Original image found: https://flic.kr/p/7FukLP
If you’re like us, you’ve had your landline phone number for-eve-r. We moved into our home and got a landline long before cellphones were the common method of calling. It’s been years that we’ve talked about ditching the landline to save a few bucks but there are SO many places that have that number. The doctors office, the kids’ school, volunteer organizations, family members, friends…. so many that we didn’t want to have to update all of those places and be concerned about forgetting to update an important one. Finally we found a easy low cost way to keep the number but ditch the landline service by transferring (or porting) our landline phone number to Google Voice. (Porting is the term used for transferring a phone number to a new service)
Make sure to read a few caveats listed at the bottom
Google launched Google Voice in 2009 as a computer phone service that would allow users to make and receive calls, receive voicemails and text message via their computer and then eventually they opened up the system to be accessed via smartphones. This service, like many of Google’s services has no cost to maintain, but it will take about $35 to port your landline number to Google Voice.
But there’s a catch
Google (for some unknown reason) will not allow landlines to be ported into the google voice service.
But (I know you’re thinking to yourself) the whole point of this post is to show me how, but you just told me Google won’t allow it…
Correct, google doesn’t allow it directly, so we’re going to take an alternate route…
Here’s How To Transfer Landline Number Google Voice:
What we’re going to do, is port the landline number to a cell phone provider first, then go from the cell phone provider to Google. The whole process will take a few days to complete, but you shouldn’t miss any calls during the process.
Go to your favorite store that sells pay-as-you-go phones. The goal is to find the cheapest no-contract phone that includes a few minutes when you purchase it. You will need to answer the phone and use a few minutes during the conversion process with Google. It should work with any cellular provider. If you have an old phone that you could purchase pay-as-you-go airtime for, that would work also.
I purchased a Tracfone phone for about $15 and it came with 10 minutes of call time included. Perfect! I have no particular love for Tracfone, it just happened to be the cheapest at the time that offered included minutes. Any no-contract phone would work.
Inside the box for your Tracfone you’ll find a card with the activation information on it. You’ll use the Tracfone website to activate the phone and setup the phone number porting.
-Your Account Password or PIN*
-Your contact Information as it is registered with your current service provider
(More info can be found here)
Now the number that used to be your landline is ringing on the cellphone. It’s time to sign up for Google Voice. If you already have a Google account (gmail perhaps?) you can use the same login to access Google Voice. You could also create a new Google account just for Google Voice if you prefer.
To get started you’ll need to accept the Google Terms and Conditions.
The next window is where you’ll tell Google you want to transfer a mobile number.
Enter the phone number that was your landline number
The next window will give you the options for your number. Make sure to select Port Number
Google charges $20 to port phone numbers into Google Voice.
A few more menus and you’re final port process will be underway. When the port process is ready to finish Google will need to call your phone that you’re transferring to finish the authorization process. Follow the instructions – it’s pretty straight forward.
You’re All Finished
It’s probably 3-4 days since you started the process and now all of your calls will be collected by Google Voice. You can set Google Voice to forward all calls to one or multiple other phone numbers. You can even answer with their smartphone app. And best of all, you can enjoy the extra $25-60 dollars a month that you’re no longer paying to the landline phone company.
If you’re like me, I have the number that used to be my landline go straight to voicemail. Always. I give this number out for everything. (especially when I know it’ll end up in the hands of telemarketers) I receive the voicemails transcribed in my email box (a pretty cool feature included in Google Voice) and then I return calls that are important. For the most part, if it’s my friends or family, they are calling me on my cellphone anyway.
There you have it. For about $35 you can have a permanent place to store your landline number and still keep it active and useful.
Important things to know:
- If you only have landline telephone service then your account will be terminated when the phone number is ported away. (this goes for cell numbers if you were porting that for some reason)
- If you have DSL for your high-speed internet, you may need to call your landline company to see how/if you can port the number away. Some phone companies will not sell DSL service without an associated phone line.
- If you do not have minutes on your no-contract cellphone then Google can not complete the porting process.
Looking to save money on upgrading your phone? Here is a post titled Saving Money Upgrading Your iPhone.
Featured image: https://flic.kr/p/7DLCjc