Bemidji business idea to transition folks away from landlines by forwarding their number by family member

Emerging Prairie recently reported on a business in Bemidji that has a service that forwards your landline to your cell phone. This solution allows you divert the call to the right family member (or staff) based on a menu response…

“Every carrier provider out there will forward your landline to your cell phone. That’s not new,” he said. “The differentiator was how do you send it to the correct person.”

What Swenson designed is a program that allows users to forward their home phone number to a variety of mobile phone users who live in the home. The voicemail for his home phone, for example, sounds something like this:
“You’ve reached the Swensons. Press 1 to reach Jeff, 2 to reach (wife), 3 to reach (son), 4 to reach (daughter).”
This is a good way to transition people who, as the article says, have an emotional tie to their phone and/or phone number. It doesn’t help folks who need a landline because cell phones don’t work in their house or area or folks who are concerned about having a phone that doesn’t need to be charged to work.

It’s also a good solution as people transition to new living situations. The article uses the example of people moving to retirement homes…

Customers include people like Swenson’s friend and his wife, who have an emotional tie to the landline. He’s also seen elderly customers who are transitioning to new living situations, but want people to be able to reach them through their old number.

“One woman is moving her dad to a nursing home, and was scared to death he’ll lose touch with his friends, because they all call the house,” Swenson said. “Put him on OurOldNumber.com, and they can still reach him.”

It would work just as easily for households with kids heading to college. The compare the cost from $9.99 a month to $32.27.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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