By Mike Steiner and Matt Barrett
It has become common for people to feel attached to their phone numbers these days. Whether it’s been printed on your business cards or is saved in everyone’s address books, it can be a pain to change numbers. Perhaps that's why so many people decide to port when switching carriers. In order to successfully port, however, it is important to know a little bit about how your carrier handles this process. In this example, we feature Google Voice.
We've encountered a few instances where customers previously leveraged Google Voice to handle their business phone service for just one or a few users. For, say, two business partners, Google Voice is a nice solution - offering a free number for each user, free voicemail transcription and management, free SMS texting, and conferencing for up to 4 callers. When their businesses grew to 5+ users, however, they found they needed further PBX services such as a main phone number, auto attendant, extension dialing, conferencing for more callers, call routing rules, etc., plus the ability to use a desk and/or conference phone. Enter OnSIP. While we don't offer a few of the GV single-user perks (e.g. SMS texting, whisper app), we have a variety of applications you would expect from a business phone service, and users can choose from a variety of IP phones.
Until recently, a few of our customers had difficulty bringing their Google Voice numbers to OnSIP. For instance, if a number has not been unlocked with Google, all porting requests will be rejected, prolonging the process of switching carriers. This has occurred even in cases where our customers have provided all of the other paperwork. Fortunately, we have found out how to unlock this number; if you have tried porting a Google voice number to us before and were unsuccessful, you may want to submit a new port request after reviewing the steps in this blog.
The Google Voice website offers some basic guidelines to make the move easier. Of course, the most important thing to note is that Google Voice, unlike most carriers, charges a $3 unlocking fee. While this is a bit of a nuisance, we have found very few problems when attempting to port from GV to us after the number has been unlocked.
Once your number has been unlocked, you can follow the normal porting procedures as found in our Knowledgebase. In place of a phone bill, however, you can log into your Google Voice account and capture/print information that includes the billing name, billing address and phone number to be ported. Most online portals have a billing section with your address information for credit card billing. Along with the paperwork containing your name and address, also provide the unlocking-fee receipt in order to ensure this process is completed as quickly as possible. From that point on, you’ll be ready to port!
Once your number has successfully ported and is working as desired, it's always good practice to notify the losing carrier (in this case, Google Voice) and inform them that you've ported your number out. You should also request that they remove your number from their system. Otherwise, it is possible that current customers of the losing carrier will be unable to reach you at your new destination.
So what are you waiting for? Port your Google Voice number today!