First, a disclaimer: This worked for me, but I am in no way guaranteeing that it will work for you. Proceed at your own risk.
When Dustin and I decided, back in 2009, to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS, we also decided to consolidate into a family plan. Unfortunately, AT&T does not let a family plan contain phones with two different area codes, which meant my old MO number had to go. I’d kept it around to let my family call me without long distance, and I was reluctant to part with it.
At the time, it seemed like Google Voice support for number porting was right around the corner, so I needed a cheap way to park my number until that happened. Phone.com was exactly what I needed. Cheap and easy, it forwarded calls from the old number to my new number. Piece of cake.
Fast forward nearly two years and–finally!–Google Voice supports number porting. But there’s a catch. It only supports porting from a mobile provider, and Phone.com definitely doesn’t count. ARGH!
Here’s how I got around the limitation for $15, plus the Google Voice porting fee.
Step 1: Buy a prepaid TMobile phone. I got my lovely Nokia from Walmart for $14.95. It had $3 in prepaid credit. Do not use the phone! You don’t want to use up your credit or you’ll have to add more. I got a terrible number that rang all hours of the day and night. I just muted the phone and ignored it. If you must check the voicemail, use a different phone.
Step 2: Activate the phone. There was no way to port when I activated online, but you may be able to combine steps two and three if you call.
Step 3: Call TMobile and ask for the Landline Transfer Department. Just asking to port your number is not good enough, at least it wasn’t for me, as I found out after a three day wait. Ask to port your Phone.com number to TMobile.
Step 4: Wait. It took two days to transfer from Phone.com to TMobile. I waited an extra day after the transfer was complete, just to be sure. If it takes longer than two days, contact Phone.com about the status of the port.
Step 5: Log in to Google Voice and start the transfer process. They didn’t ask for my TMobile PIN when I was entering the form, but they sent an email as soon as I submitted it that required me to update the information. Kind of a weird process, but whatever.
Step 6: Wait again. The port to Google Voice took almost exactly twenty-four hours.
Step 7: Cancel your Phone.com account. Porting the number does not automatically cancel the account. Donate or sell the TMobile phone, because it was deactivated when the port happened.