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Author Topic: Baffling OBi issue after upgrading to new cellphone with GV forwarding number  (Read 1275 times)
FormerYooper
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 69


« on: February 23, 2019, 09:10:25 pm »

Everyone here on the OBi forums has always been so helpful to me; especially SteveInWA.  Here's hoping you all can shed some much needed light & assistance on this issue I have encountered since upgrading my Tracfone smartphone, whose number I use for my GV forwarding number. 

First some history, I have been using Google Voice & OBi products since 2012.  Initially the OBi 100 & then for the past 3 years, the OBi200.  My current firmware is 3.2.2 Build 5898EX.  This is my set up on my current OBi200:

Sp1 - Google Voice Number (forwards to my cellphone)
Sp2 - Google Voice Number (forwards to another cellphone)
Sp3 - Google Voice number (forwards to my husband's cellphone)
Sp4 - Callcentric Free DID (which will expire on 2/28/19 & be removed from my set-up)

I am not a complete dolt when it comes to using Google Voice along with the OBi, however,  many times I do not understand some of the more complex technical aspects that are discussed on this forum.  Thus, I don't noodle around with my OBi device and in not doing so, both the 100 and 200 devices have performed flawlessly for my purposes.  So, I hope any possible advice I am given on the forum will be easy to understand.

A couple of days ago, I upgraded my old Tracfone smartphone (LG Ultimate II which got its service from Verizon) to a Tracfone Samsung Galaxy J7 Crown (which also gets it service through Verizon).  4 years ago, when I upgraded my Tracfone to the LG Ultimate II, Google Voice did request that I validate that forwarding phone number again.  How Google knew I had a different phone is beyond my comprehension.  Nonetheless, I just went ahead  & validated the forwarding phone as requested and all was fine.  Calls came through to my OBi device (connected to my home phone unit) with no problems at all .... ever ... whether my cellphone was on or off.  The other day, when I upgraded to my new Tracfone smartphone, initially everything was fine &  I could make & receive calls through my OBi200, plus my new smartphone also rang.  A couple of hours later, my new smartphone was off & calls would not come through the OBi at all.  All the caller would get is a message stating "Voicemail has not been set up for this number."  Let me interject here & state that I do NOT have Tracfone voicemail set up, nor have any desire to do so.  Plus, once it is set up, it cannot be terminated.  So, I turned my Tracfone cell back on & calls would come through to my OBi OK again.  A short period later, it got even worse.  Even with the Tracfone cell on, no calls would ring on the OBi at all  & the caller would immediately get the message stating "Voicemail has not been set up for this number."  I was totally baffled as to why this would happen.  It had never happened with my previous cellphone (which, by the way, never had Tracfone voicemail set up on it either).  The only thing that has changed is that I have upgraded to a new smartphone. 

At this point, I read through some threads on this forum & the Google Voice forum that had somewhat similar complaints, but not exactly like mine.  I was panicking as to how to get calls to come through my OBi device again.  First, I tried just unchecking the forwarding number in Google Voice settings ... didn't help.  Next I deleted the forwarding phone number completely from Google Voice settings, and then proceeded to ObiTalk to delete Sp1 and set it up again, making certain that I was logged into the correct Google Voice account for that Google Voice number, and then ending with adding the forwarding number to Google Voice settings again & validating it.   Doing this helped me to get calls to again come through the OBi, but only if my cellphone is ON.  Once it is turned off, the OBi will not ring & the caller gets the same message that voicemail has not been set up.  Today, I again deleted the forwarding phone number from GV settings & then added it back in again & validated it.  Still the same problem ... if my cellphone is off, calls will not come through to the OBi.

Can someone please tell me why this is happening?  It never happened before I upgraded my cellphone that carries the forwarding number for my GV number on SP1. 

Thanks in advance for any assistance offered. 
 


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SteveInWA
Hero Member & Beta Tester
*****
Posts: 5789



« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 05:11:39 pm »

Hello again!

Google has been making major changes to the entire Google Voice back-end infrastructure.  I noticed, around Friday, that several users reported this, or a similar symptom, over on the Google Voice help forum.

The underlying issue is that Google Voice relies on a feature supplied by your mobile carrier, not by Google Voice itself, known as Conditional Call Forwarding (aka no-answer/busy transfer), to send calls that reach your mobile phone number back to Google Voice's voicemail, if that mobile number is busy or not answered.  In the past, the timing values were loose enough that people who did not set up CCF were sometimes able to get away with not using it.   Now, you must use CCF, or else your mobile phone number will grab the calls before any other forwarding destination can have a chance to answer them. What you are hearing is your Tracfone's voicemail trying to take the call, but since you didn't set it up, it plays the "not set up" message instead.  That's not a Google Voice message.

All of the "big four" (soon to be "big three") mobile carriers support CCF for their own direct customers.  However, some re-sellers (MVNOs) save some cost by not offering the feature.  It's a mess trying to figure out which MVNOs do or don't, especially in the case of the various America Movil brands (Tracfone StraightTalk, SIMple Mobile, PagePlus, Walmart, etc.) because they re-sell service from all of the carriers.  For example, I am now using a different MVNO, Red Pocket mobile, which re-sells service from all four carriers.  Their AT&T service supports CCF, whereas their T-Mobile service does not.

I have no idea if Tracfone's VZW service supports the feature, but you can test it:  on your Tracfone's own telephone keypad, enter *71 followed by your ten-digit Google Voice phone number, like this:

*712138675309 and then touch send or call.  If you hear three rapid stutter tones and then a dial tone, it worked.  If you get a busy signal or recorded error message, it failed.

If you can use CCF on this number, then the other option is to turn on Google Voice's call screening function.  With call screening enabled, Google Voice will require that whoever or whatever answers the forwarded call to press 1 to accept the call.  Since Tracfone's voicemail isn't human, it can't do that, so it will not grab the calls.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
FormerYooper
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 69


« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 06:53:14 pm »

Hello again!

Google has been making major changes to the entire Google Voice back-end infrastructure.  I noticed, around Friday, that several users reported this, or a similar symptom, over on the Google Voice help forum.

The underlying issue is that Google Voice relies on a feature supplied by your mobile carrier, not by Google Voice itself, known as Conditional Call Forwarding (aka no-answer/busy transfer), to send calls that reach your mobile phone number back to Google Voice's voicemail, if that mobile number is busy or not answered.  In the past, the timing values were loose enough that people who did not set up CCF were sometimes able to get away with not using it.   Now, you must use CCF, or else your mobile phone number will grab the calls before any other forwarding destination can have a chance to answer them. What you are hearing is your Tracfone's voicemail trying to take the call, but since you didn't set it up, it plays the "not set up" message instead.  That's not a Google Voice message.

All of the "big four" (soon to be "big three") mobile carriers support CCF for their own direct customers.  However, some re-sellers (MVNOs) save some cost by not offering the feature.  It's a mess trying to figure out which MVNOs do or don't, especially in the case of the various America Movil brands (Tracfone StraightTalk, SIMple Mobile, PagePlus, Walmart, etc.) because they re-sell service from all of the carriers.  For example, I am now using a different MVNO, Red Pocket mobile, which re-sells service from all four carriers.  Their AT&T service supports CCF, whereas their T-Mobile service does not.

I have no idea if Tracfone's VZW service supports the feature, but you can test it:  on your Tracfone's own telephone keypad, enter *71 followed by your ten-digit Google Voice phone number, like this:

*712138675309 and then touch send or call.  If you hear three rapid stutter tones and then a dial tone, it worked.  If you get a busy signal or recorded error message, it failed.

If you can use CCF on this number, then the other option is to turn on Google Voice's call screening function.  With call screening enabled, Google Voice will require that whoever or whatever answers the forwarded call to press 1 to accept the call.  Since Tracfone's voicemail isn't human, it can't do that, so it will not grab the calls.


Steve, thanks so much for your reply ... you are a true gem! 

I wanted to get back to you asap to give feedback on whether or not this worked.  It certainly did!!!  So, now we both know that CCF works with Tracfones with Verizon service.  After I placed the call with the code you noted, I got a message stating my calls would now be forwarded to my GV number.  After that, I turned off my cellphone (that is the forwarding number for my GV number) and made a test call.  Voila!  It went through! 

I can't thank you enough for your assistance, which by the way was written in such a complete, kind & patient manner.  You are my OBi/GV savior!  May you be rewarded for all you do for us all on this forum and the GV forum. 
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SteveInWA
Hero Member & Beta Tester
*****
Posts: 5789



« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2019, 07:01:31 pm »

Great!  Thanks so much for circling back with confirmation that it does work on an America Movil MVNO/Verizon Wireless number.  I had a hunch it would, since others have reported it worked years back on PagePlus, but it's good to know that it still does work.

And, thanks for the very kind feedback!  It's what keeps me going on the forum.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
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