Google Voice and POTS

So you’re one of the dwindling number of Americans that has a wire line telephone in their home (generally referred to as POTS – Plain Old Telephone Service)… and you’d like to cut down on your bill as much as possible.

Well, just like with cell phones, perhaps you need to consider Google Voice.

Why pay the Telco for voice mail; Google Voice will give you that for free.

Why pay the Telco for long distance; Google Voice will give you that for free.

Why pay the Telco for unlimited dialing; provided you have an internet connection (broadband or cellular), Goolge Voice will give you that for free (you’d only need the limited dial plan).

Here’s the skinny (so to speak)…

Since you’re reading a BLOG post I’m going to assume that you’re “connected” — which means you have the ability to use the Internet (through something other than dial-up)…

Setup a Google Voice account NOW.  That means you’ll probably have to request a Google Voice invitation to go with your Gmail account.

Once you’ve done that, just hookup your Google Voice number to your land line and start using your Google Voice number for everything (you probably don’t want to pay for call forwarding — so you’re going to end up re-training people to call another number).

Then call up your Telco and get rid of Caller ID, Call Waiting, Voice Mail, long distance packages, and unlimited dialing (go with the limited rate plan — and if you’re low income, make sure you take advantage of the Universal Access rates).

Just keep your browser open to Google Voice and you can quickly see who’s calling (or setup Google Voice to announce it to you when you answer the phone); and you can have Google Voice place all your local and long distance calls (it’ll call you, so that won’t count towards your out-bound calling units).  If you miss a call, it goes to Google Voice, and you’ll get a transcription of the message via email or you can read it on the web site… or if the transcription isn’t good, you can play the recording or even have Google Voice call you so you can hear it over the phone.

Google Voice will keep a log of each and every number that calls you — plus give you a great deal of flexibility in blocking un-wanted calls.

Also, if you want to stop people from calling your home number, simply have the Telco change it (there will be a fee unless you’ve had issues with harassment) and have them list the new number under a name like “Solicitation Prohibited” — no need to pay them for an unlisted or unpublished number (you can have your listing any name that’s use doesn’t constitute fraud).

Remember, keep the money in your pocket — no reason to feel sorry for the dwindling profits from the Telcos that have been nickel and diming to death all these years and provide you with telecommunications services that haven’t improved substantially in decades.

Originally posted 2010-10-18 02:00:12.