A few moments ago on the Google Voice blog, an announcement was made that carries great news for power users of that excellent communication portal:

Until now, if you changed your Google Voice number, ported your number to Google Voice, or opted in for the Sprint Option 1 integration (where your Sprint number becomes your Google Voice number), your previous Google Voice number remained on your account for 90 days before it was returned to Google.

Since many Google Voice users grow attached and become closely associated with their Google Voice numbers, we’re making it possible for users in any of the scenarios above to permanently keep the previous Google Voice number on their account.

This means that calls made and text messages sent to your previous number will still reach you, however, your new primary Google Voice number will display on caller ID when you make calls or send text messages.

I immediately logged into my Google Voice account and went into the Settings area to make my secondary number permanent.

I bought that secondary phone number from 212AreaCode.com and I hated flushing away the money I spent on that number when August 5, 2011 came trundling around.

Now, for only $20.00 USD, I have a way to keep that number, too!  I clicked on the “Make Permanent” link:

I was then taken to this information screen where all the caveats and conditions were set forth.  I clicked on the “Proceed” button:

Google Checkout popped up and I was asked to pay the permanency fee:

After I paid me my money down, I jumped back to the Settings area for my Google Voice phone number and discovered the expiry date for my secondary number was no longer there!

Huzzah!

Google Voice is on the cusp of genuine greatness — and it will need to get there quickly with the Evil Empire purchase of Skype.  I know Google Voice will soon become an event in which you have to pay to play, and I’ll gladly pay if the added feature sets include automated attendants and fax line capability.

I would bet that Google will allow you to have more than a primary and secondary phone number, too.  I also have a sense that you might soon be able to make that secondary phone number a fax line — there’s no such thing as a coincidence — and that will be a great advancement in the short history of Grand Central and Google Voice.

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