Who you gonna call?
December 30, 2008 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Time to kill the landline and consolidate communications...but can I keep that phone number? What's your best suggestion for keeping the landline number active?

Ok, when I say landline, it is a VOIP line through Packet8, which is costing me about $28/mo. This phone number is what has been given out to all my billing accounts, and what we've had for several years. I do have a GrandCentral number that we'd transition to over the next several months, but I'd need the legacy number active in the interim.

We've finally had enough family move to Verizon to merit dropping the landline. One option I've thought of is adding another line on Verizon ($10+tax) and porting the number there. This, however, leaves me pulled in for another 2 year contract. The savings over my current situation would be significant enough that it merits considering. It also leaves a phone at home regularly. There are other pros to this option, as well.

We're also considering Skype as a cost-effective home phone solution, but I don't believe I can port my number there.

Is there a cheaper alternative to keeping the landline number (short-term to an indefinite time period)? I'm comfortable with a permanent forward or a voicemail box or another creative solution.
posted by nmabry to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I canceled my AT&T line, they offered to put up a message saying "The new number is xxx-xxx-xxxx." Talk to Packet8, they'll probably do the same. They may even have other options like forwards and VM.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:16 AM on December 30, 2008

There are plenty of VoIP providers that will cost less than $5-10/month if you hunt around. I've used Vitelity.Net to park a number before. You have to make an initial $35 minimum deposit, then a number is $1.49/month plus $0.012/minute for incoming calls. There is a stiff $18 charge to port a number in. Their voicemail service emails messages as .wav files wherever you specify or you can just forward calls to your GrandCentral number.

VoIP-Info.org at times seems like an index of failed and crappy VoIP providers but is a good starting point to poke around.

A similar question was asked previously except with a cell phone bent.
posted by ChrisHartley at 12:19 PM on December 30, 2008

chrishartley- do you use this service, or do you know someone who has? how well does it work?
posted by gjc at 6:03 PM on December 30, 2008

I lost my "home" phone number and changed to skype ... I found that it's really not at all important to keep the old number. Anyone who really needs to contact you either will already have the new number, or will have an alternative way to get in touch. Anyone else, you probably don't really want calling anyway. It's just not worth $120 a year or whatever it costs to keep a number, IMO. I'd say don't worry about it and just consolidate.
posted by cotterpin at 6:13 PM on December 30, 2008

We kept our old phone number when we added to Comcast phone to cable TV and computer broadband. We declined the second line for FAX at $10.00 per month because it would not be usable for voice and we rarely use the FAX any more.
As the Comcast installer said - Comcast is different from a telephone company - the duplex inserts in the jacks will not work for a second line with Comcast as they did with phone company. To make a second line work on all the jacks in the house would be ±$30.00 each x 7 jacks = hardly worth it. Email and cell phone make us all too available.
posted by Cranberry at 11:30 PM on December 30, 2008

gjc -- Yes, I used Vitelity.Net, first for a VoIP DID and then when I was traveling it went straight to voicemail, which was forwarded to my email. I've never ported a number in to vitelity.net but did port a number out (to a new cell phone) without any trouble. I would recommend them. The voicemail/forwarding reliability was excellent for me. When I was actually using the line to make and receive calls it was spotty because my ATA was crap.
posted by ChrisHartley at 1:29 PM on December 31, 2008

« Older Legitimate reason to decrypt a credit card?   |   What to do with all this bacon Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.