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Yak is an online forward messaging service.
Is that all, what’s the big deal? ------------------------------------
Well yes that’s all it is basically but the brilliance behind it is what can do for you. If you are a frequent traveler or you tend to move home/rented accommodation etc then people trying to find you can be a nightmare. With YAC they call or fax just one number (your yak number) and are directed straight to you via which ever number you choose from home, work, or mobile. You can access these numbers frequently via your mobile phone, a normal landline or a computer to update them. .
It’s even useful for the average person because you can receive calls and messages on holiday (should you want to be bothered!), you need never loose contact with family or old friends because they will have a number that they can always reach you on. How many people have you lost contact with because you or they moved?
What features do I get? -----------------------------
You can order free business cards with your YAC number on which you give to people and they will always be able to reach you wherever you are in the 22 foreign countries it covers so far. Neat huh! Should you be unavailable you can either use your current messaging service or make use of theirs, you can then have a copy sent to you via e-mail and this includes fax’s (useful if you don’t have a fax machine).
You can also choose a personalised greeting and change your call screening options. There is also an option to send a voice message via e-mail to up to 15 people but I haven’t given that a try yet so I don’t know that much about it.
Do I need to download anything? ---------------------------------------
In most cases no. You do need windows 95 or later and you will need real player if you choose to receive voice messages via e-mail. But you can download real player if you don’t already have it, most computers will though. My computer is about 1 ½ years old and is just your basic P3 56k modem thingy and I’ve had no problems what so ever, the messages download quickly and easily to my inbox and are as clear as a bell.
So how much does it cost? ---------------------------------
Well to receive the messages it costs you nothing at all. It does cost extra to the person calling you though, the BT rates are 32 p pm at peak times, 22 ppm evenings and 10.5 ppm weekends and per second billing applies. Other phone operators charge at the same rates as personal numbering services although I’m a BT customer myself so I can’t tell you more than that.
If you have a mobile you can use outside the UK then you are normally charged roaming fees, divert your calls to a land phone outside the UK and you will only have the fees charged by the country you are in. Inside the UK mobile phone operators are obliged to inform you of their costs (apparently!) when you dial the yac number.
Not as bad as you might imagine really considering and for the average Joe Bloggs it won’t be used very much anyway but it’s useful just in case.
How do you get an account? ---------------------------------
Simple, just visit the website and sign up. You will receive a confirmation and a yac number via e-mail which you can use to access your account from the site. To activate your account you need to log in and change your call forwarding details and others then you are ready to go. You can order the cards on the same site and can get up to three sets of 50, which must be ordered a minimum of two weeks apart. They come in a choice of 6 designs but the designs themselves aren’t very different so don’t get too excited!
For beenz hunters who decide to sign up, you have to activate your account and actually receive a call via your number. You should then receive an e-mail within 3-10 days with the URL to your beenz location. I’m yet to receive mine so I may be updating this with a grumble but we will see.
The site itself doesn’t consist of very much, there is your account (which you access simply by putting in your number and password), a tour, a FAQ section and a news bit that has any new information. The FAQ section was helpful and the site is fairly easy to understand although for technical novices (like me!) you may need to read and re-read just to be sure what you are supposed to do at times. It’s clear they are aiming for business men and women etc but none the less it’s worth getting.
Just one final point so far the customer service has been brilliant. I received a reply to my query within 24 hours and it was both polite and helpful. So a huge two thumbs up for that, well so far!
http://www.yac.com/jsp/yacLogin.jsp?f_2=086029&f_1=QPVX (This is my ref, if you are going to sign up it would benefit me if you would use this. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to put this here so if I offend or am breaking any rules post a comment and I’ll delete it. I thought that if someone is gonna sign up after reading this then it seems silly to not benefit even if it is only a little but note that this has nothing at all to do with the above opinion).
well written op after a long break i presume. just to add in: i don't think it's appropriate to put referal numbers in an op and i think it's against the CIAO's Terms and Conditions. I did this once and got a warning from a fellow ciaoers. i'm still uncertain about this, so u do need to deal with CIAO team yourself. but you can always write asking ppl to email u for your referal numbers if they decide to join. cheers :)
john.sw 18.02.2001 13:02
I imagine that this is also a good way to lose friends! Why can't they just call you on your mobile or send you a SMS message - it would be far cheaper for them and just as convenient for you?