After experiencing a Verizon Network outage and chatting with an agent (Chloyd) over wifi who was determined to go through troubleshooting steps for all our 5 of our family's phones.........my wife finally gets another agent who actually listened and confirmed the Verizon outage. It was suggested we go to wifi calling on our devices until the issue is resolved.
Problem: Verizon won't let us do wifi calling unless we are connected to their network......so with the network down.................
Hello, TincanJoey. I know how practical it is to be able to use Wi-Fi calling in a bind, when you need to be able to make a call. I know you were going through an outage, did you have the Wi-Fi calling enabled before the outage?
Verizon only allows wifi calling on phones purchased directly from them. Any other phone on the account can get VoLTE at best. They made me switch from prepaid to post paid just to get this "feature" on my phone which resolved my issue but they won't enable wifi calling at all even with a post paid account unless the phone is directly from Verizon. I get a good 4G signal at my house so it doesn't really cause me many issues but I also have a Google Voice number that I forward my phone to anyways for the free transcripted visual voicemails but I can also use it as a second number as if my cell phone were two phones in one. Google voice will work over internet or 4G so like if I'm at my brother's (who has poor 4G reception) I can still receive voicemails from my main line and I can call and receive calls from my GV phone line. You could even set it up so your number is forwarded to GV but then allow it to ring so you can pick up the call through GV. That's the only way you going to get wifi calling with an unlocked phone. If all your phones are from Verizon and you are a post paid account there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to immediately enable it through the phone itself unless it isn't capable of doing it. Verizon will not enable wifi calling with unlocked phones period. You have to purchase the phone directly from Verizon to have this "feature". Unless you're ready to switch out all the unlocked phones and add to the price of your monthly bill, or change to a provider like T-mobile, in my experience has terrible service in general but will allow wifi calling on all unlocked phones they don't have the same restrictions that Verizon and AT&T do, using Google Voice is a great way around the restriction on using the internet to make or receive phone calls and text messages. Plus it has built in transcripted visual voicemail for free so that's a nice thing to use even if you don't really use the number itself. You can actually forward your line to Google and it recognizes it's your own cell phone and will send directly to voicemail. This is a feature you actually have to turn off if you want it to ring through Google voice and be able to pick up through it's services using the internet. Also only forwarding your line is allowed on post paid accounts so this won't work if you have a prepaid account. If you're prepaid you only have standard VM as an option but it sounds like you have a post paid account so you could set up GV to handle your voicemails for free (visual voicemail with Verizon is like $3 or $4 a month per line) and get internet calling all at the same time. I'm mostly using it for the free transcripted visual voicemails but also like that I have a second number I can use to give out to people/businesses instead of my main number and it will call me just the same. If you go this route you don't have to accept the first number GV offers you. You can keep rejecting them until one pops up thay you like. Some people even end up porting their line to Google (at a $10 charge) and use it directly for everything and get another number assigned to them from Verizon. With Google voice you can check your voicemails from any internet device and even receive and make calls/texts from those devices. I choose to keep them separate but I'm finding myself handing out my GV number often when I want to separate things like friends and business related matters. Which line is coming in I know if it's important or not. Or also you can use the additional line for places or people you don't really want them to have your main number. However you want to set it up it will solve your wifi calling issue if you do have a bunch of unlocked phones (they absolutely will not enable this and are mostly ignorant of Verizon's hostile policy towards phones not purchased directly from them) and get free transcripted visual voicemail too. I actually use it mostly for this purpose the free visual voicemail but could adjust a setting in with Google Voice so my own phone will ring on my GV line. Right now it directly sends it to voicemail but if I couldn't get reception at home I would simply change a setting so GV would ring my own line so I would have a chance to pick it up through GV and use the internet to receive phone calls but in reality my 4G is more reliable than my internet is so I'm not using it for that purpose but know I could if I had to. You would still have to call out on the GV line if no wifi calling can be enabled which is why some people end up porting their phone number to Google so they can call out on GV with their original number. Hope these suggestions helped.
Thanks for letting me know, Tincan. You must make sure you activate WiFi Calling in a Verizon Network in order for it to work when there is an outage. You can review the FAQ's here: https://www.verizon.com/support/wifi-calling-faqs/ Once it is activated then it will work when there is a network issue. Does this provide clarity? -Amber