Friday, July 22, 2011

How to: Porting a landline number to Google Voice.

Totally unrelated to dog stuff, but an interesting (I think) process worth sharing. When I bought this house nearly 12 years ago, in the days before widespread and reliable cell service in this part of the world I hooked up a basic landline service from (at that time) Verizon. In fact, I actually had two lines - one  for voice and one {gasp} for fax. The fax line got dropped years ago, but I've held onto the landline (now through fairpoint) because so many things were attached to that number. So here I am paying $25-$30/month for basic (no long distance) service of which I use - MAYBE 5 minutes a month. The straw for me was June, in which I used a whopping 30 seconds.

There are other options other than Fairpoint around here namely Comcast and Vonage - but switching to either wouldn't actually save me any money. I'd still be paying $30 for 5 minutes of talk time. I had signed up for a Google Voice account months ago - played with it, but never really found it all that useful. What good was another phone number?  When I discovered that I could port a number to Google Voice, suddenly there's promise, but you cannot port a landline (or business number) to Google Voice.
Google Voice iPhone App.

Here's what I did:
1) Borrowed an old AT&T mobile phone. This allowed me to walk into the AT&T store with 'owned' hardware. I added a line to my existing AT&T account ($10/month) and ported my Fairpoint number to AT&T. This took about 24 hours. There was no charge to port the number, the change to a family plan/add a line will be pro-rated by number of days the service was used ($9.99 / 30 days) * number of days on the mobile plan (should be approx 4 days). Because I owned the hardware there's no contract change, I can go back to my individual plan at any time. Port from initiated on Wednesday evening and was completed at 9am Friday morning.

2) Once the port was complete I was able to re-port the number to Google Voice for a one-time $20 fee. I will lose my original 'free' google voice number (which I never used and didn't give out). I could keep that number for an additional one-time fee of $20 (I could add other numbers to my GV account for the same price).  

No more phone bills for that home number. Access to (free) voicemail anywhere I can access email. Voicemail (still free) to text translation in my inbox. The ability to screen calls to that number from anywhere. Free texting to and from any number. If I wanted to use google voice outbound calls are FREE to US numbers and start at $.02/minute to almost anywhere else in the world AND there's an app for that! I can manage the whole thing from my iPhone or through a browser. It's slicker than pig snot!

Link:
Google Voice: https://www.google.com/voice/


1 comment:

Jude said...

When you port your home phone number to the cell phone then cancel home phone then cancel cell phone, what prevents phone company from re-using your home phone number?

Jude