Virtual number forwarding suggestions?

I’m looking for a place to rent. I’d prefer not to give my real number to letting agencies; they can be a right pain to get rid off later. I need something cheap and simple - another uk number that will forward any calls to my real number (don’t even need to make calls from it, just receive and forward). A virtual number sounds like it might be what I’m looking for? Anyone has had any experience with them, any suggestions?

Buy a cheap pay n go phone with sim.
Leave it on silent on charge at home etc

Set up call forwarding on that phone to your number

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Skype local number can be forwarded to a mobile or answered within the App.

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Honestly, getting another device for my purposes sounds a bit wasteful and pita.

I’d rather not use apps for answering calls as they can be unreliable at times. It seems you have to pay both for a phone number and a calling plan if you want to forward calls with Skype. This is likely to cost me double compared to let’s say a basic plan in “virtuallandline.co.uk/tariffs” (which is £6 per month).

Personally i find the process of adding your contact details onto an App or a online portal to avoid giving out your contact details somewhat strange … Let’s face it how often does this information get 'mislaid/passed on) ?

If it bothers you that much, I’d buy a cheap (and small) phone with a pay as you go sim and no smart features. They can be tiny. Set up a voicemail so they can leave messages if you miss a call.

Then hide your phone number on your regular phone so you can call them and they won’t know your phone.

This to me seems like much less of a ballache of virtual numbers and all of that…

I can’t say it ever bothered me that much, didn’t seem to get many more calls once I had told them I had found property…

The easy way I do it is to have a phone that’s got a dual SIM card. That way a spare sim can be added without the need for another device.
Comes in handy when contracting, the company can give you their SIM to contact customers and vice versa.

Actually good point.

Mine has a dual SIM and I forgot about that…it comes at the expense of extra flash storage but it’s fine for me

Fair point. I’m just going by my experience. I have my number on a number of websites as is, and never noticed any sudden uptick of spam from that. Last time I was looking for a place to rent a five or so years ago and was leaving details with a couple of dozen of agencies it took forever for me to inform all of them to stop calling me.

@Serrisan I’d rather not buy another phone just to throw it out a couple of months later or keep it in a drawer for five years until the battery becomes useless. Virtual numbers seem like a pretty simple solution - go on the website, enter you card details and phone number to forward the calls to and done. The only issue I’m facing is finding one that’s not dodgy and cheap, hence this post.

@nivag Sadly, my phone only supports switching between two sims, but does not support having them both active at the same time.

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Fair enough, I always find a cheap shit phone good value for times when being nicked is a high chance (thinking of the beach, packed markets on holiday etc)

As I was typing that just thought, might there be an old device lying around you could just plug a payg SIM in? Maybe a family member has one you can borrow?

Anyway… I’ll stop badgering you on the payg solution now :smile:

@Serrisan Those sound like good use cases, though, I know I wouldn’t really use it for them or much else myself.
I used to keep the old phone whenever I changed to a new one (had a few old cheap ones), but again since I have never had any use for them, eventually I just threw them away (after confirming that they couldn’t come back alive). As for friends and family, now really isn’t the best time for visits.

Could you take the sim card out of your phone, put in the new card. Then set up the forwarding and put the old card back?

That could actually work. Looks like it depends on the network to support the forwarding feature which most do, but some of them have extra charges for that in addition to charging the standard call rate for the forwarding call.
In any case, I’ve googled up on the virtuallandline.co.uk, and it seemed legit enough. Couldn’t find anything cheaper/easier to setup, so went with them. So far so good. Received a few calls without any issues, and they send you the messages left on your voicemail via email, which works just fine for me.