Thinking of getting a Google Voice toll-free number? Or porting your current toll-free phone number to a Google Voice account? The simple answer is that you can’t. There are no Google Voice toll-free numbers. The service doesn’t offer popular toll-free area codes including 888 or 855.
Toll-free numbers are important for a business. You can use them for customer support and in your marketing campaigns. But Google Voice doesn’t offer toll-free numbers either with their free plans or paid plans.
The lack of toll-free numbers isn’t the only thing encouraging businesses to look for Google Voice alternatives. It’s a limited VoIP service that’s aimed at ordinary users and not businesses. Here are the key disadvantages of Google Voice:
While the personal version of Google Voice is free, it lacks advanced, business-first features and isn’t a practical, day-to-day solution for businesses. You can’t sign up without an existing US phone number. You also can’t set up your business hours or have multiple numbers.
If you need even basic business features, you have to pay for Google Workspace. That starts at $6 per user per month. Then you have to pay an additional $10 for the commercial service of Google Voice. In total, you’ll be spending $16 per user per month for a limited set of features.
Google Voice works well with other apps in the Google ecosystem. If you use Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Drive, Gmail or other apps from Google, you can easily integrate them with Google Voice. But the service doesn’t let you access other popular apps.
If you use a project management or CRM app, this will be a problem for you. Whether it’s Salesforce or Zapier, you’ll lose out on the benefits of integrating them with your phone system. Productivity and collaboration could suffer without those integrations.
A good business phone system should make it easy to track and manage all your communication. But Google Voice doesn’t let you do this. There’s no user-friendly way to collate or share communication. That’s bad news for teamwork and collaboration.
For example, voicemails and text messages are stored in different inboxes. It’s difficult to share them between teams. Your team members won’t be able to review communications with one another before sending them out. This will hurt productivity and lead to needless back and forth between users.
At Chalkboard, we staunchly believe that automation can be a small business’s best friend. That’s why we automate review requests and provide enhanced chat. By smartly automating routine chores, businesses can save time, effort and expenses, and focus on more important tasks.
But other than a basic auto-attendant, there’s no automation with Google Voice. You have to do pretty much everything else manually.
Since it’s primarily designed for ordinary users, Google Voice has stringent limits on its texting capacity. If your message has more than 160 characters, it will be sent as multiple messages. Importantly, you can only send texts to a maximum of five recipients.
If you send mass texts through Google Voice, they will be marked as spam and your account will be blocked. If you send multiple texts in a short span, Google might restrict you from texting. You also can’t include URL links in your messages.
While Google Voice allows number porting, considering the disadvantages, you might want to move to a feature-rich phone system like Chalkboard.
The process of porting your number to Chalkboard is different for the US and UK subscribers. You would need a letter of authorisation in both instances. US subscribers can start here and those in the UK can begin the process here.
No toll-free numbers. No way to send bulk texts. No advanced business features. No wonder then that small business owners and startups are shifting to Chalkboard, the Google Voice alternative made for them. Chalkboard gives you:
A second number for work-related calls and messages
A true VoIP service that saves you money and improves connectivity
The freedom to choose a local phone number
Contact organisation to separate work and personal contacts
Group texting with no limits
Advanced chat for conversational marketing
Number sharing for greater collaboration between team members
Auto-reply to respond to calls you can’t answer
Automated review aggregation to build your online reputation
Highly affordable plans with a free trial
If you’re a business owner or startup leader, download Chalkboard today and start your free trial. With minimum effort from you, it will maximise your productivity.
While Google Voice has its advantages, it's time to consider some better alternatives if you run a small business or are a freelancer