Sorry for the crosspost ... this is a reply in another thread that was mostly about issues integrating plans with corporate discounts. Crossposting here because I would like to see some comment on this specific issue:
As you know, GV integation has 2 options. The 1st is to use your Sprint # as your GV number, replacing any exsiting GV number on your Google account (which you may have had for a long time!). Option #2 is to use your existing Google Voice number as your integrated number on your Sprint phone, which is what I did. Let me now describe the behavior I [and others like me] are seeing:
* I purchased 2 new Google Nexus S phones with 2 brand new activations on Sprint this past weekend. 2 new Sprint numbers - no porting. The phones are on the same family plan. Let's call them Phone 1 and Phone 2.
* For Phone 1, I chose the Option #2 Google Voice integration, which is to use the existing GV # for integration. Phone 2 has not integrated with GV in any way.
* Starting today (the first non-weekend day since activation), all of my calls from Phone 1 to Phone 2 are resulting in usage minutes being charged, at least according to the on-line and *4 trackers. That's right. I AM BEING CHARGED FOR MOBILE-TO-MOBILE CALLS EVEN ON THE SAME FAMILY PLAN!!! I place the call from one Google branded Sprint phone to another Google branded Sprint phone ON THE SAME FAMILY PLAN and am seeing it eat away at my minutes. The usage is being seen against Phone #2 because it is seeing Phone #1 as a Landline, not a mobile. But it IS a mobile ... a Google branded Sprint mobile!!
Google Voice numbers are considered landlines in thet national number databases. This is how it will work because of the way Google Voice numbers are listed in that database.
Sprint simply pulls the national database to find if a number is a landline or mobile and marks usage using that. As far as that database is concerned the Google Voice number is a landline, regardless what phone is ringing or where it is in the world.
If you use your Sprint number as your Google voice number this will not happen because the number being used is a mobile number in the national database. Using your Google Voice number as the integrated number on your phone does not change the fact that the Google Voice number is a registered landline number.
I understand perfectly the TECHNICAL reasons why this is happening. The whole point is that it should not be happening. After all, these are calls made from one Sprint handset to another Sprint handset! You can't get more mobile-to-mobile on Sprint than that. Again, I understand the technical reasons this is happening, but it is not like I added some non-supported, 3rd party application to my phone to let me dial other phones through Google voice and am then saying these should be treated as mobile calls. Sprint and Google are officially integrating Google Voice. Your company is officially offering this. The outbound reported number from my Sprint MOBILE phone is now my Google Voice # ... officially integrated, blessed, and suported by Sprint. No matter the technical reason, Sprint can't now turn around and say that this is a call from a Landline ... when Sprint is the very company who officially supported/sanctioned/blessed the integration of GV onto my MOBILE phone to start with.
Google Voice/Sprint integration is still being worked out. It is the first time that this has been attempted by Google and a Carrier worldwide, there are going to be issues. It seems most people seem to forget that. Unfortunately at this point I doubt this issue is something Sprint can fix directly because it is how Google has the numbers setup. I would recommend posting on the Google forums if you haven't already because their end is where the number is listed as a landline.
The GV integration team at Sprint already knows about the issues being reported. It may get fixed if it is possible, or it may be a limitation due to the way number licensing has to be done through the FCC, etc. I don't know, and its probably going to take a bit to find out. The GV integration itself still isn't available to a lot of customers due to other issues so I don't even know if this is going to be high on the list of things to work on, I don't have access to that information.
Thanks for the reply, halcyoncmdr134. My reply wasn't to personally bash you ... just to point out that Sprint can't officially allow an option for essentially having GV take over my phone (as far as #, etc., go) and then also say it's a landline. An intermediate fix would be for Sprint to treat any & all calls to/from GV as a mobile call until this can be sorted out. This wouldn't help for calls made to other mobile carriers ... but it would be a start. The final solution would need to be the flagging of these integrated numbers as mobile numbers in the national database. [Almost like an out port of a Google # to Sprint ... but have Google mark the number themselves, somehow?]
Thanks for the response. I hope this and other issues get cleared up soon.
I haven't integrated yet (not sure if I will), but I have read about people experiencing problems like this, where calls that were free before started using up minutes. I also hope this does get fixed. I'm aware that Sprint is like the guinea pig here, testing out a tighter integration with Google Voice before any other major US carrier. However, I think that Sprint has advertised that things like free mobile-to-mobile calling would work after integration *without* specifying that it's currently only if you use your Sprint number for integration (option #1). At the very least, that can be clarified to avoid future confusion. Hopefully any and all issues with the GV/Sprint integration will be worked out eventually, and that both companies will keep us informed on what's happening, when, and what changes when things do happen. Thanks for the info.
Yes, it has been confirmed that although Google Voice outgoing calls are charged as Any Mobile minutes and are free, incoming calls from a Google Voice Sprint phone are NOT considered Any Mobile and are charged against your Anytime Minutes. Sprint has stated that they do not have any fix for this issue at this time. See: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/voice/thread?fid=2562773645cde8a60004a37cbfad62b4&hl=en
It sounds like Sprint and Google are aware of the problem then, and that part is good. They don't have a fix right now though, and that's bad. But are they at least working on a fix? If they're offering us the choice of using either our Sprint or our Google Voice numbers to integrate the two services, both options should work the same way. It doesn't seem fair that one way (option 1, Sprint number) preserves free mobile-to-mobile calling for both parties on a call, but the other (option 2, GV number) only preserves it on outgoing calls and not incoming calls. If they're not working on a fix for this already, they should be.
I'm sorry to disappoint but I'm told that there are no plans to change this for option 2. The Google Voice number is not a mobile number and is relegated to landline rating rules. This is a reason to leverage the Sprint wireless number as your primary number (option 1).
That's bad, and I hope Sprint/Google will reconsider this, because as it is, you offer one thing -- integration -- that works two different ways depending on the option you pick. That's confusing at the least, and the companies need to clear this up everywhere its discussed. I'm pretty sure there were statements that Any Mobile Any Time would work the same after integration as before, and that's not true if you use your GV number (option 2). This definitely needs official clarification where everyone can see it, or else I think you're going to have a lot more upset customers like the ones posting here already. Maybe Google needs to work on reclassifying GV numbers for Sprint customers eligible for integration as mobile numbers. I don't know. But I do think something needs to be done to reconcile this. Bringing two services together as one and continuing to have them work differently seems counter to the whole idea of integration.
As for which number to use, my Sprint number is not memorable. I've had it for years and still forget it because I don't use it much. On the other hand, my GV number is easily memorized because I was able to select it. I've had it for less time and it gets less use than my Sprint number, but I remember it. My wife can't remember my Sprint number, but can remember my GV number. Using my Sprint number with GV will eventually result in the loss of my carefully selected, easily memorized GV number, and I'm not willing to do that. If I can't integrate using my GV number and get the same service as people who integrate with their Sprint number, then I don't think I'm going to integrate. Sorry, but you (Sprint and Google) need to work on this more.
I have to say that this is a pretty disappointing answer, and is obviously not what people were expecting by choosing to integrate with Option 2. "Sorry folks, but that's the way it is, so deal with it" is essentially what you're saying here. If this is "expected behavior" then Sprint NEEDS to be proactive, and inform people of this. I personally have no desire to use my Sprint number as my GV number, however I do have a need to integrate my GV number to my Sprint phone.
Let's, at least, be proactive and get this information out there before users start incurring huge overage fees, after integrating with Option 2. That's the right thing to do, anyway.