Children can now get through to their parents first time, every time, when they have run out of mobile credit, their battery fails or there is no signal.
An initiative designed to ensure that children are always able to contact their parents by phone has launched. The service – 0800TXTMUM – works from mobile phones, payphones and landlines and enables children to get in contact with their parents should they run out of credit on their mobile phones, if their battery fails and there is no charger to hand or even when they are in an area with no mobile signal.
The reverse-charge SMS text service features SpinVox, which enables 0800TXTMUM to automatically convert to text voice messages left by kids that are then sent to their parents as SMS messages.
It was developed using the SpinVox API which leverages SpinVox VMCS, the commercial speech platform and the world’s first Cloud speech service, which already has over 30 million users and is growing fast.
To initiate the service, the parent simply goes to the 0800TXTMUM website to register, then, should their child need to use the service, their son or daughter simply dials 0800TXTMUM (0800 898 686) from their mobile phone or a landline and leaves a ten second voice message which will be automatically converted to a SMS text message and sent to the parent’s designated number.
The process is the same from a payphone or landline other than, in the case of landlines, the child will additionally have to enter their parent’s designated phone number. The service charges around £1each time it is used which is billed to the designated parent’s mobile account.
The service launches initially in New Zealand and will be rolled out in Australia, UK, Canada, USA, France, Germany and Spain in the coming months using SpinVox multiple-language conversion capability.
According to Poata Pohutuhutu, managing director of eSend, the company behind 0800TXTMUM: “The mobile phone has become an essential tool for children to keep in touch with their parents. But the majority of phones that kids use are pay as you go and, as a parent, you fear that just at the moment your kids really need to get hold of you – even if it’s just a change of plan, never mind an emergency – that will be the moment they suddenly run out of credit, lose battery power or even can’t get a signal. If this happens, 0800TXT MUM will ensure that the critical message will always get through so you know they are safe or can take action.”
Pohutuhutu initially designed the service for his daughter after she had run out of credit on her mobile phone and used a reverse charge call to get in contact with him. He then realised the high cost of such services in his native New Zealand. When he discovered that in other parts of the world reverse-charge calls were many times more expensive the business idea was born. “But in launching the service I didn’t just want it to be cheaper than normal reverse charge calling, I wanted it to be easier to use and more effective – that’s where SpinVox comes in. Using the API we were able to develop the service in a matter of weeks,” emphasises Pohutuhutu.