How to not pay for phone service
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    How to not pay for phone service

    I came across a couple of different threads, one on here, that discussed ditching the current phone service provider in favor of other services that will basically eliminate your phone BILL without removing the phone SERVICE.

    Here's where I am at:

    - I purchased a device called an ATA - Analog Telephone Adapter by a manufacturer known as Obihai. The device I bought is the Obi200 and it cost me about $50 on Amazon. There are different models available that can do different things, but this one seems to be all that I need.

    - I purchased a T-Mobile pre-paid SIM card for $4 (they were on sale, regular price of $20, but appear to be on sale with some regularity). This particular card will work in my own device that I already own. If I didn't already have a mobile phone that worked on T-Mobile's network, this would be a bit problematic. The SIM comes with $30 minutes worth of use already enabled (a $15 value).

    - I called T-Mobile and activated the SIM when it arrived and provided them with account information for my Vonage account to port the number away from Vonage and onto the new T-Mobile pre-paid phone. About 24 hours elapsed from the initial call and then I received a call from T-Mobile on the home phone telling me that Vonage kicked the porting request back and cited needing more information. Bad on me - I've ported numbers before, and I should have made sure that the agent took ALL of the pertinent account information (name, address, account number, access PIN) the first time.

    - I logged in to CallCentric.com and "ordered" a free inbound phone number from them. I opted to (for now) claim to not be using the number within the US so as to not pay the $18/year for E911. Once everything is established, I will change that so that I am able to dial 911 from the new services.

    - I configured "port 2" (SP2) on the Obi200 to connect to my new CallCentric account and then configured the SP2 service to use the default ring profile (the ring profile for SP2 is odd sounding and I wanted the default ring for all inbound calls).

    - I secured a Google Voice number against a Google Voice account, setting the Call Centric number as the forwarding number. Google called me, I entered a code, and the CC number was set up for call-forwarding.

    - I added the GV service on SP1 (port 1) of the Obi200.

    - I logged into the Vonage account and set the GV number as a Call Forward number with the Vonage number set to zero rings.



    Next steps: Test, test, and test some more while I'm waiting for the number to port from Vonage to T-Mobile. I've set up some reasonably strict call screening rules in my GV account so that known contacts will ring through while those that are NOT known will need to state their name before being connected. And, when the call is connected through, I will be able to press "1" to accept the call or "2" to send it to VM (and call screen the message at the same time).


    Once the house numbers is ported to T-Mo, I will dial in to my voicemail and change the outgoing greeting to say "If you've reached this message, please call this other number to reach me temporarily" and leave the GV number.

    I will then kick off the process of porting the number from T-Mo to GV for a one-time $20 fee.

    When done, the setup will work like this:

    Inbound call to GV number -> forward to CC number -> ring phone
    Outbound call uses GV number and service and presents GV caller ID info

    As I make progress, I'll add updates to this and hopefully recap the process at the end for anyone that wants to tackle it themselves.

    When it's all complete, I will have removed a $36/month recurring bill and replaced it with $75 in one-time charges (two monthly bills) and a $1.50/month recurring bill for E911 service. In other words, I'll be removing about $430/year in phone bills and replacing them with $18/year. Yeah, I can live with that.
    Tomfive, farmgirl19, Levi and 3 others like this.
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    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    But your plan requires cell service being available. That is the reason I have VoIP.
    johnH123 likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    But your plan requires cell service being available. That is the reason I have VoIP.
    It is only required temporarily while the migration is going on, and does not actually need to be "in service" other than to be able to call in and set an outgoing message AFTER the porting of the number TO the cell phone.
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    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC) farmgirl19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    It is only required temporarily while the migration is going on, and does not actually need to be "in service" other than to be able to call in and set an outgoing message AFTER the porting of the number TO the cell phone.
    Believe it or not, there are areas that have NO cell service, even temporarily. While I have a cell phone, (boss supplied), I have no service or reception on half of my property, and the other half depends on weather and sunspots to decide if it will be working at any given time. While areas are getting fewer and farther between that have no cell service at all, some areas may not have it for a few years yet. I've often said that, in all the time I spend driving across parts of west Texas, I can promise you, if I break down, I'll have no service, as I'll be on the wrong side of the hills. There are long stretches of highway that one cannot get a signal of any kind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmgirl19 View Post
    Believe it or not, there are areas that have NO cell service, even temporarily. While I have a cell phone, (boss supplied), I have no service or reception on half of my property, and the other half depends on weather and sunspots to decide if it will be working at any given time. While areas are getting fewer and farther between that have no cell service at all, some areas may not have it for a few years yet. I've often said that, in all the time I spend driving across parts of west Texas, I can promise you, if I break down, I'll have no service, as I'll be on the wrong side of the hills. There are long stretches of highway that one cannot get a signal of any kind.
    T-Mobile service at my house is extremely poor. Doesn't matter to me, though, since I'll just take care of recording the outgoing greeting at some point when I'm out of the house and the phone has service. For me, whether or not T-Mo covers my house is completely irrelevant as it's only a transient service anyway that doesn't ever have to actually be USED. The ENTIRE process can occur without ever even turning the cell phone on (except to initially activate the service).
    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    My setup, until this evening, was not providing Caller ID information.

    Google Voice doesn't provide Caller ID information and only the phone number is transferred to the next provider when a call is forwarded. So, I call a Vonage number, that gets forwarded to GV, and that gets forwarded to CallCentric. The -number- is transferred all the way through, but it would be up to CC to actually provide the Caller ID information associated with the number. Turns out that the Caller ID function was disabled in my account. Turned it on and it is now working properly.

    Still waiting on updates from T-Mo regarding the port-in of my number from Vonage.
    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    At this stage of the game, I don't trust Google for much of anything regarding privacy. That's one reason I decided not to use Google Voice. They don't give it away for nothing.

    Why didn't you just port the number from Vonage to GV and forego all the T-Mobile items?

    My bill for phone service came in around $3 this month. It was a heavy month of calls.
    Last edited by TickTock; 05-25-2016 at 09:28 PM.
    Levi likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
    At this stage of the game, I don't trust Google for much of anything regarding privacy. That's one reason I decided not to use Google Voice. They don't give it away for nothing.

    Why didn't you just port the number from Vonage to GV and forego all the T-Mobile items?

    My bill for phone service came in around $3 this month. It was a heavy month of calls.
    Google will not "port in" a number unless it's from a mobile carrier. T-Mo is the cheapest way to move the home phone from a VOIP provider to a mobile provider in preparation for the port directly to Google.
    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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    TickTock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    Google will not "port in" a number unless it's from a mobile carrier. T-Mo is the cheapest way to move the home phone from a VOIP provider to a mobile provider in preparation for the port directly to Google.
    I wonder why they operate backwards in regards to porting. It's the same process, regardless of what it's tied to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
    I wonder why they operate backwards in regards to porting. It's the same process, regardless of what it's tied to.
    My guess is that they're doing to not be accused of stealing VOIP customers from all of the companies that charge for their service.
    ---

    2011 JD 2520 with 200cx loader, 61" materials bucket, and Artillian JDQA Pallet Forks (42" forks). 62D MMM, ballast box, turfs, and loaded rears.

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