Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dear GrandCentral...

For those of you who don't know, GrandCentral is Google's new baby phone service that I was lucky enough to become a beta tester for. According to GrandCentral's FAQ,

"Based in Fremont, California, GrandCentral provides an innovative web-based voice communications platform that helps you manage all your phones and phone numbers through one simple interface. You get a single phone number that forwards to all of your phones, giving you one number for life."

It's thanks to GrandCentral that I can safely put the "Call Me" button on the right side of this page. One of the ways GrandCentral helps its users manage their phone numbers is through the use of online contact managing. When I get a call at my GrandCentral phone number, the first thing I hear is a recorded voice politely saying, "Call from... (name). Push one to accept, two to ignore, three to pick up and record..." If the person calling is one of your contacts online, then the computers does its best to say the name on its own. If it's a number that GrandCentral doesn't recognize, then it asks the caller to state their name when they first dial. This feature in particular has a tendency to confuse callers at first, but its great for screening calls from my end of the deal.

When I first started using GrandCentral at the beginning of 2008, there was an option on the "Address Book" tab to import contacts from Microsoft Outlook or other digital contact managing software. Unfortunately, that feature mysteriously went into "update mode" and stopped working for about seven months. After waiting anxiously for the feature to return, the feature decided to disappear this week all together. Heartbroken, I wrote this letter to the Grand Central team (picture added for dramatic effect):

From: John Wesley
Subject: Import/Export contacts
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2008 15:27:47 -0700

For a while the Import contacts feature was having an "Upgrade," but recently it simply disappeared! What's going on? Will it ever come back? This is one feature that I'm not sure I can easily live without. :(

Please respond to let me know the GrandCentral workers are real and
that this service has not simply been abandoned. I love grandcentral, but you're letting me down... It's almost like being cheated on by a girl you've only dated for like six months but still felt really connected too. Yea, it probably wasn't going to work, but damn it was
nice while it was working. Maybe, just maybe, we could make this work. If we try. Together. GrandCentral, let's forget the past. All those things that happened? Let's leave those behind and move on with our lives... NO. Let's move on to a BETTER life. I believe in US. Don't let me down. <3

Immediately after sending this email, I received an email stating how it was unlikely for me to get a return email concerning my issue, "...due to the large number of emails received daily." Luckily, my love note was heart warming enough to generate a response:


Thanks for your report.

The import and export functionality in the GrandCentral Address Book are currently unavailable. Our engineers are working diligently to find a solution.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused and appreciate your patience and cooperation.


The GrandCentral Team

Well, that's better than nothing, but not by much.

I still love you, GrandCentral, but you have to stop these games. STOP TOYING WITH MY HEART! :'(


P.S. All pictures found via Google Images. If you feel I have misused or stolen and of your work, please tell me in the comments and I will remove the picture. Thanks!