local call forwarding service?

My (Verizon) landline transfers unanswered calls to another number.
I've seen (and used) services that route calls to toll-free numbers
to standard numbers. Most mobile phone service provide transfer
services also (at very high per-minute rates).
I'm looking for a service that immediately forwards all calls to a
local (not toll-free) number to another line. It doesn't need to
do anything else. Is there such a thing?
The situation is that I live in an area (765) that is not served by
open VoIP services but I'd like to eliminate the $40/month I pay
for landline service while maintaining the ability to answer calls
to that number. I'm thinking that a non-VoIP service might provide
simple forwarding service here that I could use to send calls to a
VoIP/PSTN provider elsewhere. I would port my existing number to
that forwarding service.
I'd expect to pay monthly and long-distance fees for this but it
would be o.k. if it's on the order of $5/month + $0.05/minute. I
will try to move all of my calls to other numbers so this is just
a safety net for people I don't get moved.
So...does something like this exist? I suspect that there's a term
for this that would making searching easy but I'm not finding it.
Thank you.
Reply to
Kyler Laird
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Try another broadband company like Packet8. There is Remote call forwarding, but you'll pay about $20 for that.
Carl Navarro
Reply to
Carl Navarro
Yeah, I was thinking the exact same thing. It's tempting. I even looked at what it would require. The device registration looks like a bit of a pain but I figure once the device is registered I can disconnect it.
It seems like quite a waste though. Surely someone offers the same thing without all the VoIP overhead?!
My biggest fear, however, is that if I port my number to a VoIP provider (instead of a "phone company"), I'll never be able to move it anywhere else. I want to be *really* sure before I do that.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Reply to
Kyler Laird
That's utterly unbelievable. Every RCF setup I ever heard of is just a business line with no line. The outgoing calls cost the same as what they would from any other business line.
Perhaps she was reading some screwed up mixture of obsolete FX tariff and RCF.
I gather the number of calls is a switch parameter which can be set anywhere from zero to a zillion. If you're lucky, the switch tech won't bother to program it and it'll be a zillion.
Reply to
John R. Levine
I decided to just ask Verizon about this. Surprisingly I got some good information.
They do offer a service called "remote call forwarding". It creates a line that only exists at the CO (her explanation). Calls to that line are forwarded to another number.
To establish or modify this service is $38.95 in Indiana (and $84 in California). It's $16/month in Indiana plus usage fees. That's where it gets strange. If the call is diverted to a number outside the local calling area, it's billed at the long-distance provider's rate "per quarter mile".
Huh?! Yes, that's right; if you're paying $0.05/minute LD and the call is forwarded 100 miles away, it's $20/minute. I asked about forwarding to a toll-free number and was told that the toll-free number had to be "within the 800 service area." Neither of us had a clue what that meant.
It gets worse. CallerID is not supported and only "one path" (one call appearance) is provided. The good news is that the line is not subject to the interstate access charge ($6.50).
For now, I'm keeping our local line and watching for decent VoIP to arrive.
Reply to
Kyler Laird
Do you have the option of ATT CallVantage? ($29 for full ld and local; voice mail and much more) Best of all even my wife can run it! - RM
Reply to
Rick Merrill
Yes, that is right. As far as I know, NO LEC in North America does anything else - the forwarded call is billed as if the nonexistent forwarding number dialled it. And in most cases, you can specify the default carrier - e.g. "Set the forward to 1010NNN10005550000". Or if all else fails, have them forward it to a cheap 800 number that homes on the number you really want to get the call.
That was also bad info. All current Nortel switches (DMS 100, 500, etc.) and WE 5ESS will pass CLASS ID data on the forward.
Bottom line, this is an obscure service, and the people that can sell it to you know almost nothing about it. So what else is new? ;)
Don Miller
Reply to
Don Miller
Good question. I've wondered that too but I haven't found their list of supported exchanges.
Not "much" more - it's a proprietary system. It's sure not worth $29.
My wife has no problem using our current phones without caring that VoicePulse/BroadVoice/Gafachi/LiveVoIP is handling the call.
Fortunately I discovered yesterday that next month we should have LiveVoIP DID service here.
Reply to
Kyler Laird
[I've added comp.dcom.voice-over-ip to this thread. I expect this to be of interest to others who want to use VoIP but do not have DID service in their area. The methods I describe should provide full- capability incoming VoIP anywhere.]
After a couple days of Verizon screwups (full of conversations of them telling me things couldn't possibly be the way that they were), I have had call forwarding working for awhile. It's a good first step toward migrating toward voice over IP in an area without good DID service.
This is a summary of what I accomplished in this step.
I had "fixed call forwarding no-answer/busy" on the line ($1.00) along with a few features I never used (as part of a special promotional package). The call forwarding went to my JFAX/J2/jConnect account at a toll-free number. I removed all of these features.
I added regular call forwarding ($2.50) to the line. I programmed it (using *72) to go to my (LiveVoIP) VoIP toll-free number. That line goes to a colocated Asterisk server. Incoming calls ring our mobile phones and a phone at the house which is connected to a Sipura SPA-2000. CallerID information about the caller appears on the VoIP call.
This phase provides me with unlimited (single call) local calling, all the features I could get from my local telco (CallerID, distinctive ring, ...) and a world of capabililites I couldn't get locally for a price that's not far from what I was paying.
Besides the Verizon call forwarding charge, I'm paying $10.99 to LiveVoIP for the toll-free number. That includes 400 (carryover) minutes. Extra minutes are $0.020/minute. I don't expect to use nearly that many minutes to replace my current home phone calls.
Had I not added VoIP into the mix, I'd want at least CallerID ($8.50, I think) and call forwarding on this line. Instead, I just pay for call forwarding. That's a savings of $8.50 that I can use toward justifying the $10.99 VoIP charge. Note that if I wanted to restrict that line to non-commercial usage I could have gotten LiveVoIP's $4.99 toll-free service (200 minutes, $0.029/minute).
I'm feeling *much* better about my phone service now that it's going through LiveVoIP. When calls came through my POTS line, it took a long time for the calls to be recognized (if Asterisk waited for the second ring in order to get CallerID) and to detect when ringing stopped (which meant the house phones would keep ringing even if the caller hung up). Even answered calls didn't have good supervision, so Asterisk would hold the line long after the caller hung up. That was frustrating. Now everything is much tighter. And, of course, I can more cleanly do stuff like provide my own voice mail (while handling multiple simultaneous calls).
The next step will be to switch my line to "remote call forwarding". ($38.95 activation fee.) That will reduce my Verizon bill another $10. The disadvantage will be that I will no longer be able to make local calls (although 911 might still be available).
My wife and I often use our mobile phones anyway but at $0.020/minute for outbound calls (LiveVoIP/Gafachi) I would have to use 500 *additional* minutes of local calling before this solution would cost more than my current service. With all of the calls to our home number going to our mobile phones, I'm sure we will have more local calls than before but I do not expect more than 900 (400 included + 500 additional) minutes. Because LiveVoIP provides "carryover minutes", even a large spike in usage shouldn't be a big problem.
In a month or so LiveVoIP expects to have DID service here. At that point I'll be able to forward to a local number and eventually I can just port my number to them and eliminate Verizon completely. (I realize that some of these changes make little sense for the short times that I'm using them but it's the only way I know to get the real story on how this stuff works.)
Reply to
Kyler Laird
Talk Is Cheap Inc. includes call forwarding as a standard feature in all their plans. They charge $4.95 a month for a local number, but you can forward your incoming calls to that local number to any number or line you want.
They have more info on their website
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Jackie -------
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