Google Voice: Why do I need a home phone?

For the past 3 months I’ve been using Google Voice, and I must say, I like it.  But I’m not exactly using it as intended.

I’ve had the same home phone number for 10 years.  A lot of people have that number.  Not a lot of people call it (what that says about my popularity I don’t really want to know), and we don’t make that many outgoing calls a month, but the thought of changing it everywhere is daunting.  More so for anyone with a number for even longer.  I’ve started doing so, but only opportunistically.

What to do?  I don’t want to give up my home number, and I can’t yet transfer my number to Google Voice.  And in theory, I get a discount on my phone/cable/internet by having all three, they’d charge even more for having just two.

My trick?  Time Warner offers unlimited free call forwarding.  So, my home number forwards to GV.  GV then forwards to my cell phone, email, Celeste’s cell phone, etc.  I dropped the voicemail from TW, as now GV takes care of that.  And I can drop the long distance with TW and use GV for that too.  Everything works great.

At some point, when I can transfer my home number to GV and have two numbers for the account (old home number and new GV number I’ve been giving out), and if TW’s rates change again so it’s cheaper to drop their phone service, I will.  Or they will get enough competition to realize that for a couple dozen calls a month, charging $$ for phone service won’t work and they just throw it in for free.  Here’s to hoping.

5 comments on this post.
  1. Matt Domsch: Google Voice: Why do I need a home phone? | TuxWire : The Linux Blog:

    [...] the rest here:  Matt Domsch: Google Voice: Why do I need a home phone? Share and [...]

  2. Tushar:

    Have you tried MagicJack over a TW or ATT? May be that is also an option!? :-)
    I have it and it works great. Throw is Google Voice and I have a perfect combo working!

  3. Doc:

    One thing I like about it is that I can use Google Voice to log my unanswered calls that are forwarded from my cell. You can set your carrier to forward unanswered calls to your GV number, set GV to do not disturb and then use it for voicemail. Thus, I get a transcript of my VM (got the idea from Lifehacker). There are many uses for GV as you have pointed out, this one allows me to not have to change my business cards :-).

  4. mdomsch:

    @Doc: I don’t believe Sprint has this feature. :-(

  5. Mark:

    Give OOMA a try. There’s no monthly fee, you can get your voicemail online and I transferred my number to it for $40 so I can keep it for life. You can even forward it to GV (I did this at first but eventually found their voicemail interface just as easy to use.) The best feature is that you can do a multi-ring so it rings home phone and googlevoice (which of course can ring the appropriate phone based on time of day and what you have set up.) It’s somewhat of a stop-gap until I can transfer my number to google voice (and then I’d forward to the ooma for home calls) but the free long-distance with no limit for making home calls for no monthly fee (~$200 to buy the unit) is a pretty quick ROI.