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Another wrong number: Callwave

images-2.jpegSpeaking of wrong numbers, over the weekend I received this friendly little note from the folks at Callwave (CALL), which I’ve used on those rare occasions when someone needs to send me a fax:

Dear Michelle Leder,
You asked and we heard you.

Now we’ve added several powerful new features to your CallWave fax service. And we’re making them available to you for a lot less than other Internet fax services.

For just $12.95 a month you can now:
Send faxes anytime, anywhere – from home, work, or on the road
Permanently file and retrieve your faxes
Receive 300 pages and send 200 pages (all included in your monthly subscription)
While we realize this is more than what you’ve been paying, you’ll find our new CallWave Fax PLUS service still costs significantly less than comparable services. In fact, CallWave Fax PLUS is 35% less than eFax ProT, includes more sent and received pages and offers unlimited storage of your faxed documents.

Best of all, you don’t have to do a thing to start enjoying this newly enhanced service. And you get to keep your current fax number.

Now anytime a company starts touting all the wonderful new things they’re offering, at the behest of their customers no less, my radar goes off. And when those new features result in a more than 100% price hike — I had been paying $5.95 a month — the alarm bells really start to ring. While I didn’t really use the service all that often, I probably would have kept it had the price increase been a bit less steep.

After calling Callwave and listening to them drop the price from $12.95 to $9.95 to $7.95 — all in the space of a few minutes as they sought to keep me as a customer — I found myself wondering how many other customers would begin to realize that this wasn’t worth $12.95, or even $7.95 a month. Even worse is that Callwave said in its most recent Q that this group was key to its ongoing success: “Our traditional fax base is a key asset as it continues to grow and is a target demographic in which to cross sell our new suite of Unified Communications mobile products.”

So I canceled the service and five minutes later had a new fax number from another company that’s significantly cheaper than Callwave: it’s free.