Is there any flaws in my plan to get a phone from Craiglist and Switch to Straight Talk and Google Voice?
October 21, 2012 4:53 PM   Subscribe

What is the recommended way to buy a phone on Craigslist, switch to Straight Talk, and port numbers to Google Voice?

I moved to a much larger city and want to get a smart phone to have access to maps and email. Currently, I have two phone numbers; an ATT national plan with an ancient phone and a Tracfone on which I am almost out of minutes. Both numbers are in use and I slightly prefer the number on the Tracfone though I end up using the ATT number much more often. To keep my expenses down I am considering buying a used iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Craigslist and switching to Straight Talk and using Google voice to keep my tracfone number.

What I am planning is the following:

1) Purchase a used iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Craigslist

2) Port my ATT number to Straight Talk

3) Wait for Straight Talk Sim to arrive

4) Pop Straight Talk Sim into purchased phone

5) Port my Tracfone number to Google Voice


A) Does my plan have any fatal flaws?

B) What is the best way to buy a phone off of Craiglist? How do I check if it has been stolen?

C) Has anyone ported a number back from Google Voice?

D) What have peoples experiences with Google Voice been? What don't you like?

E) Is there any reason not to port both numbers to Google Voice?

F) My personal and work email is handled through Gmail and my work calendar also uses Google. Would an Android device be a better choice? I have never used one. I have an iPad but don't have iTunes on my computer.
posted by cycleback to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't answer all of your questions, but I do have experience with a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and Google Voice.

Google Voice is wonderful. It gives me complete control over how people call me and free SMS from any of my Android devices or a web browser. The voice to text lets me skip listening to a good number of voice mail messages (as long as people are speaking clearly).

The only problem I have with GV is that it does not allow you to send MMS (unless you're on Sprint) or receive MMS (unless it's been sent via Sprint). Not that big of a deal for me.

An Android device is perfect for using Google services. You simply sign into your Gmail or Google Apps account from the device and you have instant access to your email, contacts, calendars and all the rest. You can add multiple Google accounts.

The Galaxy Nexus is a great phone. It runs stock Android directly from Google. Non-Nexus Android devices almost always have heavily modified versions of Android.

You can buy a brand new Galaxy Nexus directly from Google that's unlocked and contract free for $349.
posted by krynoid at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2012

Speaking as a Straight Talk customer with an iPhone 4S, there is a minor sequencing error in your steps. Step 3 will come before step 2. You don't/can't port the number until you have the SIM card in hand. But I don't think that materially affects your plan.

The only downsides I've experienced with using Google Voice are that the GV app for iOS isn't stellar. It works, but it's not great. And you won't be using iMessage with all of your iMessage-capable friends, unless you also give them your actual/real phone number, which (in my experience) just makes people confused.
posted by Nothlit at 7:36 PM on October 21, 2012

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