Sprint smartphone users choosing to place calls that show their Google Voice number as their outbound call number are finding their recipients are getting hit by overage fees. Found out why.
Sprint customers who have linked their Google Voice account
with their smartphones are experiencing some unexpected overage fees, according
to the help forums for both companies.
Google Voice, the search engine's free call management
service, lets users associate calls and text messages made to any phone with a
Google and partner Sprint cut a deal
in March to let Google Voice users associate their numbers with
Sprint phones so that subscribers can receive Google Voice calls.
This deal, which was formally activated
earlier this month, was a somewhat surprising move on Sprint's part,
considering that the country's four top carriers feared Google Voice would
render them as simply dumb pipes carrying data.
Sprint lets users choose to make calls either with the
caller ID showing their Sprint phone number or their Google Voice number. The
second option is giving people fits.
that Sprint and Google Voice users reported that when they chose to
show Google Voice as their outgoing number to other Sprint mobile subscribers
they call, the recipients are being whacked with overage charges.
One Sprint/Google Voice user noted
on the Google Voice
"When I call other Sprint customers (for example, my
family) the call is still free for me (it's considered mobile-to-mobile) but
for them, it's a landline call. This quickly eats into the allowance they have
for Anytime minutes. Obviously, I understand why this is happening, but Sprint
needed to fix this before the switch happened, because I am already having to
deal with overage charges."
The problem is that Google Voice numbers are treated as
landlines by the national number database, so it doesn't matter if the Google
Voice call originated from a Sprint smartphone.
The Sprint caller doesn't get punished for this because he
or she gets free mobile minutes for these calls. However, Sprint, which
leverages the national database to find if a number is a landline or mobile, counts
the phone as a landline.
None other than Google Voice co-founder Vincent Paquet
this issue in the forum, noting that the calls don't count as free
mobile-to-mobile calls for recipients. In other words, they get charged.
there is no current mechanism or timetable to alter this practice: "Sorry
to disappoint but I'm told that there are no plans to change this for option 2."
The spokesperson added that this is a reason for Sprint
customers to continue to use their Sprint wireless number as their primary
number, also known as "option 1" in the Sprint-Google Voice