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Thread: Prepaid and Google Voice

  1. #1
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    Prepaid and Google Voice

    I'm going to buy a very basic prepaid phone and use it minimally--I'll try to keep it to an hour and 23 minutes per month to make a $100 card last a whole year.

    I've been hearing about Google Voice and did a search of it here but came up mostly with posts that were hard to understand since they involved smartphones, data plans, etc.

    What I'd like to know is what I can use it for to save me from using minutes as much as possible. I've heard about porting a number there and using it for voice mails, but don't understand it completely, or know if there are other ideas. I have no interest in texting or IM either and plan to have them blocked on my phone if possible.

    My biggest worry for minute usage is getting wrong numbers and charity-political-telemarketer calls.

  2. #2
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    Really, its primary purpose is for routing or forwarding incoming calls (and texts) to whatever phones you might have. You obtain a GV number, pass that out as your main contact point, people use that, and you can switch phones at will without having to give out a new number or do porting procedures (by selecting the intended phone to forward to in GV's Settings). Especially with a no-data setup, that's what it was made for. You then also have to develop the habit of calling out in such a way that your GV number is the one you appear to be calling from (call your GV no. first, then the recipient). It's a slight hassle, but you get used to it. No smartphone app involved. There's no way it will save you call plan minutes, unless you're using it with a home or work landline (free domestic long distance) -- which is what I do. Or with a smartphone (Android or iOS, IIRC), there are the apps that work with it, but those still don't avoid calling not using plan minutes. The big thing about that was, back when it first appeared, there were still cell phone plans (such as T-Mobile's My Faves, and I believe AT&T, the old Alltel, and VZW had "calling circle" type plans) where you could put your GV number in as one of your circle (Faves, whatever), and essentially have free incoming and outgoing calls. That was a pretty neat deal, but you notice those types of plans aren't offered anymore, and only those holding on to grandfathered plans have 'em.

    So it's not for everybody, but it's handy for those who can use its specific benefits. I'm pretty much all in on it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Really, its primary purpose is for routing or forwarding incoming calls (and texts) to whatever phones you might have. You obtain a GV number, pass that out as your main contact point, people use that, and you can switch phones at will without having to give out a new number or do porting procedures (by selecting the intended phone to forward to in GV's Settings). Especially with a no-data setup, that's what it was made for. You then also have to develop the habit of calling out in such a way that your GV number is the one you appear to be calling from (call your GV no. first, then the recipient). It's a slight hassle, but you get used to it. No smartphone app involved. There's no way it will save you call plan minutes, unless you're using it with a home or work landline (free domestic long distance) -- which is what I do. Or with a smartphone (Android or iOS, IIRC), there are the apps that work with it, but those still don't avoid calling not using plan minutes. The big thing about that was, back when it first appeared, there were still cell phone plans (such as T-Mobile's My Faves, and I believe AT&T, the old Alltel, and VZW had "calling circle" type plans) where you could put your GV number in as one of your circle (Faves, whatever), and essentially have free incoming and outgoing calls. That was a pretty neat deal, but you notice those types of plans aren't offered anymore, and only those holding on to grandfathered plans have 'em.

    So it's not for everybody, but it's handy for those who can use its specific benefits. I'm pretty much all in on it.
    Thanks for clearing that up for me! I was actually going to port my current landline number which I've had for over 12 years to a new prepaid cell phone. Now I'm wondering if I should just port that number over to GV. But then I'd have a new cell number that spammers would be able to send to directly, and it would be a cell number which might already have a history of texting. So I think my LL number should be ported to the cell and then generate a number for GV randomly, but then that would be the number I give out, right? The idea of GV for me would be to avoid calls from spammers, so I don't think this would help me.

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    Another feature of GV that comes in handy for managing unwanted calls and texts is call screening (an optional feature). Caller has to announce themselves and you decide whether to let the call connect (by pressing 1) or not. Also, you can select which number individual callers will be routed to via your contact list (e.g. all calls ring all phones or one or another call rings cell, landline, office, etc.). At this point, I only give my GV number to anyone.

    Of course, this works great for managing calls that are actually directed to you personally but of course it's not a perfect solution in that it doesn't stop random /robo calling. Since my prepaid phone service doesn't provide number blocking, the only strategy I've come up with for handling that is to assign a default ringtone for unknown callers and never bother answering those calls...a very imperfect solution. If anyone can suggest a better strategy, I'd love to hear it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Really, its primary purpose is for routing or forwarding incoming calls (and texts) to whatever phones you might have. You obtain a GV number, pass that out as your main contact point, people use that, and you can switch phones at will without having to give out a new number or do porting procedures (by selecting the intended phone to forward to in GV's Settings). Especially with a no-data setup, that's what it was made for. You then also have to develop the habit of calling out in such a way that your GV number is the one you appear to be calling from (call your GV no. first, then the recipient). It's a slight hassle, but you get used to it. No smartphone app involved. There's no way it will save you call plan minutes, unless you're using it with a home or work landline (free domestic long distance) -- which is what I do. .
    It actually seems to work as a free phone service even without a landline. I just figured out today how to use it and was able to place a call to my cell phone's voice mail service to listen to voice messages there. That would help me to save minutes. Also, I guess I could use it to make phone calls that I think might take awhile. I still wouldn't want it as a primary service since it would mean keeping my computer up and running all the time. Plus, I don't have internet at home. What I've done with it so far has been from a public computer at a library.

  6. #6
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    register your phone number here donotcall.gov and telemarket will stop. I only get them once a month not more... Before it was like once, two a day.

  7. #7
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    I've had my landline and mobile numbers registered on donotcall for years. I suppose that may have reduced the amount of legitimate telemarketing calls, but the calls I'm talking about are spam calls. I'm constantly getting calls from *Rachel from credit card services* or offers to extend my auto warranty...that sort of thing. Completely bogus. I have PagePlus Cellular prepaid on a pretty basic cell phone so there's no way to block calls. I don't answer calls from numbers I don't recognize, but what really bugs me is there's no way to stop spam text messages, which I wind up paying for!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceegee View Post
    I've had my landline and mobile numbers registered on donotcall for years. I suppose that may have reduced the amount of legitimate telemarketing calls, but the calls I'm talking about are spam calls. I'm constantly getting calls from *Rachel from credit card services* or offers to extend my auto warranty...that sort of thing. Completely bogus. I have PagePlus Cellular prepaid on a pretty basic cell phone so there's no way to block calls. I don't answer calls from numbers I don't recognize, but what really bugs me is there's no way to stop spam text messages, which I wind up paying for!
    Yeahhh, SMS!!! I hate them too. For example now I'm in Russia on my vacation and here all incoming texts or calls are free by law!!! That's great!!!

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