Free Home Phone Service. Let Google do it for Free! STOP PAYING FOR YOUR HOME PHONE – Let Google do it for Free!
This blog is how to cut your bill in half after the cable company doubled it, and triple your internet speed while you’re at it! You can finally cancel your ancient home phone line through your cable company, or ISP, and keep your phone number through Google Voice for free!
Land line home phone service has been a necessary part of the 911 emergency system for decades. Home phones connected to land lines have the address, and directions, which is needed to bring emergency aid when you need it. Smartphones are just not land lines and don’t have that information.
Up to now maybe you have been paying the promotional prices for your TV, Home phone and Internet. Or maybe that stopped and you are getting ripped. Perhaps you are paying too much and you are looking for ways to reduce your expenses. If so, relax. You’re in the right place.
To be clear, this is not about canceling your home phone service in favor of something like your cell phone, instead. While it’s true that cellular service has gotten a lot better in recent years, that was only one of the many excuses people have for not canceling their home phone line. It’s about saving money by rearranging your technology.
Keeping your landline through your local provider usually boils down to one of three problems:
One, your local ISP usually bundles your service with TV, internet and home security. If you cancel any one of these, suddenly the prices of the others go up and the savings you were expecting on the others suddenly become more of wash.
Two, your security system relies on migrating your home security to a system that would cost hundreds of dollars in upgrades.
Three, 9-1-1 calls aren’t just as accurate from the cell phone. While it’s true that modern cell phones can relay locations back to your 911 dispatcher, they’re often too broad and can have emergency crews searching for minutes on end, wasting precious time. Land lines, of the other hand, are registered to a set address since – well – they don’t move, giving them an instant address to dispatch in the case of an emergency.
In recent years, VOIP companies like Vonage and MagicJack have been trying to solve this problem by routing all of your phone calls through the internet, and for the most part, they’re on the right track. But they still fall short of being a cord-cutting strategy due to their monthly charges and use of proprietary devices.
Vonage charges ten bucks a month for the first year and then $25 bucks a month thereafter. MagicJack is a not any cheaper at $40 for the first year, including equipment and then $35 and the way it works is pretty annoying.
Using your computer as a router for all of your home phone calls isn’t a good solution, either. There are lots of wires, you computer has to be on all the time in case you get a late-night call, and that uses resources.
Thank goodness, there’s a better way to do this. In fact, this works so well that not only did I get my home phone and Internet costs back down to $60 per month, but I also tripled my Internet speed while I was at it. If that get your attention, then stay tuned. Because this is all about finally cutting your home phone line for good.
So, what did I do?
It all comes down to this little box. Meet the Obie 200 at Amazon. I know, crazy name outside, but really good technology inside. The job of this little box is to connect Google Voice and make it behave like it’s supposed to. Let me clue you in. It’s a VOIP with a twist, that gives Google Voice a dial tone, just like a home phone should.
The biggest thing to know is that it is free.
Google Voice, like Vonage or MagicJack, is a VOIP, only it’s free. If you want, they give you a free actual number, or you’re free to port in your own. It gives you free unlimited nationwide calling and texting through your phone or hangouts on any device that supports it. The problem is, like Skype, it’s technically all based through the Internet, so the only way you can really use it is through the App, or the website, or by dialing the Google number first to get out. Until it met Obi.
That’s where this box comes in.
The Obi box actually turns Google Voice into an actual land line with the dial tone to use with your home phone system. You see it’s really a simple box. Just one port for the home phone base, one port for the router, one for the for power, and even a USB get the box Wi-Fi capability that Obi sells on Amazon. And for those of you still using fax, don’t worry. This still has you covered, provided you have fax-over-internet service, which is still available. Actually, there are still of a lot of them for free.
And that’s the main idea behind this idea, since Google Voice is free, your home phone is free, which gives you a lot of Leverage over your ISP or cable company.
The first person at the cable company is a front-line rep. All you want to tell them is that you may want to cancel some services. This is important. Don’t say you outright want to cancel your service. There are a few reasons why you don’t want to say it that way. You want them to give you perks to keep you as a customer.
Saying you want to cancel something let’s them know you are serious. This should trigger the rep to transfer you. That’s what you want. You should get transferred to their non-advertised loyalty department that has the power to keep you as a customer.
When you say you’re thinking of cancelling their service, they are getting their “loyalty” rep (read, retention) on the line. They don’t know which service or services you want to cancel, this rep doesn’t have that power anyway. You want to talk to the rep that not only has this power, but the power to give you the extra perks. If they ask, say something like, “I have a few things in mind but I want to go over some options first. All I know at this point is that I can’t afford all of these services I have right now.”
The loyalty folks are the ones that always get yelled at. Since you aren’t angry, keep it that way. You can get real perks for being the sweet part of their day. This is the last resort for the company. Tell them what you are doing, and ask them if there are some loyalty offers they have.
Now the cable rep has a script of things to ask you to see what they can do to keep you as a customer. They will ask if you watch a lot of movies or sports. Generally say yes to something like this. Tellthem you just ordered Netflix, or something like that. Tell them you stream a lot of YouTube. or your kids play a lot of games, you just watch a lot of TV , or say you’ve been looking for more sports or cooking channels in place of what you’ve been paying for your home phone. Just be honest with them, they’re trying to help you out here. The more honest you are, the more they can help you. They want to help you just as much as you want them to.
One of these offers may be, like with me, to triple your download speed. When the promotional price ended, the price jumped from $60 to $120. Now, they may have a way to triple your speed with a promotional price of $60 again. Sweet. Let’s be super clear: your mileage is definitely going to vary. I am not your cable company and I don’t know what they can offer you. I know this: it doesn’t hurt to ask.
“Hey, I was actually just wanting to cancel my home phone, but I was wondering if there are any loyalty offer that I qualify for.” They want to sell one of their phone services, but after they make their offers, you can tell them what you’re doing. Then you can make it clear you are going with Google Voice, see what else they have. “I don’t think you guys can beat free, you know.”
Super important! Do NOT let them cancel the phone for you. You need this phone number active for the next step. The phone number must be working when you go to Google Voice to port over that number. If your home phone provider cancels the number first, it’s gone forever. If you let them cancel it now, it will not be available even seconds later, when you want to port it to Google.
Instead, when you port the number in Google Voice, this process will disconnect it for you. Your cable company will look through your bill later and see that there’s no number on your home phone service anymore and cancel it for you as well. Fine. That’s what you want. In that order.
It might not be the same as mine, but even if you save only a few bucks a month, or only get a little speed increase, or a few more channels, that’s still a win-win in my book.
OK. Now that you have the cable company under control, let’s go set up your new little box. You’re going to need a working Google Voice account. Setting this up is super simple. Head over to voice.google.com. Log in with your Google account. If you’re cool with getting a brand new phone number, Google can generate you one for free. In some areas, Google even gives you the ability to choose the area code, and in some cases, you can choose the exact numbers in case you wanted to spell something out.
If you want to keep your existing number you absolutely can. Google Voice supports porting in phone numbers from a select few carriers for just a $20 fee. If you want to use a cell phone number you have with it, it’s super easy to move it over. Just feed it your previous phone number, account number and pin from that line it’ll move over in a day or two.
However if you’re moving over a home phone it might be a little bit more difficult. For example, my provider wasn’t supported by Google.
Luckily, Obihai was prepared for this. They published a guide on their website that covered this. Which is in the description. The main idea behind this is that if your home phone doesn’t support moving over to Google, they’ll always support you going to a prepaid carrier, like T-mobile. So, essentially you just buy a prepaid T-Mobile SIM card for around $10 and move your home phone number over to T-Mobile, and then move from T-Mobile over to Google Voice.
I know that sounds a little weird to use a prepaid carrier, but it worked flawlessly. Think of this process as being like a stepping stone. That’s what I used. The best part is that it doesn’t even have to cost you anything. I never had to select a plan with T-Mobile, or load money on that SIM card, and when I was finished, I just returned the SIM card and got my ten dollars back!
Once you are done with that, you’re ready to set up the Obie box. You will love how easy this is. Get your router, plug one end of the included ethernet cable into the router and the other into the Obie. Then take out your home phone line, which is usually plugged into your modem, and plug that into your Obie. Then plug the Obi into power. That’s it!
When it blinks green a few times, it’s on and ready and working.
Find a computer on your home network to finish the rest. Head on over to ObiTalk.com. Sign in by clicking the link in the top right of your screen. Use sign in with Google. Click the Google account associated with the Google Voice number you set up and log in. Then click the box that says “I want to configure Google Voice on this device” and click next. It will ask you to dial their number from your home phone to identify your number.
Here is one more thing we need to say. Obie doesn’t support e9-1-1 calls through Google Voice. But don’t panic. We still have two options. You’re not going to lost 911. One is to use your cell phone for all 911 calls. And, you can still make those calls from your home phone. Stay with me.
Option one. We have to accept the warning that the system gives us, in order to continue. Ok. Just read through the Google Voice terms and click accept. Give your Obie a nickname and enter your area code. Check the box that says you will use this number for emergencies. The next page will be your default Obie talk page from now on. After the circle stops spinning, you are done. Call yourself as a test call to confirm everything is working.
Option two. You can make calls through Anveo for $15 per year. In the setup process, you will give them your complete address and the exact information you want to give them. In addition, this service will route your calls to 911 and gives you other options. It will send a text, email or automated phone call to up to 5 of your friends or neighbors about this emergency.
It’s up to you. Otherwise, my work is pretty much done here.
Don’t forget to call your cable company back and get whatever perks they offered you. Whether it’s faster speeds, lower bill, more channels, or if you’re lucky, maybe all three.
You also may be enjoying more features on your home phone number that you’ve never had before, like optional automatic call forwarding instead of voicemail, free visual voice mail, making phone calls over wifi on phones and tablets, or even through your computer through hangouts or even send texts from your phone number. There’s plenty of new features that can teach your old home phone new tricks. Check out these new features on the obi website and the Google Voice website to see what you can do.
Visit Amazon and get these puppies. Then check out this video that walks you through all of this here:
Get Obi Box:
For the Obi200 see:
For fax support use: