Cheap call-forwarding or voice-mail-only or recorded-message-only services to point phone numbers to?
July 23, 2008 1:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of switching phone services, as I often do. It's such a hassle to keep porting phone numbers (LNP), or, actually switching phone numbers. My particular situation is that I have two phone numbers of Vonage, and one on my iPhone - I want to keep the iPhone but dump Vonage while keeping the numbers - I want to try Skype, but they don't let you port phone numbers in. What's a cheap way to keep these phone numbers? More specifically, I'm curious about the following:

a) A cheap/free service for forwarding a phone number. No phone line, no voice mail, no recorded message, it just forwards to another number. Especially if you can port an existing phone number to it. I tried signing up for Grand Central but they're not letting me in (rumor has it they will be supporting LNP in the future). (Does someone have an invite?)

b) A cheap/free service for porting it in and hooking it up to a voice mailbox. I've heard rumors of being able to do this with t-mobile somehow...??

c) A cheap/free service for porting it in and hooking it up to a recorded message (no voice mail) that will tell people what other phone number they should call.

d) Heck... possible to port multiple numbers to the same iPhone? Especially if I can tell which number was dialed.

Any creative ideas appreciated.
posted by tunesmith to Technology (5 answers total)
Specific to (b) or (c), you could buy a $10.00 Virgin Mobile phone, spend $60.00 on airtime (promotional, usually $100.00) and keep your number active for a year. If all it is to you is an outgoing message, you don't care about expiring minutes, and that works out to parking for as little as roughly $6.00 a month. Possible bonus, you may be able to port your number.
posted by ZakDaddy at 2:01 PM on July 23, 2008

...warning, their site is pretty Flash-heavy.
posted by ZakDaddy at 2:02 PM on July 23, 2008

posted by aeighty at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2008

Somebody, here at mefi, said if you sign-up for Blogger and are signed into your Blogger account and then go to Grand Central - you can sign-up. ( I would clear all cookies first.) I haven't tried this. If someone has the time to try it and post back, we can see if that actually works.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 3:43 PM on July 23, 2008

Following up to ZakDaddy, Page Plus Cellular will do the same thing for $10 every 120 days. You can port in numbers for free and they give you 100 minutes free, so you're set for the first 120 days. It is a pain to remember to add money everyone 120 days. You can buy a $30-40 INpulse Verizon phone at Best Buy or use any old Verizon phone.

If anyone has noticed, it does seem like I've been shilling for page plus a lot lately. It's not because I get anything for it, I just spent a long time researching pre-paid cell phones and feel like to make it all worthwhile I have to share.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:50 PM on July 23, 2008

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