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Your Personal Operator

The skinny on two message services.

Why can't you get all your voice mail, email, and faxes in one place? Well, you can - almost. Here are two message services that are trying to deliver on the dream of the universal in-box.


Dial into Webley (on your phone or through the Internet), and it forwards to you messages left at your Webley number. To respond to a message, say "Return the call" - the service uses Caller ID to comply. Webley also reads email to you over the phone, and it tells you when a fax has arrived. You can read the fax through Webley's Web site, or send it to another fax machine.

Coordinates: $29.95 per month, plus 15 cents per minute. Webley, Webley Systems Inc., 888-444-6400,

Universal Number

When someone dials your Universal Number, the system asks who's calling. The service pages you, and can then dial up to three of your phone numbers simultaneously - say, your cell-phone, office phone, and home-office phone. When you pick up, Universal Number announces the name of the caller. You can then take the call, redirect it to another number, or let it go to voice mail.

Coordinates: $24.95 per month, plus 5 to 15 cents a minute. Universal Number, Linx Communications Inc., 888-250-4700,

A version of this article appeared in the October 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.