Google Voice, Skype, & the two ring problem

I have been a satisfied Google Voice user for about 6 months now.  If you're unfamiliar, GV is a service which (among many other features) allows you to have a single phone number that when called rings multiple phones.  So, when someone calls my GV number, it rings my mobile, my Skype, & my Gmail.

I love the service, but a problem had been plaguing me until recently.  The problem was that when someone called my GV number, my mobile phone would only ring twice before hanging up.  I'm fairly quick to pick up the phone, but two rings is ridiculous!  I was missing a lot of calls on my mobile, but it didn't happen all the time.  After Googling for a while, I determined that it was likely a result of my Skype voicemail picking up the call before I had a chance.  So, I began looking through my Skype voicemail options.  To make a long story short, Skype has nice voicemail & call forwarding options with one huge caveat: When you're logged out of Skype, voicemail is ALWAYS turned on.  Not only that, but it doesn't wait to pick up.  So, anytime someone called my GV number when my computer was off, Skype voicemail would pick up almost instantly, and I would miss the call on my mobile.

I tried a variety of things to correct this using Skype's options, but nothing helped.  I tried increasing voicemail delay, disabling voicemail, turning on call forwarding, etc.  The root problem is that, when you're logged out of Skype, voicemail is always enabled and will always pick up instantly.  So, my only option was to try correcting the problem using GV settings.  The best solution I have found is using a custom ring schedule.  Basically, I have set up my GV account to ring my Skype number only during business hours (when I'm at my computer).  Otherwise, it will just ring my mobile.

If you're unfamiliar, here's how you do it.  Open your GV account & navigate to the settings.  Under the phone tab, locate your Skype number and select Edit.  Click the Advanced Settings button and locate the Ring Schedule section.  Then, simply configure the schedule to ring Skype only when you know your computer will be on.

So, it's not a perfect solution, but I hope this will save someone frustration with what is otherwise a great service.


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