“Hmmmm,” mused Eric Dueweke a lecturer in the University of Michigan’s Urban and Regional Planning program. Why not bring robo calls back from the dark side, for use by the forces of good? At those prices, community groups could send meeting reminders, schools could notify parents when classes are cancelled, families could even use them for reunions or birthday parties.
A quick Google search revealed many commercial services, some of which even will send text messages (be careful with that one). Here’s one I found that offers a low-use free account, or pay-as-you-go calls as low as seven cents each.