So, I’ve been a Google Voice subscriber for about 2 years. I have one of the most awesome phone numbers you can get: 686-8086 (it has an inside geek reference to x86-based CPU architectures, and also to my PGP key ID of 0x8086060F. Awesome, eh?!). I’ve used it for SMS text messaging, receiving calls, and placing calls (almost 4,000 total calls). I’ve used it for conference calls as well. I’ve blocked spammers, recorded calls, transferred calls, and pretty much have used it fully. After all this, I have some gripes.
- I get A LOT of missed calls when people call my Google Voice number.
- I get A LOT of static on the line versus calling my cell directly (I honestly don’t understand why).
- Managing the “other” numbers for contacts is messy.
- Conference calls only support 4 people- you, and 3 other callers.
- Conference calls can only be initiated when people call your Voice number (you cannot invite people to the call).
- When using SMS on Android, the notifications are filled with the name presented twice- once for the Google Contact contact, and then again for the Voice Caller ID.
- Unless you’re using Android (or maybe other OSes), calling from your phone will not show the Google Voice number on their caller ID, unless you call your Voice number first, then follow the phone tree to dial the number you wish to call (a PITA).
- Some cell phone providers offer unlimited minutes when calling other cellular phones. Using Voice means calling a landline, which means using your minutes, regardless of who made the call.
I like the spam options of the service. It has come in handy. And I’ve recorded a few phone calls for logging reasons. However, I’ve found that using Google Voice in totality is becoming more of a pain than a benefit. Losing calls is especially annoying, definitely when you’re waiting for a job offer (ugh). I’ll continue to hand out the number to companies and people that I don’t care much about, but I’ve been handing my cell phone number out more and more lately, because Voice is just getting in the way.
Anyway, just had to get this off my chest (missing a call this morning was REALLY upsetting, and sparked the post).