Looking for a Google Voice Alternative

I don’t trust cellular carries to deliver all of my calls. I used to, but I don’t any more.

It started when my wife began reporting that I wasn’t answering my calls. Strange. I always answered her calls asap and my phone wasn’t showing any missed calls. I figured it was a temporary glitch and we went on about our lives. But then it happened again and again and again.

I looked at my phone – no missed calls. I looked at her phone – sure enough there was an outgoing call to my phone. Now I was getting concerned. It seemed some calls were never reaching me. I did some research and found that under limited circumstances a missed call might not be recorded in one’s phone log (or on in one’s call logs on the provider’s websites).

I have used Google Voice for years and I thought about making it my main number but I’m kind of disappointed with some of the features (or lack thereof) in Google’s offering. So I’m wondering – do you use a phone service that you trust? I’m particularly looking for the following features:

  1. Missed calls are always logged, no exceptions.
  2. Robust call history interface.
  3. Runs as an app on my smartphone, web.
  4. Provides transcribed voicemails.
  5. Records high quality vm greeting messages.
  6. Allows one to adjust the number of rings before voicemail is triggered.
  7. Is trustworthy and reliable.
  8. Does frequent updates but practices best practices to avoid service outages or other failures.
  9. Ability to make/receive calls.
  10. Ability to make/receive sms.

It seems part of the problem may be that I was working out of my basement for a while – which has very low cell signal. Yes, I had Wi-Fi and my phone was enabled for Wireless Calling but I suspect this may have been part of the problem…it certainly didn’t help with the missed calls.

I hypothesize the issue is something like this:

Caller –> Cellular Provider –> Attempt Cellular Connection –> Fails, Attempt Wi-Fi Connection –> Fails –> Phone Call Terminates –> No call in phone log.

Whereas the normal stream of events might be something like:

Caller –> Cellular Provider –> Attempt Cellular Connection –> Fails, Send to Voicemail –> Phone Call Terminations –> Call in phone log.

The way I think it should work looks something like:

Caller –> Cellular Provider –> Add Call to Call Log –> Called (/Voicemail/Wi-Fi/Failed).

Thoughts? Suggestions?

A few promising options I’m considering (but need to dig deeper on): dialpad, mightycall, grasshopper

I checked out Guru99’s top recommendations, a few of their options had some interesting features I’d like but aren’t critical.

  • Send faxes (receive them would be cool too) – Grasshopper, Dingtone, Ooma

It would be great if there was also an option to have folks select 0 for regular and 1 for urgent phone calls…this could be achieved using an automated attendant.

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