touchy landline telephone service manoeuver

I'm tired of paying for my landline telephone. Usage of it is very light with wireless almost completely carrying the communications load.

The thing is that I've had this landline telephone number for many years. I'd hate to see it go.

Years ago I switched it from traditional POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to VoIP, which cut costs by almost half. Now the VoIP provider has let miscellaneous taxes and fees creep the price up over the years to a level that I, again, don't want to pay. The VoIP company being constantly sued by the old POTS companies for providing something resembling a telephone service probably didn't help in that area.

Anyway, Google Voice could be a good solution as it would allow me to maintain the old telephone number at little to no out-of-pocket cost. The issue with Google Voice (GV) is that it can only take over mobile numbers, not POTS or VoIP ones. So, I'm going to try something that others have reported to have sometimes worked.

  • Port phone number from VoIP to a cheapo pay-as-you-go cellular provider so it will become a mobile number.
  • Let it settle into the system (propagate) for a few days.
  • Try to then port the number over to Google Voice since it takes mobile numbers.

I'm still on the first step. I hear that the VoIP company is slow and reluctant to release phone numbers and will try hard to foul things up.

All this reminds me of changing domain registrars and/or web hosts on the Internet. If it gets messed up, your stuff can disappear into a black hole, and in the case of the phone service, it might never reappear.

If it works, Google Voice will become a front end for the phone number allowing me to redirect it to any phone I desire. The included voicemail and messaging services are quite good. Costs will become about zero.

Will the VoIP company ever release my number to the mobile provider? Will the mobile provider release it to Google. Will Google pick it up? Will I ever see the phone number again? 😆 The uncertainty of it all adds fun! I like messin' with stuff. I run Linux after all. :up:

Image below: The cheap-azz pay-as-you-go (paygo) cellular phone I'm trying to use as an intermediary in the porting process. It was under 10 dollars and includes some airtime. Hard to believe. I have several friends who use this company. For light users, they get a lot of bang for the buck.

11 responses to “touchy landline telephone service manoeuver

  1. I only have experience with POT. Just sayin' :whistle:

  2. My wife used to be on the support phone line for Tracfone. She wasn't in North America.

  3. Originally posted by SharkfinUK:

    My wife used to be on the support phone line for Tracfone. She wasn't in North America.

    I was just thinking about Tracfone support/customer service today. From the world's cheapest pay-as-you-go company, I wouldn't expect any service at all, but every call I've made to Tracfone has been excellent. I've called several times for some of my friends who have the service.I made my first call on my own behalf today to see if the porting was progressing. There was latency on the line, which led me to believe that the agent was overseas, but it didn't sound like India, so I have no idea where the person was.Every call I've ever made to the company has been answered quickly, the people have access to the information, are empowered to solve problems, and are polite. It's amazing.Trivia: Tracfone is indirectly Mexican, a subsidiary of América Móvil.

  4. I guess I was lucky to be able to switch my easy/convenient/memorable "old" # to my new cell. (I went landline-less two years ago, and wish I'd done it sooner.) Does it something to do with me living in a small town?

  5. Originally posted by yooperprof:

    Does it something to do with me living in a small town?

    I'm not sure.The first port of my old long-term number was in '05 when I moved into the house I'm in now. I was surprised when BellSouth (now AT&T) told me that moving 3 miles would require a number change (different exchange). I couldn't call Vonage fast enough. They initiated the transfer from Bell, and 3 days later when the Vonage net adapter arrived by UPS, the transfer of my old number had already occurred, so I plugged it in and it worked fine. I like using the big old desk phones, and the net adapter lets me do that.The only drawback is if the net goes down, but that's covered by assigning an alternate number in the web interface. If Vonage can't reach the home net adapter, it will ring the alternate, my cell phone for example.Over the years, the price of Vonage has crept up to just under what a basic Bell line would be, so I want to port again, but I have to do the 2-step mentioned in the post above: get Vonage ported to a wireless, then once it's a wireless number, Google should be able to grab it from Tracfone.Vonage has been great with the one-price-includes-everything pricing and the numerous configuration options. Lack of use and price increases now have me wanting to move it again.—At times I wish I had saved my grandmother's old number which had been in service for 50 years. I just had it disconnected a few years ago. It's the same number that I used to call her when I was a child and you could call any phone in my city by dialing 5 digits. She used to say her number was BRoadway plus the 5 digits. As sentimental as I was about it, keeping old phone numbers is expensive. The AT&T agent was really good at trying to keep the number active. She said, "this number has been in service for half a century. Doesn't someone in your family want it?" That almost got me, but I let it go.—Remember the old days when some exchanges sounded funny on the caller's end when they rang? My grandmother's BRoadway exchange sounded like an air house bubbling under a bucket of water.

  6. Wow. Talk about choice. In India, landline telephone universally refers to POTS only – no alternatives.And porting numbers from landline to cell-phone is unheard of!

  7. Originally posted by Shaunak:

    And porting numbers from landline to cell-phone is unheard of!

    It seems odd, I guess, but there's a "number portability" charge on the bill each month, so this "privilege" is well paid for in advance by the consumer.If I were a retiree in Mexico, which I'd actually like to be, this Vonage would be great in that anywhere in the world where I can plug in that adapter, I'd have a working US phone number with no long distance charge to anywhere in the US or Canada.

  8. Vonage (the VoIP) handed off my number to Tracfone (mobile] today. I'm half done.Next step, Google needs to snatch it from Tracfone. The order is in.

  9. Everything complete and successful. The old landline number that cost me over $200 per year now rides along for free on the two cellulars as a virtual number. Callers won't notice anything different except the Google voicemail sounds sexier than the customary shrill robotic cellular voicemail. Outbound calls, I can choose which number will appear to the receiving party, the virtual one or the primary cellular. Lots of configuration options: spam call filtration, quiet hours, routing, notifications, etc. The old POTS landline number will now text, too. I love playing with stuff.Indeed it is possible to use an ultra-cheap Tracfone to do a mobile conversion on a landline to make it Google Voice ready. The Tracfone has now been retired. It is no longer needed.

  10. Did some financial planning yesterday, and discovered the landline phone is $30/month. That's basic service and not even caller ID. Need to cancel landline I'm thinking :furious:

  11. Originally posted by operainchicago:

    Need to cancel landline I'm thinking

    Yeah, I was there, too. Even doing VoIP (Vonage), you're in for just under $20/month. Unless you're attached to the old number, you could cancel it.The thing about the old copper wire landline is that they tend to work even if electricity is out and disasters are going on. Nothing's better for getting 911 in a hurry.When I have dialed 911 on my mobile, typically I get a cellular emergency operator who asks the initial questions as he/she is getting the local 911 on the line at the same time. That can add a few moments of time, but I have found the system to still be very responsive.One way around that is to find the local 7-digit regular number for 911 dispatch and put that in your contacts. That will bypass the cellular operator, though the cellular operator could be useful for a geo-location of your unit if you are unable to give it or are out of area.FYI: if you become aware of a crime or emergency outside of your local area, who do you call? I've found that calling the local 911 and telling them the deal is the thing to do. They can get you to where you need to be.—By the way, if you just can't let that old phone number go, you can do the Google switcheroo outlined above. It's kind of tedious, but I've got it working fine now.

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