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Free 'Click-to-Call' Feature Now Found on Google Maps

Google is rolling out click-to-call functionality in the U.S. via Google Maps.

Microsoft's Windows Live Local has been offering click to call, but the feature has been showing up on Google Maps as well, with Google picking up the tab for the call, writes Garett French in a ZDNet blog, citing Washington state blogger Justin Uberti, who offers details. Users can be connected to listed businesses by entering their own number in the "Connect for free" box.

The new service is vulnerable to abuse - crank calls and free long-distance calling - as both Valleywag and Rogers point out. Google's click to call FAQ foresees the problem of crank calls ("What if someone enters my phone number instead of theirs as a prank call?") and offers this:

"Google takes fraud and spamming very seriously. We use technical methods to prevent future prank calls from the same user within a reasonable period of time. You won't be charged for any such calls. Please contact adwords-support if you believe someone is entering your phone number without your permission or knowledge."


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