Google Maps Call Feature Ripe for Abuse

Google has added a new feature to its Maps product. Now upon locating a business on Google Maps, you are given the option of calling the phone number listed in the directory.

As Google explains the service, when you click the "call" link next to a business' phone number, you'll be invited to enter your phone number. Once you select "Connect For Free," Google Maps calls the number you provided. Your phone should then ring, displaying the caller ID of the business, not of Google. After picking up, our experiences varied between two outcomes: often we heard ringing on the other end as Maps connects you to the business, and other times we heard an automated voice which required us to press "1" before the call could be connected. In either case, when the other end answers, you simply talk normally as if you had directly dialed their number on your phone.

The great part about this feature, aside from convenience, is that the service is essentially free. Given that both parties are dealing with incoming calls, there are no long-distance charges in your local calling area.

For those concerned about privacy issues when revealing phone numbers, Google said that the number will never be used to make any other calls to the user and that the "information will be deleted from our servers after a period reasonably necessary to operate the service."

View: Google Maps
News source: DailyTech
Screenshot: Step one - find your address
Screenshot: Provide your number
Screenshot: Calling

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15 Comments

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So let me get this straight.
1. you find a business on google maps
2. you enter your phone number
3. You will recieve a call from google and you are connected to the business number that you located in google maps

So my question is, when you recieve a call from google (and when the business recieves a call from google), will it be from a long distance number? Or will it be a local one?

So not only does Google track your web searching habits* but now your phone number too...at least for awhile. Nice!

*No flames, please - this was posted on a news release on Neowin recently.

Google - where we don't know the meaning of the word privacy.

Great. As you must have read (if not, please go through the replies - Microsoft has the same feature.

What are you going to comment on that one? If you did read the replies you wouldn't have included just Google.

It's funny that the place in the screenshot that they attempt to call, is in the center of an intersection...lol

Hahaha, I can't believe my contribution is on the main page :nuts: hehe.

Well, I think it's a pretty good feature tho.

Google has done more to support cross-platform usage, and as a Linux user, that is where I prefer to point my browser. Some features on Microsoft's site only work with IE, and I don't have that.

So google end up forking out for the phone call? Nice :-)

Also, what would happen if you type a premium number as _your_ number, and the church group down the road end up with a $100 phone bill. ?????????

i think that's where the press 1 to call the business comes in.. but it doesnt sound like that's even working 100% right now.

'So google end up forking out for the phone call? Nice :-)'

'and the church group down the road end up with a $100 phone bill. ?????????'

nope, because google end up forking out for the phone call.

Quote - idbuythatforadollar said @ #3.2

nope, because google end up forking out for the phone call.

I had this all worked out.... hmmm... reverse charges????.... I dunno.