In the last few days, Sprint and Google have been rolling out their “Integrated Google Voice” experience. For many, this transition has been nothing but a monstrous headache. Can’t port number… Won’t complete porting… Phone’s not allowing the Google number to become active… The lack of support from either company on the issues… It’s enough to make one pull their hair out.
Fortunately for all involved, there is help. Just have to slow down the process, take a look at what’s going on and realize why things aren’t working. Below are the qualifications for numbers to become active on the new GV/Sprint system.
1) Private Personal Lines ONLY – if you receive a corporate discount, chance are your number is marked in the Sprint system as a Government or Public Sector account. Sprint does this by default to corporate users with discounts.
2) Your account balance may have a ‘due’ amount. Even if it is not ‘past due’, Sprint may have a flag on the account to not allow transferring the number.
3) Google Voice does not work with any line that has Call Blocking or Call Tones enabled. You need to cancel both these services and allow 24 hours for the changes to take effect.
4) The GV system may have been overloaded when you tried the first 5 times. It’s not a great answer, but it’s one of the answers that Google is giving in random order. Try again tomorrow and see if it works…
The issue that seems to be plaguing most people is the “corporate discount” issue. It seems there are many users in Sprint land that were given a discount when they signed up that they really didn’t deserve, and now they are going to suffer a bit for it by either giving up the discount, or losing the GV option.
If you have a legitimate discount through your employer or school, simply call Sprint, have them disable the discount/account label, switch your number to Google Voice, then call Sprint back and have them reapply your discount. It’s pretty simple. The official reason for this is that Sprint sold blocks of ‘like’ numbers to coporations, i.e. 555-555-0001 to 555-555-1000 and those companies have those numbers set up on an internal network. If random people starting porting those numbers to GV, it might interfere with the setups those companies have in place. Again, this is an easy fix, so just call and get it worked out – or better yet, stop by your local Sprint store for help.
If your account carries a higher balance, Sprint may have it flagged to prevent you from leaving with a large bill. This can even happen when you’ve ordered a new device and had it billed to your account. If you have any outstanding charges, Sprint will not allow the GV merger. If you have an excessive balance, even if it’s not due yet, Sprint will not allow the GV merger. If your online balance shows $0.00, you should be ok to move assuming you have your account rolled to a personal one, not a corporate one.
The third portion of the conversion that is stopping many people is call blocking. Call Tones are also affecting a small percentage of users, but the majority in this class are being stopped by blocking. This is caused by the user has blocked a number at some point in time for some reason. It may be an Ex, or a collection company or even just a harassing wrong number dialer when you first got your new phone – but whatever the cause, if Call Block is enabled, you can’t move your number. This again is a simple fix. Call Sprint, remove call blocking and any numbers that are currently blocked. The same applies for Call Tones – just have them remove the option and you should be golden.
The last reported error that EVO users are suffering from with the transition is the official Google Excuse – we were overloaded and had to stop for the day. Nothing you can do about this one, except for making sure that you are all set with the three steps above, then try again tomorrow.
Overall, if you do a bit of planning and analysis ahead of time, the move from Sprint to Google should be a simple one. If you don’t know the pitfalls, then you might not know what happened to your move. The other part to remember is the Sprint representatives can’t help you with a Google problem and vice versa. Just take your time, and remember, it’s a brand new process, so give them all a bit of a break.