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Thread: Any way to transfer a number off a plan and keep BOTH numbers AND the plan?

  1. #1
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    Any way to transfer a number off a plan and keep BOTH numbers AND the plan?

    OK, I've screwed up and need help.

    I transferred my mail number to Google Voice, thinking could get a different number for the phone and have my calls and text messages go right to my new number from GV.

    At the same time, I bought the $300/year plan because it was a good deal and I like AT&T.

    Well of course, it blew up. GV for some reason insists on using its voice mail instead of AT&T and my text messages are ... intermittent.

    So. Is there ANY way to port my old number back while keeping my plan intact AND...wait for it...not losing the current number on my phone?

    The reasons for keeping that number are too long to go into here. But I seem to remember that if I port it out, I lose the remainder of the $300. And if I port IN my old number to keep the account, I lose my current AT&T number. Is there any way around this, folks?

    Many thanks...Mike Nassour

  2. #2
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    You can't have two numbers directly ring a single cell phone line. You have to use a call forwarding service like Google Voice, Ring Central or Grasshopper. Google Voice is free, the alternatives, are for the most part, are not.

    IMO, the best way to have two numbers without paying for 2 separate cell phone accounts is what you are have now, a carrier number and a Google Voice number.

    Take a little time to get used to Google Voice and understand how it works. First, install the Google Voice app on your phone. All your texts and picture messages will come to the app, with no delays or missed messages. Google Voicemail in the app is way better than AT&T prepaid voicemail. Instead of having to call in to listen to your voicemail, Google Voice gives you visible voicemail with text transcription so you can listen to your voicemail or read it.

    another alternative is to port your Google Voice number to a second cellphone line and and carry two phones or a dual-SiM phone
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nassour View Post
    GV for some reason insists on using its voice mail instead of AT&T and my text messages are ... intermittent.
    GV will send the phone call to its voice mail if none of the forwarding phones answer it after some 20 seconds so AT&T's voice mail system must answer it before that time. Check with AT&T to see if it can be programmed and how. But even that, it is not fool-proof, I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Nassour View Post
    So. Is there ANY way to port my old number back while keeping my plan intact AND...wait for it...not losing the current number on my phone?
    Have you talked to AT&T to see if they can do that?

  4. #4
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    Review this post for the code how to set native att ccf duration threshold

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...4#post17104804

    Here's the thing, calls to the gv number go to google vm if they are unanswered within 25 seconds. HOWEVER, if you set the carrier vm threshold (above) to a number less than 25 then the carrier VM will always grab the call and not google VM.

    The take away is you want carrier VM to answer after a longer duration. Say 30 seconds. That ensures google vm always grabs the calls dialed to the google number.

    This will allow calls to the carrier number to be answered by the carrier vm and calls to google answered by google vm. You'll use the phone's messaging app to manage texts to the carrier number.

    As Yeswap indicated above, you'll use the google voice app on the phone to manage google voice texts, vm's, and outbound caller id.

    Inbound wise, you won't know if the call is coming in directly to the carrier number or forwarded by google voice. In my case, no one has my carrier number. In fact, other than the area code and first 3 digits, even I don't know what it is without looking it up, so I never expect any carrier calls. If call comes in matches the first 6 digits I know its a spam call and thus gets ignored.

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    First of all, thanks to everyone for their kind, informative responses. It is kind of embarrassing, realizing that I've effectively locked a number into a phone plan for a year and that there's no way to get it out without a financial hit. Kind of defeats one of he purposes of prepaid!

    Regarding the voice mail, what I was after was to shorten the duration of the carrier number's VM so that it would always answer first. I was having the issue where GV voicemail would come on before AT&T's. So I shortened the AT&T answer time radically, to five seconds. I didn't intend to keep it there, just wanted it to ring for testing purposes. And then I rang through by dialing the Google Voice number that was forwarded to it.

    STILL...the AT&T voice mail did NOT come on, and the GV voicemail came on after 25 seconds. No one can figure this out. Posted at the Google Forums, got some good feedback, no dice. So I've decided to make the carrier number my main phone number (yep, I notified 300 people today in one email) and we'll keep the GV number for those who fall through the cracks.

    On the other topic, AT&T says that they will NOT port that GV number onto that line, that they will only replace my number with one of their own. Why? Because I'm on that bloody one year plan and they're claiming that this would cause the plan to terminate. I'm calling BS on that one, as I KNOW that I've ported numbers to cell lines before (T-Mobile) in the middle of a plan with no issues. Maybe it's just an AT&T rule. Who knows?

    Anyway...it's the last time I lock in a line for a year.

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    Prepaid is not for everyone. The price is lower for a reason. You get better support with postpaid - stateside too. You can move numbers around more easily.

    Re vm, it's possible gv is not detecting the greeting properly (early media?). I would test with other values, 15 seconds, 20 seconds. Try it with the phone in airplane mode too.

    Clarify for us, why don't you want to use google voice for voice mail?

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    I've had issues with GV voice mail in the past. Last year a couple of very important messages never reached me and I could not get a straight answer on why. Honestly, my entire phone setup has become way too complicated, having two numbers, each with GV numbers forwarding to them, and the voice mail all wonky.

    So I'm bringing my home phone number back from GV to, well, my home phone, and have begun using my former cell number on GV as a backup. Only my friends and essential business contacts will have my real cell phone number. As for the rest, if GV messes them up, I'll find out about it soon enough and can give them the real number if necessary.

    And no lie about being able to move numbers around more easily with postpaid. The last time I went through a phone number reorganization a few years back, I didn't remember not being able to move numbers to a previously-activated SIM. Now, I've got three MVNOs telling me that once a SIM is activated, that's it...NO changing numbers on it.

    So there you have it. AT&T prepaid for my cell, TMo for the family on a 55+ plan, and Spectrum for the home phone (that we rarely answer!). Only one line attached to GV and that's my cell. That should be quite manageable.

    It's been a learning experience. And may the man upstairs protect us from too many learning experiences!!!

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    Glad you're kind of satisfied.

    I'm only missing 4 things about this situation.
    1. How many lines were there to begin with & what were the carriers [backbones] for each?
    2. What was the classification of each number (home, work, GV, ?, etc.)?
    3. And what was desired result?
    4. What email provider doesn't flag an acct for sending 300 cc emails as a spam acct.?

    Thank you.
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    @Mike, a number of us have been using gv for a long time without any issues. Much of the success I think comes from understanding how gv works (and doesn't). In many cases, I think interference with carrier vm is the root of many issues. Regardless if gv is used for vm only or gv is your main number (and vm), making sure carrier vm doesn't grab calls is key to making it work. I've found it best to have carrier vm disabled altogether rather than playing with timer settings. I know for sure this is possible with cricket and red pocket gsma, should be possible with others too.

    Trying to mix a carrier number and gv (to have 2 logical numbers on a single device) is challenging. Add to the mix the desire to have both carrier vm and gv vm work and you're in for a world of hurt. Main issue I see is how do you know which number someone is calling you on.

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    Sorry, any confusion is my fault. Let me clarify some things here....

    I started with two phone lines. One VOIP for home, one cell. I transferred both to GV due to heavy spam calls on both during the day. My thought was that I would establish a white list so that would get calls from only the folks that I wanted. Each of those lines was forwarded to the original VOIP and cell lines, which had been given new numbers.

    Hopefully, that answers question #1, #2 and #3.

    What happened is that on the cell line GV voice mail always picked up, no matter what I did. My prior issues with it some time ago mean that it wasn't really an option for me. On the VOIP, I had intermittent issues but normally the VOIP's hardware answering machine usually won that battle.


    And as to the 300 emails...uh...er...that should have been THIRTY. Apologies.

    At least GMail isn't mad at me for 30 BCCs.

  11. #11
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    Thank you. Concise & succinct.

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