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Update on NoPhoneTrees.Com

A few days ago, I posted about GetHuman and Bringo!/, two sites that help people deal with customer phone support. I then received this follow-up e-mail from Clement Wang, one of the founders of Bringo, who wanted to respond to some of the reader comments on this blog and elsewhere. It read, in part:

I’d like to make a few clarifications to your readers to clear up some concerns folks have.

First, many writers and message posters around the Internet have commented on our Privacy Policy, and other information (or lack thereof). We had intended to release an official Privacy Policy and press release later this month, but in light of the comments and attention, we are now planning on adding that to the site within about a week. Rest assured, we do not resell or reuse the phone numbers in any way, other than tracking whether folks have validated their phone number successfully (in order to control crank-calling from our site). We also have no capability at this time (and do not plan to add) any monitoring of the phone calls placed through our site — so we do not capture any conversations or any digits typed into the phone once the user is connected to the companies they are trying to contact. We have intentionally avoided asking for user’s account information at this point as a way of navigating the phone trees, as we did not want to deal with those privacy concerns this early on.

Second, many folks have wondered aloud how we make money. We are using as way to showcase our technology, test it out, and to do our small part to help consumers deal with a problem that we personally find quite annoying. We don’t see this as a profit-maker for us, although we have put up Google ads to allow us to break even on the phone calls. We’ve gotten some great feedback thus far, which we will absorb and include in our product plans. We will be using the same underlying technology that powers to introduce new services that help connect internet users with businesses via the telephone on the website.