Google Voice reclaiming 2nd line

Started by HarleyRiderInRI, November 06, 2021, 10:38:10 AM

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HarleyRiderInRI

Hi Folks,

I've used an Obi202 for probably 7 years now. When I set it up, I set up SP1 to link to my main personal google (household line) account and SP2 to a secondary GV account I created because I'm a notary public and I wanted to publish my name and number in town to service the community.

This has been working fine now for years. Earlier today, I had a friend tell me she had tried to call me on the 2nd (Notary) line and got a strange message (she didn't remember exactly what the message was.) When she mentioned this, I did stop and think to myself I couldn't remember the last time I got a call on that line.

I went to my obi dashboard and SP2 still showed as "connected" to Google. However, when I went to voice.google, I see the GV number was "reclaimed" by Google after a period of 30 days of inactivity and there's no longer a GV number linked to that google account.

I'm not sure why this changed, although it seems to be a recent change since I've had this GV # on SP2 for as long as I have had the GV # on SP1, although I do make more calls from SP1 and almost never make a call for SP2 (I use it more as a form of voice-mail if someone wants to get in touch w/ me to do a notary service.)

Losing the GV # I had for these past 5+ years is a major PITFA since I have that number literally everywhere attached to my notary public service.

I have to guess the reason the number was reclaimed is Google must have made some change in how they determine they are going to reclaim a number. My "usage" on that line hasn't changed in 5+ years so the metrics they use to reclaim a line must have changed.

Does anyone know what the specifics are?

I have to assume it has something to do w/ the fact I never make outbound calls on that line and just use it for inbound voicemail.

Now I'm likewise petrified I am going to lose the "main" household GV # due to whatever changes they have made... which again, is a major PITFA because although I rarely use the line (I use my cell phone mainly) it is there for an emergency and if someone (like my elderly parents) need to reach me. It isn't outside the realm of possibility that I do not dial out or receive in a call on my main line in more than 30+ days. I'm sure there are times when I go even longer than that. We actually do use this line as a contact line for various doctors, etc.

There there a way to tell an Obi device to "dial" an outbound number? For example, could I set up a cron task on my linux router to tell my Obi to actually dial a call on SP1 so the Obi actually registers some "use" on the line? Or likewise have SP2 call the # assigned to SP1 to register some usage?

Anyone have suggestions on how to avoid this in the future?

Maybe its me, but it does seem sort of assinine that google would reclaim a number that is actively attached/connected to an obitalk device. Sort of defeats the purpose of having it.

SteveInWA

The facts, with regard to the mostly-free, consumer version of Google Voice:

It's neither designed nor supported for business use.  There are many pitfalls, and you just discovered one of them.  If you need business phone service, you need to pay for it.

Google Voice will reclaim (take back) phone numbers that have not been actively used by you for a rolling period of more than three months.  Active use includes 1) making an outbound phone call, 2) sending a text message, or 3) checking your voicemail messages.

Simply leaving the number unused in one of those ways does not prove that you are using it.  For example, a dead person's Google Voice number can still receive robocalls or voicemails from robocallers, or junk text messages.

https://www.google.com/intl/en_US/googlevoice/program-policies.html

Note that the link above mentions a period of six months, but it has recently been limited to three months and the documentation is out of date.

PDX_Mark

#2
Google does not do this without warning . In fact I had a number that was not used for a very long time and google

Warned that it would be disconnected in 30 Days
Warned that it would be disconnected in 7 Days
Notified that it had been disconnected

These messages were delivered to the associated gmail address. Of course, if you do not check that gmail address you will not see them.

In my case I was wanting that number to go away so I allowed it to happen.

SailingMagnus

FWIW I had the same thing happen to me.   When I set up my Obi202 years ago I provisioned a second line for my wife to use at home vs using her cell all of the time or my phone #.   At that time she was a flip phone user but I introduced her to the wonders of a smart phone and she got hooked.   Over time she used the house phone less and less and about 3 months ago she got the notice via email from Google that G was reclaiming her line.  I said let it go for the benefit of someone else, why tie up a phone number we are not using.   I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to reconfigure our Obi by dropping SP2 config and having SP1 ring on Phone 1 and Phone 2 ports so she can still use the phone in her craft room if she wants.    Sorry to see the announcement Obi202 is going EOL.....is there a recommended replacement/upgrade path?  I came to the forums today looking for answer to that question but so far have not found it....

dircom

If you have GV configured, it will still work an undetermined amount of time after the End of Life date.
I think you will still be able to configure VOIP providers locally, by logging on to your obi instead of using the dashboard.
after GV quits working on OBi's, who knows what's next?