With the up-coming move, the question about what to do with our home phone was resolved by beginning an attempt to port our home Voice Over IP (VoIP) number, in a two-step process, to the Google Voice service. In Part 1 of this process, we successfully ported the number from our original Speakeasy VoIP provider to a pre-paid T-Mobile cell phone. This part was necessary because Google currently, by policy, will only port cell numbers.
Last night, after waiting a bit more than 24 hours after the T-Mobile port (and having experienced no overlapping service), we began part 2 of the process. As this number is going to become my wife’s Google Voice number, she logged into the Google Voice service, where she selected the number port. At this point a form came up which required information about the T-Mobile account. Because we had purchased a pre-paid cell phone, T-Mobile didn’t really have any information about us in the account (not even a name or address), and it wasn’t clear if the port would succeed, given that Google was asking for things like address details. To head off any potential problems or delays, we headed to T-Mobile’s site to set up the account and provide the details. I think I would have preferred not to have given T-Mobile this information, but wanting this to succeed the first time won.
We filled in the newly-provided T-Mobile information on the Google Voice form, and after clicking on about a half-dozen checkboxes warning us about different aspects and consequences of doing this port, things looked like they went through.
Next up was payment via the Google Checkout service: they charge $20 to port a cell number to Google Voice. It’s a little odd, as T-Mobile didn’t charge us to do the port from the VoIP service, but the end result makes it worth it in my opinion. We went through the details of the Checkout process and paid Google the $20.
At this point, what I had been reading had prepared me for the fact that the Google Voice port request form has no input box for the cell account PIN, and because of this, the initial attempt will fail. Fortunately, the email telling us this came right on the heals of the one confirming the submission of the port request. We went back to the form, added the PIN in the now-provided box (you would think Google would just add this to the original form?), and re-submitted. This time we got a confirmation email that it went through, and would take about 24 hours.
We should know later today if it succeeded, and I’ll post the update once we get that confirmation, but we’re optimistic that we’re about to be one of the group for whom this process worked.
Update (Thursday evening): Success! Michelle’s Google Voice number was updated to be our old home number, and she updated her profile so the calls will actually be routed somewhere. I couldn’t be happier that this worked, and if I would echo anything from what others have written about this process, it would be: make your you provide as much information as possible (and have it ready!), and then don’t push the process – let things happen, and give it time between steps.