14 Jan 2013

Dentists are notorious for being cheap.  In fact, when the American Dental Association holds its convention every few years in Las Vegas, they are prohibited from holding the event over the weekend.  Since the Las Vegas convention bureau does not see dentists as heavy gamblers, they are forced to hold the convention on weekdays.  I guess the idea is the true gamblers will extend their vacation over the weekend and then Vegas can take their money.

Many dentists apply this mentality in private practice.  That is why you may hear stories about orthodontists taking off braces and then re-using them on another patient after undergoing sterilization; of course.  Also, I have heard assistants tell stories about dentists who would gently take their gloves off when leaving a patient briefly only to return and place the same used gloves back on; to be used for the same patient.

I personally do not agree with this practice clinically or personally.  Sure everyone wants to save a few bucks, but when a patient is paying $1000+ for a crown, don’t they deserve the best materials to ensure an accurate impression, comfortable retentive temporary crown and well fitting esthetic final crown?  I think so and sometimes that means paying a little extra for reliable materials and dental laboratories.

Well, I did recently succumb.  I realized I was paying a lot of money for my Vonage service just so I could keep my previous home phone number from Chicago so I don’t miss any calls.  The reality is most people have our cell phone numbers and most of the calls to the Vonage number were telemarketers.  I realized I can both keep my number AND deactivate Vonage saving about $400 year.  I was able to do this by switching to Google Voice.  Here is how I successfully transferred from Vonage to Google Voice and what the benefits have been.

1)  First you need to establish a temporary/intermediary cell phone number because Google Voice only ports cell phone numbers, which you will then lose.  This is primarily done through buying a prepaid phone which comes with a phone number assigned to it.  Make sure you do get a reputable carrier but you don’t have to spend more than about $20 for the phone and one month service.  In my case, I already use Virgin Mobile which is a “pay as you go” service.  I recently got a new phone.  So I simply got out my old phone and activated it with a new monthly plan and phone number.  The cheapest plan is $25/month.  I checked with Google Voice porting first to make sure it was a carrier that Google supported for number porting.

2)  Set up a Google Voice account and Google Wallet.  Since I already had a google account, this was easy.  The Google Wallet is used to pay the porting fee of $20 to Google.  Remember, Google Voice only ports cell phone numbers and once ported that cell phone number is lost.

3)  Contact your intermediary cell phone carrier and have them port the Vonage number to the intermediary cell phone/carrier.  In the case of Virgin Mobile, this took about 24-48 hours.  Even after the Vonage number ported, I was still able to make calls using Vonage.  I received a text from Virgin when the port was complete.

4)  At this point the port from Vonage to a cell phone carrier is complete.  So now you can contact Vonage and cancel your sevice.  Make sure you have your account number avaliable which is found on your Vonage account web page.

5)  Ok, port complete and Vonage cancelled.  Last step is to port to Google Voice which only ports mobile phone numbers.  Log on to your Google Voice account and find the area for porting and request the port.  Once you pay the fee using Google Wallet, porting will be initiated.  This took another 24-48 hours.

6)  5 days later and about $45 I successfully ported my Vonage number to Google Voice, cancel my Vonage service and dispose of the intermeidary phone/service without disrupting my existing cell phone number.

So what are some of the benefits of using Google Voice?  Well I have a $35 Virgin Mobile Pay as You go Plan.  It provides 300 minutes  voice and unlimited text and data.  Doesn’t sound like much talk time, but I have set up to the phone so all outgoing calls are dialed through Google Voice.  This uses data not minutes.  Also I was able to set up Google Voice with my cell phone number as well as my wife’s cell phone number.  I set up my contacts to divert callers for my wife so only her cell phone rings.  Callers for me only ring my cell phone.  All others ring both.  Voicemails are converted to text and emailed to me and also sent via text.  Google Voice has many more powerful features which are all free.

Feel free to contact me or comment  if you have questions on porting your Vonage phone number to Google Voice

2 Responses to Dentists are cheap…switch from Vonage to Google Voice
  1. Thank you I will be porting my vonage # to google soon and I happen to have an old VirginMobile phone laying around too!

    • Good luck staying dtchied. I had them back in the day, around the time they lost that big lawsuit. Ditched them and went to a real VOIP provider. Then they kept billing me after I cancelled, mystery reactivation excuses, etc.,. It was a lot like AOL when their dial-up business was imploding, and unsolicited AOL Signup CD’s were the most readily available drink coasters in most homes.

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