Some of the offers require your to enter your phone number. Now, you and I know that you’re probably only completing the offer because you’re getting paid for it, not because you actually want to know the best school to get a degree at, but the survey companies don’t. So they’ll call now and then about whatever it was you signed up for, trying to give you more information.
That’s a pain.
Luckily, there is an easy solution. Head over to PrivatePhone.com and sign up for a free voice mail only phone number.
You can request a number from most cities in the United States, so the number can be located where ever you like. If you’re worried about someone tracking you down through the location of your phone number, pick a city halfway across the country from where you really live. You check your voice mail by calling the number, so make sure you have a good long distance plan (we use SkypeOut, so we don’t get charged for individual calls) if your number is long distance from your home.
The service is pretty cool. You can have 500 calls a day coming in, and can store up to 10,000 voice mails total. You can set things up so you get an email alert any time you have a new voice mail.
They even have a feature that allows you to call someone back and have your voice mail number show up on their caller id. Just in case you really did want more information on the best place to get a college degree.
You do have to use the number regularly to avoid having it deactivated. Phoning in to check your messages counts as using it. If you aren’t getting many messages, you’ll need to phone in anyway and log into the system every few days.
Combine a private voice mail number at PrivatePhone.com with a separate GMail email address for completing surveys, and you’re in pretty good shape. You still have to provide a postal address for many of them, but at least junk mail you can pretty easily just throw away.
Oh, a side note: the automated greeting that asks you to enter your PIN number when you’re checking your voice mail is pretty harsh. But the initial voice mail they send you with instructions is pretty funny, so it evens out.