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CNN Today

Using Free Voice Mail Via the Internet

Aired May 3, 2000 - 1:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you are the last on your block to get voice mail, you don't have to feel like a relic of the 20th century. You can be the first on your block to get voice mail via the Internet for free.

Here now to show us where to point and click is CNN Interactive correspondent Allison Tom who can explain everything so we'll learn how to do it immediately -- Allison.

ALLISON TOM, CNN INTERACTIVE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Thanks, Natalie. And if, for instance, you have two phone lines at home, this will be particularly handy for you.

The first site we're going to show you is called eVoice.com. What's unique about this site is that you put in your phone number that you already have at home. So you put in your existing number right here, and then what it will do, it will use your phone number. So any time you get a phone call at home, it will roll over into voice mail.

Now, here's the few basic things you have to do: You have to sign up here. Fill in your first name, your last name, include yourself with, here, a PIN number so that that way it's private and it's only for you to use. And then down here, it will forward all of your information into this new voice mailbox.

We're going to show you just real quickly here what it's going to sound like. This is an out-coming mail or voice that you'll hear when you're coming in for voice messages from phone calls. So, for instance, if your neighbor next door decides to call you, they can now hear you on this particular message. And we're just kind of loading it up right now, so bear with me for just a moment. But the idea between all of these different kinds of e-mail services here, these voice mail services, is that you can actually get voice mail...

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE MAIL ANNOUNCER: Hi, you've reached the voice mailbox for:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnny Bosay (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED VOICE MAIL ANNOUNCER: Go ahead and leave a message after the tone.

TOM: So that's just a generic message that will allow you to have outgoing calls hear that information.

Here's another site that I'm going to show you real quickly, too. This one is called uReach.com. It offers a very similar service, again, so you can have all different kinds of voice mail services go to this particular box. The difference, though, is that they will assign you an 800 number. All these numbers will be toll-free so it's no charge for you when you call in to check your messages.

You can either check them on the phone using a traditional telephone, or you can go into an e-mail box using the Internet, using the Web site, and they will post your messages here. They'll also detail for you the date and time that somebody called, the phone number of who that person called, and their specific message.

And we're going to play for you right now just one of the messages so you can tell the quality as to how it sounds. So let me just play this real quickly.

Well, we've had a little technology problem right here. We'll play it for you in just a moment. But what it will do is it will play for you the messages. It'll store them in your computer, and you'll also be able to hear them on the phone.

The things you need to keep in mind -- this last one is Onebox.com -- privacy is a very big concern. Double check and read all the careful and specific information on the privacy statements and be sure that you know what your PIN numbers are so that only you can access this information.

Back to you, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Allison.

Doesn't seem too terribly difficult, does it, Lou.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Just another PIN number to remember.

ALLEN: Yes, one more PIN number.

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