am new user of gmail n i could nt found call option my id i tried lots of time bt there is nt call icon on mu gmail id...

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  76. I am calling,hearing from other end but other end can not hear anything, other end can hear only buzz sound. What the ...........

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  77. what a waste of my time, thing doesn't even work

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  78. I previously called my friends in us from my country Nepal successfully. Today, i tried to call but no credit to call msg occured. couldn't figure out what was wrong. Isn't it free to call to us for the year 2011?

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  79. mine too! I can no longer call my relatives in the US it is asking for $0.01/min fee and it's asking for credits. I thought it's free for 2011?!!!!! it's just August!!!!!!!!!!!

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  80. why is it not working 4 us since last 2 weeks :(((((((((( ...help me plzzz..it says .i dont have enough credit ..but us calls are free , then why m i facing this problem ??????????

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  81. According to Google, calls to the US and Canada are still free, but only if you are in one of the two countries. Initially, Gmail calls were supposed to be available only in the US, but the feature worked outside of US for some users.

    "Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed from outside these countries will be charged $0.01 per minute (or €0.01, £0.01, C$0.01 per minute)," so they're still cheap.

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  82. @alex ..but i was able to call US PREVIOUSLY...WAT HAPPENED NOW?

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  83. I AM FROM PAKISTAN AND I USED TO CALL USA VIA GMAIL FREE...BUT NOW ITS NOT WORKING FOR ME..IT ASKS FOR CREDIT .. HOW CAN I MAKE POSSIBLE TO CALL USA FOR FREE AGAIN..PLZZ REPLY

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  84. IS THEIR ANY OTHER WAY TO MAKE FREE PHONECALLS TO US VIA PC :/??????????????

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  85. i clicked on the call option, this is my first time, they said said please wait, we're creating your account and this may take more than a minute highlighted in yellow. It's been more than minute, been like 10 minutes, but the box doesnt go away, please help! I can't make any calls either :(

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  86. jehan
    i'm from Sri Lanka.Althese days i was calling Us And Canada for free.But now i'm been that i need credit.Pl help and reply.

    Thanking you

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  87. Why promote the bloody thing if it is not available in my neck of the woods. It would be a great thing in Oz due to our vast distances.

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  88. hey am from Kenya i have been trying to call united states but they still need credit how can i call without being ask to recharge my credit

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  89. Any way to call using my android phone in the UK?

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  90. mario, I'm using the app gVoice VoIP successfully for Google Voice calls on an Android tablet:
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.guidology.gvoip
    Sound quality with this app is awesome.

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  91. Gmail doesn't work for windows 7, I have tried many time recently on 2012.

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  92. I'm in Spain and set up U.S. google phone number to make calls to the U.S. Worked beautifully the first couple of days, but last night google wouldn't complete the call I tried to make and I got an email from someone trying to call me who wrote that my number didn't work.

    This is the message that came up on my desktop: Sorry! You do not have enough credit to make this call. Add credit.

    Please advise? Thanks!

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  93. I can't get it to load on my laptop? I dont' get the activeX popup and can't get it to work.. Any suggestions?

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  94. Okay I tried to use it but no one can hear me bt i can hear rthem why

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  95. does anyone know if this aps offered for android phone?
    i can't seem to find one? the only way to use this is with a pc log in to gmail account then click call phone. I need one for android phone.

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  96. Could somebody, please, tell how to find the right page for making phone calls ?!

    thank you in advance

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  97. I installed it and it's work, but when i need to make call again threre is message " Sorry! You do not have enough credit to make this call. Add credit."
    I want to Add Credit, but how ? I am Indonesian

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  98. WE WANT PROCEDURE FOR CALLING FROM G MAIL TO MOBILE

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  99. does ne1 know of an app or program that will let you call from your phone for free like gv but twont show up on your phone bill ??? gv kinda does it but there is a number that shows up and shows how long you talked for also if you click on that number and ask to ring back it will
    call tjhe number you did origanaly

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  100. I am currently living in the philippines I have 5 google voice numbers I use to call the USA I set them up when I was home so I could be sure I was able to call USA and all work excellent its better than a regular phone

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  101. can i make a call from a phone to a gmail account by assigning a number to the g mail account?

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  102. Does it work in Puerto Rico USA

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  103. To get the Google dial pad to come up, just go to where your chat contacts are on the side in your gmail, and scroll to the top of your contact list and you will see where it says 'Call'. Just click on that and the dialpad will come up where your chat window usually is.

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  104. If you are in a different country then the USA or Canada, you have to buy credits to make phone calls. You can call for free from the USA TO the USA Or Canada, but must have credits to call outside the USA or Canada. If you are outside of the USA or Canada, you must buy credits to make calls.

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  105. after one second it will be stopped man!

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  106. I am living in London (uk) But mostly I use to call India for my personal as well as for business purpose. So can anyone suggest me how to make unlimited calls to India form UK , It would be help full for me.

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  107. @simplecall

    I think you should try Ozeki Phone System XE. I also use it and I often make calls aborad, like UK, India, Germany.
    Well, all I can say it is reliable, and easy to use, so you can use it for your personal and busness purposes :)
    http://www.ozekiphone.com/pc-to-phone-calls-explained-380.html

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  108. I am looking for a reliable connection for International calling which offers Unlimited Call to India from UK without any hidden fees or connection charges. Can anyone suggest me something? http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1325j2/unlimited_call_to_india/

    ReplyDelete