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Businesses Affected By Hurricane Sandy Get Free Phone Service From Twilio

Cloud Communications Enables Rapid Up Time for Businesses in Need

NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Twilio (http://www.twilio.com), the market leader in cloud communications, today announced it is offering free phone service to businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy until normal phone service is restored. Offering free phone numbers with services like easy voicemail, call queueing, simultaneous call forwarding and more, the cloud company is spreading the word to businesses with phone service affected by the storm that it can help.

Business owners can sign up for temporary phone services by calling or texting (718) 412-1334 or by emailing hurricane@twilio.com. Setup and service is provided by Twilio at no charge.

In the wake of the hurricane, telephone companies servicing businesses in the affected region offered to redirect business lines to the phone number of the owners' choice. As a temporary fix for service unavailability, many businesses could only forward to cell phones or single landlines, sending customers to personal voicemail boxes and racking up busy signals. Further, areas hardest hit by Sandy are still having difficulty finding power to charge mobile devices, leading to hours of lag for business communications. Since Twilio is a virtualized communications provider, CEO Jeff Lawson saw an opportunity to offer practical, real support.

"By redirecting business lines, either out of power or service, to a Twilio phone number, firms can quickly provide the business more flexibility," said Lawson. "This is the beauty of cloud communications. Our virtual network enables businesses to operate independently of their home network."

Some of the services being offered through Twilio include:

  • Ring multiple phones at once instead of just one, giving multiple employees the chance to respond.
  • Route inbound customers into a call queue and notify one or many employees of a waiting customer via SMS.
  • Collect a voicemail for inbound callers and send a link to the recording via SMS.
  • Create a phone tree where customers can press 1 and get directed to one phone or press 2 for another group.

"Many of the small businesses in hard hit areas like the Rockaways, Coney Island, Red Hook and much of Staten Island still don't have power or phone service," said Lawson. "We can pitch in with a quick fix that gets the business reconnected with their customers until their existing service comes back online."

Brooklyn resident and Director of Developer Evangelism for Twilio, Rob Spectre welcomed the offer for assistance. "It seems like a pragmatic, useful service for businesses that need to serve their customers while recovering from the storm," Spectre said. "What we really need is help getting the word to affected businesses that this free service exists."

Business owners affected by Sandy can sign up for the service at the company's website (http://www.twilio.com), via email at hurricane@twilio.com, or by phone or SMS to (718) 412-1334. Development and service is provided free of charge for the duration of the area's recovery.

About Twilio
Twilio (www.twilio.com), the cloud communications company, is reinventing telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications. Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into their web, mobile and traditional phone applications. The company is privately held and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

SOURCE Twilio

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