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emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast

[General] What to do with my old landline number

I (and my wife) currently have our landline with Comcast Voice, and we both now have unlimited cellular calling and messaging. Mostly the landline is for telemarketers, I want to get rid of Comcast voice but I'd like to save our number, so I thought about porting it to Google Voice via a prepaid cell phone. Google Voice's attraction is the spam filtering to cut down on telemarketer calls.

I'd probably get something like an Obi adapter and a VOIP service such as Anveo or Callcentric for E911 service and incoming calls, of which there should not be very many if the filtering works.

My question now is whether porting to Google is the best idea, or whether it might be better to port to a VOIP provider directly. The ones I checked that had a web form to check for porting ability say I can do it. I don't think their call screening is as good, perhaps, but maybe it would work OK. I think some companies have the ability to force callers to press a certain number if they aren't on a whitelist, so that would eliminate the most annoying telemarketer bots.

Anyone have any thoughts on porting, or any other part of my so-called strategy?

Thanks if you can help.

lorennerol
Premium
join:2003-10-29
Seattle, WA
We ported ours to phonebooth.com where it rings to an attendant with "Dial 1 for..." options for each person's cell. We have a Yealink handset in the house, but no option to ring it from the attendant. Autodialers don't work well against attendants, so it's effectively eliminated all those calls.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
I hadn't heard of that one; it looks interesting, but not really what I need, pricewise. Since I don't really need the landline very much, I just want it to be online for short incoming calls. $20/month is too much.

Thanks for the info, though.


bitseeker

join:2014-03-05
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·ObiVoice
reply to emjayef
MJF,

If you're effectively going to park your landline number, some providers such as Anveo, Callcentric, VoIP.ms, etc. have DID and incoming rates that will keep your monthly costs comfortably low. Opting for pay-as-you-go (i.e., per-minute) usage rather than flat-rate may also prove to be the more economical route for a mostly-unused number. Some providers have more features (interactive voice response/auto-attendant, telemarketer blocking, etc.) or provide more functionality as a base feature set than others, so check out a few to determine which one best fits your needs at a cost that works for you.


bitseeker

join:2014-03-05
Oh, and be sure to determine whether a base cost includes taxes, fees, E911 service, etc. or one or more of those fees are in addition to posted monthly costs.

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Graustark
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric
reply to emjayef
One way or the other, Google Voice seems to be dying.

In any event, there is consensus that their customer support, nonexistent to begin with, has now descended to somewhere south of Nauru.

If you choose your options carefully, your costs from a provider such as CallCentric (my favourite) or Anveo should be minimal.

FutureNine has a number parking plan though there is a $20 porting fee according to their site.

Voipo "Cloud Service" (a different plan from their standard ones) may also be worthwhile looking into.

TL/DR: Porting [to] Google at [this] point is like buying stock in the Sbarro pizza chain.


crazyk4952
Premium
join:2002-02-04
united state
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Vitelity VOIP
·Charter
·Callcentric
reply to bitseeker
said by bitseeker:

MJF,

If you're effectively going to park your landline number, some providers such as Anveo, Callcentric, VoIP.ms, etc. have DID and incoming rates that will keep your monthly costs comfortably low. Opting for pay-as-you-go (i.e., per-minute) usage rather than flat-rate may also prove to be the more economical route for a mostly-unused number. Some providers have more features (interactive voice response/auto-attendant, telemarketer blocking, etc.) or provide more functionality as a base feature set than others, so check out a few to determine which one best fits your needs at a cost that works for you.

Anveo, Callcentric and Voip.ms all have the ability to set up an IVR so that you have to press s specified digit before the phone will ring. All three of these companies also have a great reputation on dslreports.

As far as pricing goes, you will have to pay a one time fee to port your number. After that, usage is between 1 and 2 cents per minute (depending on the company you choose). Or, you can choose a flat-rate incoming plan.

Also, all of these companies should work just fine with an OBi ATA device.

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Graustark
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric
said by crazyk4952:

As far as pricing goes, you will have to pay a one time fee to port your number.

Some of the providers have free porting, I believe that CallCentric free porting is still in effect, and Anveo may have it under some conditions. Others may too.


RobThompson
Caution - Newbie Alert LinuxMint
Premium
join:2012-02-14
Lasalle, QC
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
reply to emjayef
You can port to Anveo for free if you pay them about $24.00 USD in advance for 1 years worth of unlimited incoming calls. »www.anveo.com/faq.asp?code=faq_did_portin

Phone number page: »www.anveo.com/consumer/mainphonenumbers.asp

If you wish to make outgoing calls, you must subscribe to mandatory E911 at $0.80 per month.

You can then forward your Anveo hosted number to your cell, or, if you live in the US, to Google Voice where you can make both cell phones ring. (and/or you Obi ATA)

(Oops, I see that you *do* live in the US.)
--
Rob.
Blog: »googlevoiceforcanadians.com/
"Mankind" is a misnomer.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
I've been looking at most of the mentioned providers, and getting an idea of their prices and features. I suppose I can actually use more than one, right? But I think Anveo was one of the ones that looked best for me, and the offer you posted looks really good - I'll definitely check in to it further. And, I do want E911, especially at only 80 cents per month.

Google charges $20 to port the number in, plus the cost of a temporary wireless phone as an intermediary. That's why I started wondering if it was a good way to go, since using an intermediary just makes it more error-prone, and can take longer perhaps. But I wasn't sure if it was a good strategy to port to Anveo or Callcentric. But after listening to the discussion here, I see that it might be the other way around.

To be honest, I haven't ever been too crazy about Google Voice, which I've had for years but never actually used except briefly on a website I made. It seems to be good in concept, but lacks in the configuration dept. Also, it seemed to be a little flaky in some ways forwarding to my cell phone, sometimes taking a lot of rings before it finally answered, and a few other things. I think I may try an Obi ATA with Anveo, partly because Obi recommends them, so it should be easier.

Now I have to decide whether to get the Obi110 or Obi202 model. I doubt that I need the 202, but for about $20 more, I'm tempted to get it just in case. Any thoughts, anyone?


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
reply to crazyk4952
said by crazyk4952:

Anveo, Callcentric and Voip.ms all have the ability to set up an IVR so that you have to press s specified digit before the phone will ring. All three of these companies also have a great reputation on dslreports.

As far as pricing goes, you will have to pay a one time fee to port your number. After that, usage is between 1 and 2 cents per minute (depending on the company you choose). Or, you can choose a flat-rate incoming plan.

Also, all of these companies should work just fine with an OBi ATA device.

Those are the three I've mainly been looking into. I briefly looked at Vestalink, but after a few visits, decided I didn't like the looks of the place; not much details, no contact numbers or email addresses at all, a strange marketing scheme that seemed to border on trickery, etc. I'll wait and see, perhaps.

Google charges a one-time $20 porting fee, plus there's a need to first port to a cell phone, which I don't really like - adds another level of complexity.

twinclouds

join:2010-06-12
San Diego, CA
reply to emjayef
said by emjayef:

... I'd like to save our number ...

If you are not going to use it, why bother. As you said, my landline number became only for telemarketers, well at least more than 80% of the time. Recently, I disconnected my landline phone and though about if I will keep the number. Eventually, I decided to ditch it. The only inconvenience is we had to inform everybody we feel necessary about the phone number change. We missed a few but hopefully not many still out there.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to PX Eliezer
said by PX Eliezer:

FutureNine has a number parking plan though there is a $20 porting fee according to their site.

We can waive the porting fee in CA specifically. So essentially total would be $1/mo for parking, and $1/mo for E911 ($5 setup fee applies).

One caveat- we do not currently have call filtering/telemarketer block - although we can setup something manually ("press 1 to connect") when we setup the number. We're currently working on adding more thorough filtering mechanisms.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
reply to twinclouds
said by twinclouds:

said by emjayef:

... I'd like to save our number ...

If you are not going to use it, why bother.

For two things. The main thing is for businesses like banks, credit cards, etc that need to get in touch with us occasionally. I don't really want to give out my cell phone numbers, or use cell phones for businesses at all.

Also, like you said, for people who either don't have our cell numbers (a lot of people, since we used to have limited calling plans on cellular). There are some who don't call us often, but we don't want to become unavailable.

Also, I like having an alternate 911 method.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
reply to bitseeker
said by bitseeker:

MJF,

If you're effectively going to park your landline number, some providers such as Anveo, Callcentric, VoIP.ms, etc. have DID and incoming rates that will keep your monthly costs comfortably low.

That's what I'm looking for. What does DID do for me?


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
reply to nitzan
nitzan: I never heard of FutureNine yet, but it sounds like it might be something to look in to. I don't quite understand what the plans are from a quick look

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Graustark
kudos:7
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric
reply to emjayef
said by emjayef:

That's what I'm looking for. What does DID do for me?

DID is simply the phone number (same as DDI in some European usage).
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_inward_dial


bitseeker

join:2014-03-05
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·ObiVoice
Yeah, there's usually some kind of monthly fee to have an inbound phone number (DID), whether it's yours being ported to the service or a new number.

Regarding porting fees, be sure to check if there is a fee to "unlock" or port the number away from a service. Good to know in case you later want to switch providers. Some charge quite a lot.

drivel

join:2013-07-12
Santa Clara, CA
Port it to voip.ms. Cost will be $0.99 per month, plus usage which in your case will likely be very low. voip.ms will not charge for E911 unless you ask for it. Transfer all incoming calls to voicemail and setup voicemail to email you a copy. Telemarketers do not leave voicemail.

No need to buy a obi110.


bitseeker

join:2014-03-05
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·ObiVoice
Oh, I didn't see that voip.ms E911 was optional in the US. That's great for backup service provider purposes where 911 is handled on the primary service already.

MJF: Note that these pre-paid providers also vary with regard to the minimum required amount to deposit into your account each time you add to it. Some are $1, others $10 or $25, etc.

OzarkEdge

join:2014-02-23
USA
reply to emjayef
said by emjayef:

Now I have to decide whether to get the Obi110 or Obi202 model. I doubt that I need the 202, but for about $20 more, I'm tempted to get it just in case. Any thoughts, anyone?

A second FXS phone port allows connecting a second set of analog devices, and can be configured to function differently from the first port, similar to the first port, or some combination of those functions. The digital/SIP side of an ata can multiplex many calls, but the analog side is still one pair, one active user/device. Adding an analog port allows exploiting the digital functionality a bit more. The ata is a bit of a mini PBX... but you need separate analog devices to tap into this.

For example:

o If someone is on port1, you can still call out on port2, or take a second call on port2.

o You can make it a dedicated line2 with its own DID.

o You can make it an extension in a remote location, like a detached workshop. To call the house phones, enter #. If someone answers a call in the house, they can enter # and hang up to transfer it to the workshop.

This is not plug and play... you must learn the ITSP and ata options and how to configure them to build what you want.

OE

twinclouds

join:2010-06-12
San Diego, CA
reply to drivel
said by drivel:

Transfer all incoming calls to voicemail and setup voicemail to email you a copy. Telemarketers do not leave voicemail.

This is what I will do in OP's case.
If not use it constantly, why need Obi110? A softphone will be sufficient.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
reply to OzarkEdge
said by OzarkEdge:

This is not plug and play... you must learn the ITSP and ata options and how to configure them to build what you want.

I don't really need any of that now, and I guess I should know better than to buy anything electronic for the future, so unless the 202 has some other capability that I need, I probably should pass on it. It does seem to have a few other extras, such as fax support, but I don't send many faxes, and never get any - I use a fax to email service from Onesuite, which we use for int'l LD.

I'm sure I could learn the technical side - I used to set up modems, built a computer from bare circuit boards before IBM PCs took over, and was a programmer for many years, so I know how to solve technical problems.

Thanks for the information.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast
reply to twinclouds
Voicemail alone would mostly do, but if it's not very expensive, I'd just as soon have the ability to answer calls, at least for the time being. I don't know about softphones, but it seems like they need a windows computer to be running. I use Linux, but I don'w really want to leave a computer on all the time anyway - not when 40 - 50 dollars allows me to use all the phones in the home, with a small monthly charge for 911 and the ability to answer rather than call back and maybe fight voicemail if it's a business.

twinclouds

join:2010-06-12
San Diego, CA
There are softphone for linux. You might want to take a look of this: »www.marclewis.com/2010/11/12/lin···roundup/.
The reason I said I would use voice mail only in your case is because the telemarketing calls were more than 80% incoming calls for me. I just too tired of these.
What I did, was to set up another VOIP line for my main incoming calls. The number I got was from MagicJack. It doesn't have any telemarking calls. I use Magicjack mainly for incoming calls. Yes, I know some people strongly oppose MJ but it worked out for me just fine. I still like desk phones. I use cell phone only when necessary and convenient.

drivel

join:2013-07-12
Santa Clara, CA
reply to emjayef
said by emjayef:

Voicemail alone would mostly do, but if it's not very expensive, I'd just as soon have the ability to answer calls, at least for the time being.

Alternatively:

* Leave a message: "This number is no longer in use, call (xxx) xxx-xxxx instead.", OR
* Automatically forward all calls to your cell phone number. , OR,
* Set up a IVR which says: "This number is no longer in use. Press "1" to leave a voice message. Press "2" for your call to be forwarded to my cell phone.


bitseeker

join:2014-03-05
I like your third option, drivel. Stops bots and keeps the new number from being announced to spammers. Nice!

twinclouds

join:2010-06-12
San Diego, CA
+1


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

....we can setup something manually ("press 1 to connect") when we setup the number....

 
And a prompt like that stops over 99% of such calls (I use one and get those results), because the auto-dialers which nearly all TMs use cannot deal with interaction, so far.


emjayef

join:2007-11-25
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reviews:
·Astound Broadband
·Anveo
·Comcast

1 edit
reply to drivel
said by drivel:

* Leave a message: "This number is no longer in use, call (xxx) xxx-xxxx instead.", OR
* Automatically forward all calls to your cell phone number. , OR,
* Set up a IVR which says: "This number is no longer in use. Press "1" to leave a voice message. Press "2" for your call to be forwarded to my cell phone.

The first two don't fit in with my ideas of what I want - leaving my cell phone number, and having all calls go to my cellphone (or my wife's, or both).

The last one is interesting, although not quite what I want since we have two different cellphones, plus it would still send people to my cellphone that I don't necessarily want to talk to while I'm away from home.

I see that a lot of the providers advertise IVRs; are they usually pretty comprehensive? Do they use my voice for prompts, if desired?