Ring back tones, that music you can opt to hear instead of a ring phone when you place a call is getting more intelligent. Ring Plus, a US company, has been offering free calls (even international) to its subscribers in exchange for listening to an advertisement while waiting for your callee to pick up. Could it be just that easy?
Ring Plus thinks so. They’ve just completed a six month beta test of the service and were impressed with the results. They believe they are going to revolutionize the telecom industry:
“People got crazy. Some individuals placed over 70 phone calls a day. They all enjoyed our free calls. Our subscribers love our service. We grow and continue to grow 1.5% daily just because people are recommending us to their friends,” said Karl Seelig, CEO and inventor of the Ring Plus system.
Upon signing up for the service, you are asked some basic questions upon which they’ll place you into target groups. From there, your ads will be quasi-relevant to you. Among the hobbies you can select for yourself here are my favorite two: “being lazy” and “my work is my hobby.” So you know they’ve got a sense of humor.
Ok, so what is the catch? Frankly, I am not sure there is one. Ring Plus sees themselves as a freer of folks paying too much for phone service (everyone say, “I”) while at the same time a pied piper leading advertisers to eager customers who want to listen to their pitch. Their terms of service says they can limit the length of calls at any time; I imagine someone using the service for hours upon hours.
However, their website does seem a little behind the times and raises a flag about the company themselves. That is their logo above. The site has odd coloring, interesting use of graphics, and menus hearken back to an earlier, simpler Internet. But hey what do I know? Here is what the company says about itself:
Ring Plus is a free-spirited telephone community in which we all interact in an environment of trust, honesty, and respect.
I am thinking this could be the warning shot of a new wave. This could be the start of a new phone company or something the bigger guys eat up. Their technology is a good start forward for opt-in advertising and couple this with geo-location from all our cell phones with GPS and you’ve got something very powerful. Very powerful indeed. Imaging calling your bud to see what they want to do for dinner only to hear a 2 for 1 special right up the block. This is a company to watch.
Company site: [Ring Plus]