Will the Last One to Leave GrandCentral Please Turn Out the Lights?

We’ve been worried about GrandCentral for a while now. The free service that promised “one number for life” started with such promise. And then Google bought the company and the technology way back in July 2007…and they left it to rot. No new invites. Existing users have seen the service languish in maintenance mode since the acquisition. No updates. No new features or improvements. No word from the developers. Shame.

This morning, those of us still using a GrandCentral number are logging in to our accounts to see this:

grandcentral-cert

An expired SSL certificate is not a big deal. Just accept the expired certificate because you trust the site and move on. But that’s not the point. It’s yet more evidence that if the GrandCentral folks are still at Google, they’re working on something else. The GrandCentral support forum is filled with questions and problems, and there has been no official answer to anything.

The challenge for those of us left behind is number portability, or lack thereof. I like my GrandCentral number. It’s easy to remember. It’s in the area code I want it to be. I would gladly use another reasonably-priced service if I could take the number with me (I do use PhoneFusion for my local contacts). Yes, GrandCentral has always been “beta” and was never meant to be used for mission-critical contacts. But it’s a little difficult to “test” a service like GrandCentral without giving the number out to contacts, isn’t it?

It’s about time for Google to do the right thing. Shut GrandCentral down once and for all, and give us a way to port our numbers elsewhere.

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