Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 12, 2021

What does FuturePhone.com have to gain by offering up free international phone calls, via regular phone service?

Yeah, that’s free, as in it costs nothing. True, you have to make an initial call to 712-858-8883, which is the gateway phone channel from which you then dial your international number. That 712 is an Iowa area code, so it’s a long-distance call for most of the U.S. But these days, practically everyone has some form of free long distance at least part of the time on their phone plans, so it’s pretty easy to set up a call to Europe or South America for nada.

But again: What’s the catch? According to FuturePhone, there’s none. They’re serving up this free wormhole as a hook for future service offerings. That’s good enough for David Pogue, but his readers are looking a gift horse in the mouth, suspecting some sort of phishing scam.

I don’t know what to think. It is an overly elaborate setup if the goal is to swipe phone numbers or other personal info. And it’s not inconceivable that a such a telecom pipeline could be maintained low-cost, and justified as a marketing expenditure. Then again, why chance it?

Even though it shouldn’t factor in too much, I have to say that the rather shoddy presentation on their website — lots of typos, a vaguely auto-generated content vibe — is giving me pause. I guess my pressing calls to Greece and Christmas Island are going to have to wait.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/12/2021 11:16:22 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink |

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  1. Christmas Island? What, you need to renew your goatse.cx (NSFW of course) registration? :-)

    Comment by tim in tampa — 10/13/2006 @ 12:28:44 AM

  2. That’s probably Christmas Island’s most contemporary claim to fame. I’m sure many a spamfarmer can now make their calls to their CI-based registrar toll-free…

    The joke is that on FuturePhone’s home page, an alphabetical list of eligible countries features Christmas Island near the top, which I found amusing. Some sales pitch: “Free calls to Hungary, Argentina, and… Christmas Island!”

    Comment by CT — 10/13/2006 @ 09:23:30 AM

  3. FUTUREPHONE: A SCAM, BUT NOT ON YOU

    The Futurephone “no-catch free international calls” mystery, which I mused over last week, seemingly is solved. David Pogue wasn’t able to squeeze the lowdown out of company directly, aside from a vague hint about future audio advert…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 10/19/2006 @ 10:18:16 PM

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