Using Google Voice for a small business

Just under consideration at this point, but would appreciate first hand feedback or pros/cons advice from anyone using or that has used Google Voice as the main phone number for a small business, with all calls to that number forwarded to a Verizon iPhone. (don’t know if the carrier matters, but thought I’d mention it) Haven’t used it much, but I do have the Google Voice app on my iPhone, so I’m familiar with the basic functions.

Not completely sure what the differences are between a free Google Voice number and the lowest cost business plan ($10/mo.), but as this would be fairly low volume in terms of the number of calls or messages on a daily basis, and U.S. only, it looks like the free version may be all that’s needed. And at least for now, G Suite isn’t needed, which I believe is required to use the business version of Google Voice.

Also, although the Google Voice number would likely be the one given out, porting an existing number to it is at least a possibility if anyone has also done that and can offer any advice. If porting an existing number, do you still have to pay some kind of service fee to the current provider where the number originated? (in this case, AT&T)

I did see a few reviews and blog posts about this, but not much from recently, and nothing that made me feel comfortable enough to commit without at least first checking with the combined wisdom and experience of this list :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.
Brian White

(p.s. - tried posting this via email yesterday but it never showed up, no bounce either - posting from the web site for the first time - are new TidBits Talk submissions via email still an option? searched for answer but couldn’t find it)

Email submissions have to go through a spam filter, so it was likely caught there. The most reliable approach is to post via the Web.

I have a Google Voice # that is my main work contact - I love the voice transcription and the cheap international calls etc. Having said that I discourage callers and use email where ever possible.

I use Google Fi as well, but be aware that you can’t do everything that you can on Google Voice especially forwarding Voice to Fi, so I have two Google # - the GV one which is public and the Fi one which is in caller id, people I know etc. I am happy with both services.


I signed up for a google voice number many years ago and attached my business name to it and forwarded it to my cell phone (my only phone).

When someone calls though, the caller ID shows my business name so I’m never sure who’s calling.

I don’t use it as much as I intended to.


BTW - you can change that in to show the caller’s phone number instead of your own.

I used Google Voice as my primary number for years when I lived somewhere where I:

A. Had a landline at home
B. Could not get cell phone service at home.

The benefit there was that people could call one number and it would ring both phones, or I could use it to ring just my cell phone if I was not at home so my calls wouldn’t ring at home in case my wife was home, etc.

I now use it to have a “local number” when we moved to NY because my actual cell phone number is an area code from the midwest.

I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “Google Voice Expert” but I’m probably pretty close, mostly because I don’t know that a lot of people are using it. (Which makes me fear that one day Google will just kill it off, because I can’t imagine it makes them any money.) I wrote about GV a lot for TUAW “back in the day” and even owned the domain “” because you may remember that Apple held the iOS app in review for a long time years ago.

One of the best things about GV is having the ability to segregate your work calls/texts/voicemails from your personal ones.

You can also send/read texts through the GV website, which is handy if you want to put information from there into a to-do application for followup, etc. (In the days before iMessage, this was a bigger feature than it is now.)

You also have the ability to setup a different voicemail message, and even set up a variety of options for callers who are not in your contacts, etc.

You can also make it so that callers without caller ID go directly to voicemail… Google does some spam filtering which blocks some of the “extended warranty for your car” offers, etc. And, of course, you can block callers entirely.

All in all, it’s a pretty great feature-set, and it’s free. I’m sure there are people who would never consider giving Google access to their calls/voicemails/texts but this is one area that I don’t feel strongly about.

Here’s the downside: sometimes the call quality isn’t great. Then again, that’s true of regular cell phone calls too. If you want to make calls and have your Google Voice number show up on their caller ID, you need to call through the Google Voice app, but that’s not a huge problem either. The GV app integrates with your iPhone contacts too.

I think you’d be fine with the free version.

Yes, if you port a number into or out of GV, you do end up paying a fee, but I think it’s like $10. I think Google has a “how to” for doing that.

I think this goes back to the fact that not a lot of people use it, which leads to my concerns about its longevity, but for the time being, I think it’s a great option for people who need two phone numbers for one phone.

If you want to use Google Voice with iOS’ Shortcuts, the official GV app doesn’t support Shortcuts (yet?) but ‎GV Connect does have support for x-callback-urls which you can use with Shortcuts.

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Thank you!!! I never saw that setting. I’ll go look now.


I am nothing resembling a Google Voice expert, but I am a career advertising sales expert. When it comes to online services, you don’t get your money for nothing or your phone services for free. Google is collecting data; though they claim they will not record or store the content of calls, they do know where, when, how long, what number, etc. you call and who calls you as well as location data. This is highly lucrative information feeds in to sales efforts for their ad products:

Google Voice stores, processes and maintains your call history (including calling party phone number, called party phone number, date, time and duration of call), voicemail greeting(s), voicemail messages, Short Message Service (SMS) messages, recorded conversations, and other data related to your account in order to provide the service to you.

You may delete your call history, voicemail greeting(s), voicemail messages (both audio and/or transcriptions), Short Message Service (SMS) messages, and recorded conversations through your Google Voice account, although your call history for billable calls may remain visible on your account. Some information may be retained on our active servers temporarily for billing or other business purposes, and residual copies may remain in our backup systems. Anonymized copies of call record information, with no personally identifiable information, will be retained in our systems to meet our reporting and auditing requirements."

A very interesting analysis about how Google began using voice data in the wild: