Sunday, January 28, 2007

Talkster - Call IM contacts from your cell

talkster the mobile web based application allows a user with a regular cell phone (no need for software) to be able to see their instant messaging buddies from MSN, Google Talk, and Gizmo project, and call them from your mobile to that persons PC..unlike some other services that I ve written about like EQO (which allows you to make calls to your skype contacts but your PC has to be on and connected to skype) this one doesnt require software..I signed up to try it out..and couldnt get it to work..I uploaded my girlfriend as a contact and it shows up on the phone's browser too along with "invite me"next to it...
when I click to connect to her the phone dials a 646 area code number but never rings and it gets disconnected..instead it sends an email to that contact to invite them to accept the invitation on their messenger applicatio which they never got?? after a few tries the phone actually got through but I got a voice greeting telling me I had a $2 balance and to enter the number I wanted to call even though I was trying to call a buddy contact.???? so Im extremely confused and annoyed now so even though I like the idea behind this.. here what I didnt like

  • the fact I have to enter or upload my contacts to it (why couldnt I just enter my Messenger screen names and the service get them from that, like EQO)
  • the fact that I couldnt make the call, some find the invite email annoying
  • only 3 messenger options (no skype or yahoo)

Update: James from Talkster was nice enough to respond to my issues.. check out the comment on this post for his reply..


James Wanless said...

Hello Sam,

Thanks for the honest review of Talkster. We appreciated that you took the time to try it out and review it for your readers.

We were investigating your support request when we spotted your blog post. We want all of our users to have a positive experience, and we’d like to take this opportunity to respond to your request so that others that might have the same questions you have can see our response here on your blog. Thanks again for opening the lines of communication.

Here is how the buddy invitation process is supposed to work. This is a long written explanation, but the process in practice is quite short.

1. You add your messenger buddies to your Talkster contact list. We don't ask you to give us your user ID or password from your messenger account because we don't feel that the majority of users would be willing or comfortable to do this. We may reconsider this based on user feedback like yours.

2. Once you have contacts in your account which have email addresses or messenger IDs which match the networks we have access to (e.g. their email addresses end in,, and then you will see these people in your buddy list with the words "Invite me" next to them. In order to start sharing presence with them and also to speak to them you have to click on their name.

3. Once you have clicked their name, an invitation email is sent to them letting them know you will be calling from your mobile phone. This invitation email is a one time event, assuming that they do in fact accept your invitation.

4. Next we connect your phone to our network. The way in which we do this is dependent on your preferences. By default, we connect you to a gateway number in your country. However, if you don't have a national calling plan and would prefer to have us call you back on your phone then you can select this from SETTINGS. If we call you back, you are charged for the cost of us calling you on your phone which in the US is 2 cents per minute. The cost of connecting you to your messenger buddy is zero.

5. Once you are connected to our access number, you will hear ringing. Your buddy on the other end will see, in their messenger, an invitation from you. It's the same sort of invitation which you see when adding a buddy to your list. If they accept, then the call from you will begin to ring and they can answer it. If they don't answer within 30 seconds then we will let you know that the call could not be connected. As soon as your buddy accepts the invitation (it stays there until they accept or reject it) you will see their presence in the Talkster buddy list on your phone. Next time you call them, the call will be connected and they can answer it in the normal way.

Please give it a try again. It will work. We’ve gone ahead and added another $5 of credit to your beta account to allow you to test our service further and urge you to try it out extensively.

We currently support MSN, Google Talk and Gizmo Project. This list of supported networks will be expanding in the near future.

Also Talkster can be used to call your buddies on regular phones. If you want to do this you can choose the number you want to call from the Talkster web interface.

One of the other options that we offer is the ability to use Talkster as you would use a calling card – in the cases where you want to make a call to a regular phone number but don't have access to your browser. To use Talkster in this way, just dial the local access number (the 646 number for you) and if you are calling from one of your registered phone numbers you will hear your account balance, followed by the prompt to enter the number you want to dial. If you are not calling from one of your registered phone numbers then we will (for security) ask you to enter your registered phone number and PIN (which is only known to you).

We hope that your second experience is better than your first and we thank you again for opening the lines of communication. Talkster truly appreciates everyone who is helping us during our beta to iron out some of these bugs to make the service the best it can be.