Best way to ditch a landline and use Google Voice for a married couple?
April 7, 2010 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Best practices in ditching a landline and using cell phones and Google Voice as a married couple?

My wife and I are finally ditching our landline and we're going to use our cellphones and Google Voice as a solution. I already have a Google Voice number attached to my personal Google account.

Would we be best off creating a shared Google account with a new Google Voice number as a shared point of contact (like a household landline) or should we just ditch the concept of a shared number and use unique numbers (like cell phones)?

Any other tips or thoughts would be appreciated.
posted by entropicamericana to Technology (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why would you need a shared number? My parents stubbornly hold onto their landline and about the only calls they get on it are from telemarketers.
posted by The Lamplighter at 9:10 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is really going to depend on how the two of you use phones. That said....A shared google voice number ringing both my phone and my wife's would be a problem. We are usually not together during the day. Call comes for me..she picks up first (in another city, where she works), the person has to then call again to get me (with her ignoriing the call)... Not a practical solution..

Two GV numbers, Two Phones.
posted by HuronBob at 9:11 AM on April 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Goes without saying that you should ensure you're both on your respective cell phone's free calls to each other option.

I was originally going to advocate going without the shared phone number, but I think Google Voice has the opportunity to make sharing a phone number a lot easier, so here's what I think the best option is:

1) Use your cell phones as your personal phone number - given out to anyone who just needs to reach you

2) Set up one Google Voice number, connected to both of your cell phones. Have this account e-mail both of you new voicemail transcriptions.

3) Use Google Contacts to organize call groups (mutual friends, your family, her family, etc). Have Google Voice respond to these in different ways (her family rings her phone and not yours; your family just reaches you; your mutual friends ring both phones and whoever picks up first wins; everybody else gets dumped automatically to voicemail, whatever).
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:15 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Give out your cell phone numbers as your cell phone numbers, and your GV number as your landline. This would result in the same set-up you have now, only your landline is replaced by GV.

If you want to get fancy, I think (?) GV allows you to set up PBX-style "push 1 for Adam, 2 for Eve" on your GV number so callers could be routed to the right cell phone.
posted by jckll at 9:17 AM on April 7, 2010


I don't understand why you'd need a shared number either. Seems like more trouble than it's worth.
posted by streetdreams at 9:35 AM on April 7, 2010


I disagree. I would get a new google account and new GV number. Set it for both of your cell phones. Do not set it up to answer automatically on pickup. Make it so you have to hit the 1 or 4 key. If you recognize the number and want to answer, pick it up. If it turns out to be for your wife, hit the * key and it will ring her phone.

Give the new GV number to anyone who needs to call both of you or your house such as service repair men, the school emergency number, etc. Keep your other GV number to give to your friends. Both can forward to your phone.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:56 AM on April 7, 2010


I can't think of a single reason that ANYONE would want a shared number.
posted by AtomicBee at 9:57 AM on April 7, 2010


I can't think of a single reason that ANYONE would want a shared number.

If you have kids who need rides or who may have an emergency at a school or adult parents that may have medical emergencies or there are service people that need either one of you, then you need a shared number.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2010


We're married, we have two cell phones on the same plan, and two GV numbers. Never has there been an instance that we wish we had a shared number.
posted by desjardins at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2010


I'm on the boat asking why you need to have a shared number.

Another Google Voice number won't really be a solution anyway. They won't let you tie two GV numbers to the same outside number. I've tried. Doesn't happen.
posted by theichibun at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2010


If you have kids who need rides or who may have an emergency at a school or adult parents that may have medical emergencies or there are service people that need either one of you, then you need a shared number

Our kids' school paperwork carries mobile and home numbers for both of us. If they don't reach her, they call me. If they don't reach either, they call the home #. If it's a true emergency and they haven't gotten through to anyone yet, they'd start going down the list of emergency contacts.

Anyone who's going to call about unusual rides [hockey parents, baseball parents, band parents] has both cell numbers.

We have plenty of parents on hockey and baseball teams with no shared number, just two cell phones. For us and them, coordinating rides or whatever has never been a problem.

Our home number could go away without trouble. No shared number needed. I think 90% of the calls we get on it are telemarketers.
posted by chazlarson at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2010


I should point out that maybe our situation is affected by being in a small town in MN. The people at the school who would be calling about the kids are mostly personal friends.
posted by chazlarson at 10:23 AM on April 7, 2010


In the 21st century, phone numbers go to people, not places. You don't need a shared "household" number.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


One thing to consider is the fact that landline phones are powered by the phone jack. Even in blackouts and other emergencies, most landline companies keep back-up generators running to keep your landline phone functioning.

So if you do indeed decide to ditch your landline, you may want to implement your own back-up charging plan for emergencies. There are solar and hand-cranked options.
posted by fairmettle at 10:48 AM on April 7, 2010


@fairmettle where I live, Verizon offers a pay-per-minute land line for something like $2 a month. Perfect for emergency use.
posted by kenliu at 1:03 PM on April 7, 2010


Also, to my recollection, 911 is always available for dialing, regardless of whether or not you are paying for service.

I ended up forwarding my landline to my Google Voice # and will forward messages to my wife as needed until callers get our new numbers.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:36 PM on April 7, 2010


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