Verizon: New Obstacles to Porting Out

Two days ago, I called Verizon to make sure that I had everything I need to port my phone number from Verizon to Google voice (yeah… Google… a deal with the devil, I know). I wrote down everything the people at Verizon said and was told by them that the same Pin that I typed in to identify myself to Verizon customer service was the same Pin that I would need to use to port my phone number to another carrier. They lied.

Two days later (this morning) when the port wouldn’t go through and Google voice said my Pin was wrong, I called Verizon back. They admitted that I would need a special “porting pin” number. It’s a six digit number whereas a regular Verizon pin is only four digits. But they wouldn’t just tell me what that porting pin number is. I had to log in and have that number issued to me directly from the Verizon website. I got the number and entered it in to Google voice. We’ll see whether or not that will work.

My plan is to port the number that everyone knows I have, from my verizon Note 9 phone to Google voice. Then I will forward that same number back to my same Note 9 phone using Mint mobile as my new carrier, and to another number (the actual Mint Mobile phone number) that most people will never even know exists. You pay $180 once and that covers you for a whole year ($15/month) with Mint mobile. That gives you 3GB of data per month and unlimited talk and text and best of all, a cost so low that there is no monthly bill. Mint also has a $45 for three months ($15/month) trial that I have been using for a week now and that I am happy with. Actually, I bought the new sim and first three months with Mint from Amazon for only $40. When my Librem 5 arrives, I can just add another sim from any carrier to my Librem 5 and add that new number to the list of phones that my calls get forwarded to, from my Google voice number. My friends and family and everyone else who knows me and has known me for years won’t see any change to my number. But my options will get much better this way. Different carriers and new numbers can come and go as often as I want them to. No porting will be needed since you just forward from your known Google voice number to any phone numbers and carriers that you want to as they come and go. The Google voice app will identify you by your Google voice number for your outgoing calls. But if you want to port your phone number out of Verizon make sure to know your six digit “porting Pin” number first. That number is only good for a week after they issue it to you.

A friend showed me another advantage of using Google voice. You can purchase additional numbers for a one-time cost of $20 each. So if you want to call someone without disclosing your real phone number, you use one of those other numbers. By selecting one of those other numbers to identify you before making the call, when they try to call you back you have your settings set to ignore those calls. Your phone never rings.

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… That gives you 3GB of data per month and unlimited talk and text and best of all, a cost so low that there is no monthly bill …
Beyond the considerations that Google knows all the numbers of a person this is interesting for me because I notice disproportionate differences in costs between states. I am in Italy and here the average rate is € 10 per month for 30/50 Gb of monthly data - LTE - with unlimited calls and sms.
P.S. my rate is € 6 per month for 50 Gb LTE

Yes, I think that here in the US we get ripped off on the pricing for data. The overall rates are much higher too. The major carriers also charge us extra for things that should be free like hot spotting and for spam blocking. Their phones block these features by not making them available as selections in the operating system when these same features come free as available selections on the carrier-independant OEM versions of the same phones. Verizon is the worst of the bunch. They have the best network and use their monopoly power to charge 4x the price you can get elsewhere. Just their taxes and surcharges alone are higher than some carriers charge for a whole plan. When they have a buy one get one free on their higher end phones, both phones have to stay on their plans by contract. So nothing is really free and you still pay more.

I may or may not forward my number from Google voice to my L5 (once I get it). But as long as I use Google/Android phones anyway, I might as well use Google’s free phone services to avoid the need to have any loyalty to any one carrier. Unfortunately, Google voice is only available in the US.

If you’re looking for throwaway phone numbers, there’s an android app called Burner. Its a $3.99/month subscription. You choose an area code and they give you a list of numbers to choose from. Calls and texts arrive at your phone. After a month, you can burn it and switch it out for a new one.

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I like the concept, but tied to Android, it’s not very useful.

There’s a way to dial in so you can use it from any phone, but it is a bit of a pain.