(Google Voice) Account Suspended – Reclaiming your Number and your Dignity; a How-To Guide

This was posted by user outerepic on Reddit’s Google Voice sub, however the moderator of that sub (who in my opinion is one of the worst moderators on Reddit, and that’s saying a lot given that so many Reddit moderators seem to want to be petite dictators) immediately blocked the post, citing a “Rule 5” which is not displayed anywhere, at least not in the Firefox browser running on a desktop computer. Yet these tips could prove very useful if you ever find your Google Voice account suspended. I am NOT the original author of this post; if you have questions you can send a private message to the author on Reddit (just not in the Google Voice sub):

TLDR; it took me 10 weeks to go from GV service suspension to successful port out, here’s what I had to do: 10 appeals, 1 FCC complaint, 1 BBB complaint, 30 emails with GV support, do not lose faith!!

Hi all,

I would like to share my experience with Google Voice as a warning to others and hopefully provide some useful information if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation. I ported my personal number I have had for 10+ years with Verizon to GV around August 2023 and used it for months without any issues to receive OTPs and call/text friends and family in the US.

Near the end of April 2024, my GV service stopped working immediately after I sent a two sentence text to a relative sharing about my weekend and upcoming summer plans. A few google searches led me to reddit and google support posts of people getting blocked for similarly mundane reasons likely due to an aggressive spam filter. I logged into GV on my desktop the next day to see that my service had indeed been suspended. What ensued was an exhausting and arduous process to get my number back, including over 30 emails with GV support, one long support chat with them, detailed FCC and BBB complaints with back-and-forth from Google, and an official number port out request from a different VoIP service.

This process was time consuming, repetitive, and there were several online accounts/services I was unable to access throughout due to not having a number to receive OTPs. Eventually, I received an email out of the blue from Google with no explanation stating that my number port was successful.

If you find your GV number blocked and you would like to port it to a different service I would recommend these steps:

  • As soon as your service is suspended, file an appeal with the link provided. This will go to the Accounts Management Team who will never contact you to provide updates or give you any information whatsoever.
  • Email Google Voice Support to tell them you have filed an appeal and request that they notify you immediately when a decision is reached (this took about 2 weeks in my case).
  • Wait to hear back if your account is reinstated or if the suspension is upheld. If it is reinstated, great! You can now login and unlock your number to be ported out. If not, well then continue reading
  • Identify an alternative VoIP service and request an official number port. Zoom Phone provided me with a “Letter of Agency” declaring my intent to port.
  • Submit an FCC complaint and include documentation of your Google appeal submission, service denial, attempt to port, and Letter of Agency. Google legally has to respond to this within 30 days. The response they sent me was a boilerplate document telling me to submit an appeal…after I had already sent 10 in and included this information in my original complaint…I had to reply to this to reiterate my position and the FCC gave Google 14 days to respond. My account was restored before this deadline.
  • Submit a BBB complaint with all of the above. Google similarly issued a standard reply telling me to submit an appeal…to which I responded as above. My account was restored before hearing back.

I am not sure if my FCC complaint, BBB complaint, or persistent emailing to Google Voice Support stating that they had a legal obligation to respect consumer number port requests got my account reinstated so I could unlock my number, but after 10 weeks of frustration it really didn’t matter. I saved all of my email communication to and from Google and submitted them as a pdf to bolster my complaint submissions.

I hope someone finds this useful. Thanks for reading 🙂

Resources below –

“Commission rules require carriers to port a number when they receive a valid request, and carriers may not refuse to port.” per the FCC website https://www.fcc.gov/general/wireless-local-number-portability-wlnp

To submit an FCC complaint – https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

To submit a BBB complaint – https://www.bbb.org/file-a-complaint

Google Voice Acceptable Use Policy – https://support.google.com/voice/answer/9230450 (you will be told to review this countless times)

Information needed for a port request, from a Google Support forum –

“The only two pieces of information the new carrier needs to submit to Google in their Letter of Authorization (LOA) on your behalf are your 10-digit Google Voice telephone number, with no spaces or dashes, as the account number, and your Google Voice voicemail PIN for the PIN. If they insist on entering a street address, you can give them Google’s main address: 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043”

To check if Google still has your number, from a Google Support forum –

“You can look up the number here: https://freecarrierlookup.com/ If the carrier listed looks like this: BANDWIDTH.COM-NSR-10X/1 then Google still holds the number. If it says anything else, then they don’t.“

I would only point out that the final paragraph may be partially incorrect because Google Voice has been known to use providers other than Bandwidth.Com in certain parts of the country. Whether that’s still the case I don’t know, but just because it doesn’t say Bandwidth.Com something doesn’t mean that the number can’t possibly still be held by Google. It would be best to do that lookup before you begin the porting process and note what it says, then after you start the porting process keep looking to see if it changes to something else. Also, it is remotely possible that whatever company you’re trying to port the number to may also be using Bandwidth.Com as a provider.

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