Mobile

Google Voice integration renders Sprint family plans useless

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Sprint subscribers who chose to integrate their service with a Google Voice phone number may discover a higher bill this month caused by overage fees.

The overage is due to a glitch in the integration process treats the Google Voice phone number as if it’s from an outside carrier, according to Google Voice Senior Product Manager Vincent Paquet, who posted the information on the official support forum.

Sprint customers who rely on free mobile-to-mobile minutes, such as family plans, will be hit hardest. A few long conversations between family members could result in eating up lots of anytime minutes for everyone on the plan — especially if more than one person is using the Google Voice phone number instead of their original Sprint number.

Customers who chose to use their original Sprint phone number as their Google Voice number won’t have this problem, but those who are seeing higher bills and want to switch back to their Sprint number may run into more problems than they fix.

As we reported days after Sprint launched the option to integrate with Google Voice, there is a plethora of  problems being reported by Sprint subscribers that include losing voice call functionality, security breaches and yes, overage charges. Based on customer discussions in the support forums on both the Sprint and Google side, it appears that the only customers affected are those who altered the phone number used for Google Voice.

So, for Sprint subscribers who bravely plan to integrating with Google Voice despite the large number of documented problems, using the Sprint phone number seems to be least problematic option.

Paquet, who was interviewed by CNET about Google Voice integration issues, indicates that most of the problemshave to be fixed on the Sprint side since Google doesn’t have access to investigate in many cases.

Paquet declined to comment on whether Google Voice integration would happen on other carriers. But, if AT&T or Verizon are in discussions to add the feature, hopefully they are taking notes to avoid the complications Sprint is experiencing.

[via ZDnet]

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