Google Voice: this alone was worth the switch
Just recently I told Verizon to port my Home Phone Connect number to Google Voice. Home Phone Connect used to be my “land-line”, which in fact was a stationary 4G connection. It is a 4G device, but it’s supposed to be used stationary. Home Phone Connect worked fine for me for a couple of years, but there were a bunch of things that were annoying me:
1) Unsolicited calls: I hate getting these calls (who doesn’t?) and I felt that Verizon did not give me the necessary tools to avoid them. My phone number has been on the National Do Not Call List since its inception, but that does not seem to stop anybody. My wireless phone inside the house had the ability to block certain numbers, but what do you do when there’s no Caller-ID information and thus no number to block?
Since I switched to Google Voice, it’s a lot more quiet. The same unsolicited calls still arrive, but instead of making even a single ring on any of my phones, calls with no Caller-ID, fake Caller-ID or from known spammers are sent directly to voice-mail. I also added a few, legit numbers manually, which now get the same treatment: if it’s important that you get in touch with me, you sure will leave a message – nobody ever does.
Oh, and here’s my friend “Unknown”. He’s been calling for the past 6 months like clockwork around 10am every day! No number, no name – nothing to identify the caller. Prior to Google Voice I would just left the phone ring and now I see his entries under “Missed Calls” in Google Voice, if I care to look there:
2) International Calling Rates: I call Germany quite regularly. For a monthly access fee ($3.99) Verizon gave me access to lower rates via their “International Long Distance Value Plan”. Calls to a German landline are $0.07/min using the Value Plan and $1.49/min without it (no, this is not a typo). Talk for an hour and it’ll set back $4.20, which is not too bad.
Then I ran across Google Voice’s International Calling Rates … Their standard rate without having to sign any gimmicky Value Plans is $0.02/min! For the $3.99 access fee at Verizon, I can talk already 3.5 hrs with Google Voice. Do I need to say more?