In lieu of a second phone line or voice mail, I have always relied on having an internet answering machine to catch calls while Im online. I previously used Callwave and had no problem with their services for a few years until one day their software started causing my computer to crash. Their customer service department couldnt tell me what the problem was and since I couldnt retrieve my messages anymore I went in search of a new internet answering machine provider. A quick trip to download.com turned up Pagoo.
Recommend this product?
Pagoo works in the same way as most similar software. You set up call forwarding on busy with your local phone company (which generally costs a few dollars per month) so that when someone tries to reach you and you are online their call automatically gets redirected to Pagoos toll free number. They leave a message and your Pagoo player alerts you to the message. You can then click to hear the message while online. Pagoo offers a free thirty-day trial of their software and then after that you pay a small fee to use the program. Even when combining Pagoo and your phone companies fees, the service is still cheaper than home voice mail in my area and a lot cheaper than a second line.
Why Pagoo Rocks
I had more than my fair share of trouble getting the Pagoo player to work. The download and installation was quick and easy and once you set up call forwarding with your phone company you should be ready to go. However, for some reason my computer wouldnt let the Pagoo player connect to the internet. It was taking calls but not giving me a way to access my messages. Fortunately, one of the great features Pagoo has is online support chat where you can have an instant message session with one of their customer support people. They werent immediately able to fix the problem I was having, but they were very helpful and it was great being instantly connected to someone instead of having to log off and call them.
Once I worked out my computer issue, Pagoo was up and running and has given me no problems. I dont think most people will run into the same connection problem I experienced, but its nice to know the Pagoo customer service people are useful if you need them.
Other than great support, Pagoo has a few features over Callwave that I really like. First, you can record a completely personalized greeting for your callers, just like a regular answering machine. Callwave allows you to personalize only part of the message, so callers get a computerized voice that friends tell me sounds like an infomercial. Fully personalized greetings are one of the best aspects of Pagoo and make it worth switching to from any other similar software.
In addition, the Pagoo player has a caller I.D. function that lets you know whos calling and has one click playback of the message. Callers can leave a message of any length which is wonderful considering Callwave cut people off after 30 seconds. You can also skin the player in a variety of color schemes to fit your computers décor and the Pagoo player doesnt show any advertisements (Callwave does). Also, unlike Callwave you can minimize the Pagoo player or hide it completely when you dont want to see it. A toolbar icon will let you know if any new messages come in and you can set the player to beep or play a custom sound when a call comes in. Other features including email/cell phone notification of new messages and email forwarding of messages.
If you have previously used a different internet answering machine such as Callwave, Pagoo has an incentive offer of a $30 rebate when you sign up for their services. They will even pay the cost to set up call forwarding with your phone company. All you have to do is send them copies of the bills from your phone company or other internet answering machine provider and theyll send you a check. Since Pagoos normal charge is $5.95 per month, youll save almost half the yearly cost by switching.
Who Needs It
Obviously, if you connect to the internet from home via cable or DSL you wont need something like Pagoo. However, if you are one of the masses like me that still uses dial-up and you dont want to spend the extra money on voice mail or a second phone line then Pagoo should be right up your alley. Its inexpensive, easy to install and setup, and has lots of great features their competitors dont. You can be up and running in less than a day, depending on how long your phone company takes to set up the call forward on busy order. I highly recommend Pagoo for those using a dial-up connection that want to make sure they dont miss any phone calls your friends and family will thank you for it.