Most flexible virtual phone system?

Here’s our current situation: our business phone number is my cell #. Always has been, ever since 2008 or so, when I first got a cell. I don’t want to change the business number, but I don’t want to keep dealing with all the calls myself, either. Brittany would like to start dealing with sales calls when she’s not in the field with me.

Our carrier offers two call forwarding options: [B]immediate forwarding[/B], where nothing would ring to my phone, or [B]no answer forwarding[/B], where it would get forwarded to another number after 4 or 6 rings.

So I could choose to forward my calls to a virtual system, where the calls could be handled in a mobile or desktop app. If I used immediate forwarding, I wouldn’t get any calls on my phone, including those from friends (not a bad thing, during the workday ;)). If I decided to to use the no answer forwarding, I could screen my calls for ones I want to answer, but those callers I don’t answer will be listening to a minimum of 5 rings before they get a live person, and could be listening to 8-12 rings before they get to voicemail (if Brittany isn’t able to answer it, either).

Alternatively, I could port my current phone number into a virtual system, and get a new number for my cell. This is really my last resort, as my last experience with porting a number wasn’t that smooth, and I’m a bit leery of putting my beloved number in the hands of a cloud-based system. On the other hand, it may work out for the best in the end.

So what would you all do in this situation? What software would you recommend to fit our needs?

Check out Ooma

been using it for a couple years and it’s great and cheap and depending on what you need it could be free.

IMO you need to stop using your personal number for your business. It will only get worse as you grow plus.

I use, I have my business line as a contract on my cell, so the caller id comes up as my business. I pre pay for the year, so it ends up being $150.00 for the year. Unlimited text and minutes. I’ve had this for about 4 years or so.

Boston Window & Blind cleaning

I took a look at Ooma after reading an old post from you about it. The reviews on the app store are kind of discouraging.

I agree that having my personal number on the business isn’t ideal. I’m really not fond of the idea of porting the number out to a different service/provider, though. But if we’re going to make a change, this is the best time of the year for it…
[MENTION=37448]wps[/MENTION], could you please tell me more about how you’re using line2, and what you mean by “have my business line as a contract on my cell”?

(Contract was supposed to be contact), So basically when a customer calls, line 2 forwards the call to what ever number I want, usually my cell. On my cell I set up a contact (my business), so when the number forwards to my cell it show up as (my business), now I know that I need to be professional when I answer. There is also an app that you can install on your phone. There are a lot of options that you can set, like the press 1 for this, press 2 for that. It’s the same thing as or ring central (I’ve used both of those and like line 2 the best). I use this for an 800 number.

Boston Window & Blind cleaning

Ok, so we’ve settled on using [B]no answer forwarding[/B] for now, in tandem with a yet-to-be-determined virtual system. I just had the number of rings reduced before it forwards, so people won’t wait as long to get through to my wife. But I’ll still be able to catch calls from those in my contacts that I have a unique ringtone set for.

So my next question: which system out there has the best features and reliability for our situation? We’ll want something that can ring on both my wife’s computer and her smartphone, and will have its own voicemail box. Extensions won’t really be necessary for our situation.

you might look into this as well

VoiceNation | Smart Voicemail | Virtual PBX | Live Answering

Glad you put this up. Im facing the same issues right now. Currently until I make a decision, I have 2 different phones. (I keep forgetting I have a business phone again…I got used to enjoying not getting any phone calls in my 2 years off). With my old business I always had both numbers on same phone. It’s all so annoying.

Google Voice has some neat feature too, maybe not quite what you are looking for…not sure. I wanted to get a 2nd # for my new phone, so I just ported my old one to GV and had them forward that to my new cell. Both are set up with Google Voice for voicemails (I get a transcription of the message texted to me). No monthly charge. I can track which number my clients called me on.

Yeah I love my google voice

** Belief Systems Are Fragile Things. How Will You React When Your Reality Suddenly Ceases To Exist?
Cleaning Windows is Just MyJob, Not My Life…
~ Pompous Basterd

Any of you who use or have used google voice: Do you have your business # ported and then have an additional personal cell # attached as well? Ive always wanted to switch over, but the internet makes everything seem so risky. This business has had the same # for 35 years. I wouldn’t want to have issues with the number since everyone knows it. Has anyone faced any issues with google voice that would be good to know about? What do you like most about it?

I thing I see your delema (as I sit here in the fog).
Yep… Foggy and rainy today . Just a outdoor update for all you weather pronagasters.
Where was I ???
I see where google is porting mobile phone#s
Since your number is 35 years old porting would take waaaaay to much phone line . And I relate to the attachment your biz has with this old number.
The goog may not work the way you need/wish it would.
Just heard in the radio a commercial for grasshopper phone service.
Don’t use it though…

** Belief Systems Are Fragile Things. How Will You React When Your Reality Suddenly Ceases To Exist?
Cleaning Windows is Just MyJob, Not My Life…
~ Pompous Basterd

Alex - we went through the same thing last year. We ended up going with Ring Central. It has worked pretty well for us. Our main business number was a cell number. We had that ported to Ring Central and then Verizon had to assign a new number for our cell. It was not a real fun process but it all worked out.

Ring Central has a lot of features and has met all of our needs. They just came out with a desktop app that lets you send texts from your desktop. This has been great for our office person. It also integrates with gmail now so you can call or text people directly within gmail. The ring central app on your smart phone lets you send texts or calls from your phone using the business number instead of your personal cell number.

I use Grasshopper for a lot of what’s been mentioned in this thread. Check them out. They are a little simpler than Ring Central or Virtual PBX or other similar providers.

I am gonna give ring central a try going to be porting my cell phone number to them and getting a new personal number. I will update this thread on how everything is going.

Michael and Casey,

We are currently using Nextiva for our voip phone system and would like to move to something that works. :slight_smile:
One of the things they advertised was an iPhone app that would ring at the same time as the phone in the office. Me and my son are not in the office most of the time so we would like our cell phones to ring also when the call comes into the office. At the very least the system should be able to forward the call to one or both of our cell phones if the office phone is not answered in a specific number of rings.

This never seems to work reliably on Nextiva. Do Ring Central or Grasshopper have these options and do they actually work? If they have an iPhone app does it work reliably? We were told by Nextiva support that their iPhone app was basically a demo and they would not recommend using it (after we were already on the system, of course).

It is difficult to find reviews of these services that are not written by lead generation companies.