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Author Topic: What is the current cheapest way to port a landline to Google Voice?  (Read 8929 times)
Babz
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« on: August 28, 2018, 10:26:40 am »

I have a about 30 days before my landline will be disconnected. After thinking things over, I realize it would be a royal pain to lose my phone number that I've had for years, so I'm considering porting it to Google Voice.

I've read various accounts of the process online, but none of them seem current. Some talk about getting a SIM card for under $10 and putting it in an unlocked cell phone. I have no experience with prepaid SIMs or porting numbers, etc., but I have an old iPhone 3G that may work for a temporary phone, but checking T-Moblie and AT&T, it seems that $25 is the least number of prepaid minutes they sell currently. Added to the $20 that Google charges to port a number, that's already more than the $40 I would pay if I went with Ooma. Not to mention, a much more uncertain, time-consuming, and technically challenging process.

Anyone have any recent experience with porting a landline to Google Voice? How did you do it? How much did it end up costing? Is it worth it?

Thx in advance for any advice or comments.

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SteveInWA
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 11:35:45 am »

Hi again, Babz:

Here are my up-to-date instructions:  https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/voice/qYGL4_QIsA8/F4r10q5WAgAJ

Regarding the cost:  The $20 port-in fee from Google is standard; there is no alternative fee.  You simply need a working mobile phone, and whatever minimum amount of prepaid calling minutes they let you purchase.  You put the new T-Mobile SIM into the old phone, and follow T-Mobile's procedure to port a number into it.  The prepaid calling credit is necessary so that you can make and receive calls on that number.  Given that users are essentially abusing T-Mobile by churning a number port in and out, I think it's reasonable to pay them some money for the cost of doing that.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
A_Friend
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 10:17:59 pm »

I have a about 30 days before my landline will be disconnected. After thinking things over, I realize it would be a royal pain to lose my phone number that I've had for years, so I'm considering porting it to Google Voice.

There are other options.  You can port your number to another SIP provider.  This might make sense, especially if you're planning to enable 911 on your phone (which you can't do from Google Voice). 

Voip.ms is porting for free these days (they've been saying "for a limited time only" for the last 2 years).  Circlenet and Callcentric each charge $10 for the transfer.  They each offer 911 service and low monthly charges for DIDs.  Circlenet's rates for calls are the lowest of the three, by far, and I think they have an all-inclusive package.  Voip.ms and Callcentric offer lots of calling and management features that Circlenet and Google Voice lack.  Circlenet will provide your DID AND 911 for the same $1.50 that others charge just for the 911.

And, you can mix and match.  I use Google Voice for domestic outgoing, voip.ms for calling between extensions and intercepting robocalls, Callcentric for 911 and my transferred DID.  I also have a free DID from them which I use for inbound fax service, also free from them.  And I recently added Circlenet to handle my international calls.  I collected all this stuff mostly by accretion over the last decade.  I probably wouldn't plan it that way if I was starting from scratch today.

So, it depends what you need.

One approach is to sign up for both Google Voice and Circlenet.  Transfer your DID to Circlenet so you can get your inbound calls, and use the new Google Voice number as your primary line, with your 911 calls directed to use Circlenet.  Most people you call will call you back on your new number.  You have the option to place calls via your old number at any time, too.

You can spend $20 to transfer your number to Google Voice and spend nothing per month to maintain it.  But you won't have 911 access from that phone that way. 

Whatever you decide, do it soon so you don't lose the number.  Landline transfers can take longer than you expect.

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dlarson54
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Posts: 43


« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 03:11:59 pm »

If you can not port to GV try parkmyphone.com to keep your number safe or forward to GV. Cheap and will give you time to work through the maze.
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adamlogan
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 04:47:08 pm »

I would advise not transferring with T-Mobile at this time. I've been trying to port a Comcast "landline" (VoIP) number which my parents have been paying $10 a month for to T-Mobile Pre-paid for over a month now, and it's still not done yet. I started the process early August 2018 and it's ongoing. I will try to remember to post back when and if the port ever completes so that others know that T-Mobile port in is back up and working again. Part of the reason the port was so difficult for me was that Comcast support gave me the wrong information for the PIN, it is the Voicemail Security PIN and not the other one. Comcast was also refusing to let the number port out even when the port request from T-Mobile had all the correct information. I had to call Comcast, specifically their Port Out department and explicitly ask them to let the number port already, even though I had already called and spoke with their agents (in different departments other than the Port Out dept) multiple times gathering the information needed to make the port happen and made it clear that I was porting my number out.

Currently, there's a glitch with T-Mobile's computer system which is being sorted out. Until that's resolved, porting ability is in limbo. They're saying the port will go through once the computer system is fixed, but I'll believe it when I see it. I suggest going another route to port your number right now.

I have wasted so many hours trying to get to the bottom of this. My opinion of T-Mobile, and Comcast especially, has dropped a great deal due to this experience. I've made a mission of stripping Comcast of every unnecessary fee such as modem rental, landline, unuseful internet speed tier. I found out that my parents were paying an extra $15 on the base rate, and not even getting the advertised speed. Apparently speeds above 60, 70 MB/s Down was not possible due to the circumstances of the physical connections on the street, but they had my parents paying for 150 MB/s down for at least a year leading up until now.

Lately, it is common to wait more than 3 hours in the queue to get to a representative at T-Mobile, just to get transferred to another department (which has no direct phone number) where you have to wait in yet another queue. There are 3 separate departments involved in porting a number and each do not have the powers that the others have. So infuriating trying to get anything done with them, and every person verifies my identity all over again. So much time down the drain.

They have a Pre-paid department, a Number Transfer Center (NTC) department, and a Customer Service Specialist department. I strongly suggest you write or type down all the information you need for the port before beginning it. Have all the phone numbers, associated PIN, and collect the phone numbers you use for calling the individual departments for whichever port-out and port-in companies you go with. You may need to use all this info frequently like I did. I hope not though.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 04:51:25 pm »

Your issue was primarily caused by Comcast (the most hated company in America).  You had incorrect account information (PIN) and your number wasn't unlocked for porting out.  None of that was T-Mobile's fault. 

But, thanks for mentioning that T-Mobile supposedly has a new problem with their porting system.

The best alternative is AT&T Prepaid.  Users should not use one of the cheapo MVNOs, such as MintSIM, Lycamobile or H20.  Also, Cricket will not port in land line numbers.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
Elite!
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 11:22:34 am »

I just went though this process myself and was able to complete a landline number port from At&t Uverse to Red Pocket Mobile to Google voice in a matter of 3 days.

I literally had an old Samsung Galaxy S3(sprint) laying in a drawer that had not been used in almost 5 years.  I took it out and charged it up.  I went onto Red Pocket Mobile's site and signed up for a 30 day plan that cost $10.  I was then able to port my number from At&t Uverse to Red Pocket.  This took 1 day to complete.  Once I verified I could call the land line number that I was porting and have my cell ring, I immediately started the port with Google Voice.  This took 2 days and was complete.

A couple of things that I did that may have helped: 
1. I called AT&T first to find out all the information that I would need for porting my number to another carrier.  My AT&T account number, Pin, my Address.
2.  After filling out the form for porting the number to Red Pocket, I immediately called AT&T and let them know that I have started a port request.
3.  After the port to Red pocket was complete, I chatted with them to let them know I was going to port my number to GV.  I also requested they give the the info I would need to port my number to GV. (account number and pin)

It really was painless and easy to complete.  Truthfully, it was a lot quicker that I could have imagined.  The nice thing about Red Pocket is that they have a plan that fits a lot of phones.  The S3 didn't have a sim card, but it does have a sim card number that they use.
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TheWalkman
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 01:33:18 pm »

Iím just seeing this thread but must agree with the previous note that using TMobile to port a Comcast landline was a nightmare.  My Google Voice port was finally completed today after a month of tribulations. 

Apparently TMobile has a glitch in their porting system that continually cancels the port command after four or five days of waiting.  As I recall, I initiated the port request on February 6, it was canceled at least three times and I finally have my number on Google Voice March 8. 

Unbelievable!

After going around in circles with TMobileís call center several weeks ago, I was finally transferred  to T-Mobiles Solutions (Transfer) team - 8 folks in Canada - who got this fixed.  That is, after speaking to three of their reps- Jim then April and finally Ryan.  Nice folks who were willing to make the extra effort.

Jim put a request in about a week ago  which was canceled four days later.  I called back and  April moved my number into their test system which captured  the number so I wouldnít lose it and supposedly, Comcast wouldnít reject.   When I called yesterday to check on the status and spoke to Ryan, the system told him there was a yet another pending  cancel order.  He spoke to a supervisor and assured me it would go through.  Sure enough, the transfer went through today and I havenít lost the number Iíve had for 25 years! 

All-in-all, Iím guessing it took at least 12 hours on the phone, easily 18 phone calls and, literally, over a month to do this port.

When I originally ported my number to Comcast it took 1 day and 10 minutes on the phone.  Something is seriously broken at TMobile or at Comcast which is what I really suspect.

Though the Solutions Team at T-Mobile were nice folks to work with, Iíd never do business again with either company. (Considering Comcast doubled my monthly fee which precipitated this whole gyration, one can easily guess how I truly feel about those crooks.)

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SteveInWA
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 02:12:30 pm »

Well, sorry to hear that.  However, there is not forced requirement to use T-Mobile as the first hop.  AT&T Prepaid works, too.  Just don't try doing this with any of the small, mickey-mouse MVNOs, like H20 or Lycamobile or MintSIM.  They have no expertise at all in land line number porting, and the experience will make T-Mobile seem like concierge level service.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
GeeObi
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 03:00:49 pm »

Googel transferred my Pac Bell land line number several years ago without any problems. Did they stop doing that directly? I don't think they charged anything either because I've never setup a credit with them.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 03:09:23 pm »

Googel transferred my Pac Bell land line number several years ago without any problems. Did they stop doing that directly? I don't think they charged anything either because I've never setup a credit with them.

No, Google did not do that.  It has never offered direct porting in from land line numbers.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
mike1971
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2019, 11:37:55 am »

I ported my number to gv from Mintmobile (Tmobile) last year with no issues took 2 days, that's not to say that somebody else won't have issues. 

 I ported a relatives phone number to gv from Cox digital telephone the whole process with her took 2 weeks.  I used Att prepaid as the first hop, took 1 day to do this.  I probably could've started the port faster from att to gv but I waited longer than a week to start it.   Took 2 days for gv to get complete control of her number.   

All in all 2 smooth ports to gv for me.
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Weston
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2019, 10:46:32 am »

Just another data point:  I have moved three phone numbers from AT&T Uverse Voice to Google Voice, by way of AT&T Prepaid Mobile.  You can initiate the Uverse Voice to Prepaid Mobile port via the AT&T website, just by ordering the SIM card (ranges from $0 to $0.99 in my experience).  The port usually completes in 24-48 hours, but I have often had issues with one or more aspects of the port not fully completing successfully (e.g., able to make calls, but not receive them).  The key to this is calling the AT&T porting center; their phone # is 888-898-7685.  These guys have never failed to resolve any of my porting issues.

Anyway, that part never takes more than 48 hours, at most.  Then I purchase an AT&T prepaid PIN (via callingmart.com, usually) for $10, and load that onto the account (after, and only after, the port is fully complete) via paygonline.com.  That also allows you to set up your 4-digit billing account PIN (which you will need later).  Then I call normal AT&T CS and get the 12-digit account number.  That and the 4-digit billing account PIN - as well as the name and address on the AT&T prepaid account (available/editable at paygonline.com) are the info you need to initiate the port to Google Voice.  You don't need to wait longer; once the AT&T prepaid account is fully functional, you are good to initiate the second port to GV.  The credit on the phone is necessary to receive and answer the verification call that GV makes to verify that you own the number you are trying to port.  Once you verify, you simply fill in the information requested, pay the $20 fee, and submit.  24 hours later, everything should be done.

That may have been repetitive, but I hope the details might help someone in a similar situation.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 04:41:24 pm »

Just another data point:  I have moved three phone numbers from AT&T Uverse Voice to Google Voice, by way of AT&T Prepaid Mobile.  You can initiate the Uverse Voice to Prepaid Mobile port via the AT&T website, just by ordering the SIM card (ranges from $0 to $0.99 in my experience).  The port usually completes in 24-48 hours, but I have often had issues with one or more aspects of the port not fully completing successfully (e.g., able to make calls, but not receive them).  The key to this is calling the AT&T porting center; their phone # is 888-898-7685.  These guys have never failed to resolve any of my porting issues.

Anyway, that part never takes more than 48 hours, at most.  Then I purchase an AT&T prepaid PIN (via callingmart.com, usually) for $10, and load that onto the account (after, and only after, the port is fully complete) via paygonline.com.  That also allows you to set up your 4-digit billing account PIN (which you will need later).  Then I call normal AT&T CS and get the 12-digit account number.  That and the 4-digit billing account PIN - as well as the name and address on the AT&T prepaid account (available/editable at paygonline.com) are the info you need to initiate the port to Google Voice.  You don't need to wait longer; once the AT&T prepaid account is fully functional, you are good to initiate the second port to GV.  The credit on the phone is necessary to receive and answer the verification call that GV makes to verify that you own the number you are trying to port.  Once you verify, you simply fill in the information requested, pay the $20 fee, and submit.  24 hours later, everything should be done.

That may have been repetitive, but I hope the details might help someone in a similar situation.

That's a good summary of how to work through the process using AT&T Prepaid.  Thanks.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
velandia
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2019, 10:07:31 am »

Just another data point:  I have moved three phone numbers from AT&T Uverse Voice to Google Voice, by way of AT&T Prepaid Mobile.  You can initiate the Uverse Voice to Prepaid Mobile port via the AT&T website, just by ordering the SIM card (ranges from $0 to $0.99 in my experience).  The port usually completes in 24-48 hours, ...

So for this first step, do you require a mobile AT&T account (that is an AT&T account in their mobile business, rather than Uverse?)  ...I so wish I had read this post previously,   I tried H2O as a stepping stone, and now may have to go a two step route: Uverse -> H2O -> AT&T prepaid -> GV  ... ugh!
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2019, 10:52:50 am »

No, you do not need to use AT&T Prepaid.  Google Voice doesn't care, as long as you port the number to a mobile carrier, wait a full week, then port to GV.

That said, H20 is one of the very worst, least competent service providers, when it comes to porting.  They have no idea how to deal with it; they only know how to sell SIM cards.  Good luck getting the correct account number and PIN you will need to submit to them via the Google Voice porting form.
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--Steve

Google Voice Forum Product Expert

https://support.google.com/voice/community
velandia
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Posts: 2


« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2019, 01:46:28 pm »


That said, H20 is one of the very worst, least competent service providers, when it comes to porting.  They have no idea how to deal with it; they only know how to sell SIM cards. 

I was so concerned with H2O port out difficulty that I sprung the extra $$$ at the ATT store to sign up for an ATT go-phone.  I'm glad I did, it took like 1.5hr but the ATT rep was able to get it done after a couple calls to ATT porting specialist conferenced with H2O.  ugh!   

I don't think google voice would have done it, according to the ATT rep, H2O has to manually release the phone number, and I couldn't even get google reps to contact H2O.  In fact they kept arguing that the number is under ATT (because that's the network that H20 uses).  My other concern was that the GV to port from auto-populates the carrier field (ATT) and there's no way to override it to H2O.

...now why did I use H2O?  At first I tried to go through T-Mobile prepaid,  but I found out that T-Mobile's prepaid business has been sold to Ultramobile - so I couldn't even activate a plan with them without spending an additional $40.  So I thought about H2O since my whole family's cells are with them, prob spend less than $15 per mo. per phone simply because we're not heavy phone users, and there's no long term contract.  ...and I thought, well H2O uses the ATT network, and GV website confirmed that our H2O numbers can be transferred to GV - obviously not so.

lesson learned.
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