Voice FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about our Voice solution and its packages.

Gillian Hyde avatar
Written by Gillian Hyde
Updated this week

Frequently Asked Questions about our Voice solution and its packages. If you don't yet have the feature, you can visit our Voice Landing Page to learn more and sign up!


Frequently Asked Questions


Onboarding

Will I need special training?

No, our voice solution is designed to be as easy to use as possible. We are confident that you will find it easy to use and intuitive. We have help articles with videos and screenshots that will walk you through step by step.

What if help is needed?

Friendly support agents are available to help Housecall Pro In addition, the online Help Center is always available.

Is this an answering service / virtual assistant?

No, Voice is a phone system that allows you to take and make calls over your web browser but we do offer these services with HCP Assist - click here to learn more!

What type of equipment do I need to use VoIP?

You need audio and microphone capabilities on your computer. Simple headphones or even a computer speaker should work. Although, we do recommend using a headset for the highest audio quality. We have a help article of recommendations for our Pro: Hardware & Browser Recommendations for Voice Solution | Housecall Pro Help Center.

Does this solution work with an iPad?

Unfortunately, not well. It is incredibly challenging to answer calls on the smaller screen and the connection is not good. We highly recommend you do not use the mobile web version of VoIP to take calls. However, in the future, we will have a mobile VoIP solution.

Do we allow for data import of call data from a previous phone system?

No, we do not offer this feature today. Many of our voice competitors don’t offer this solution because of legal concerns with call recording and personal customer data. We will look into this in the future but we don’t offer anything today.

Can I keep my current phone system and also sign up for Voice?

You can definitely continue to use your current system alongside with Voice. You can forward your calls from your current system to Housecall Pro. This will allow you to still get the benefits of using our integrated solution.

What if I have issues along the way?

If at any point you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out by messaging us in the blue help bubble. Someone on our team will be quick to get you assistance!


Porting

What does porting mean?

Porting is the process to get your phone number from your existing carrier into HCP and to our carrier. We have built our solution on Twilio so you would be porting your number from your carrier to Twilio. We will work with the Pro so that all of the work is managed behind the scenes between HCP, Twilio, and your carrier.

Should I keep my existing carrier? When should I cancel my other service?

If you are porting, please make sure you keep your current carrier until you have successfully ported into Housecall Pro.

In particular, if you are coming from Service Titan, we’ve had issues with them in the past. They seem to have a rigid policy of releasing your number the day your service ends and will not hold it until you port into your new carrier is complete. Some carriers (like Housecall Pro) have more flexible policies for maintaining your number a certain number of days past cancellation. Even so, we advise you to wait and cancel until after your port is complete to avoid losing your business line.

How long does porting typically take? Does it take longer with multiple lines?

1-3 weeks. Porting for multiple numbers generally takes longer but that is just because each one has to be coordinated.

How does the porting out process work, and how long does it take?

Porting out has to be initiated by the new carrier but the process would be similar, just facilitated by that other carrier.

Port out is likely the same cadence 1-3 weeks since you are porting out to another carrier and I can’t really speak to what the other carriers say.

You may need additional information in order to initiate the process with their new carrier. If that’s the case, have them reach out to the voice frontline team channel and we can get their account number and pin from Twilio.

Can I get credit for my plan during the porting process?

When the porting process takes too long, we will automatically credit you so you can use that credit towards their next bill. This is calculated based on your start date of when you submit your porting paperwork. Please note that credits will be given on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions, please reach out to the porting team via the blue chat bubble.

Can you port over a number with Call Tracking only?

No, porting is a feature that is specific to VoIP. This will allow you to port over your business line for VoIP. You can also port over call tracking numbers but that is exclusive to the VoIP add-on.

Do I have to port my number during setup or will I still have the option to do it later?

No, you can purchase a number to start and wait on the porting process. If you choose to port later on, please submit your paperwork to porting@housecallpro.com.

What happens if I purchase a business line and then wants to port over my number?

They will need to submit this form to porting@housecallpro.com or they can chat into the blue chat bubble to get the form and process started.

If I have VoIP and am porting over my number, when does the dialer show up?

It will show up when the porting process is complete!

If I port over their cell phone number, can I still use it as their personal line as well?

If you port over your number then you can no longer use it on the existing carrier so you wouldn’t be able to use it as the personal cell anymore. If you port over that number then you would need to get a new personal line.

What if the business changes hands and we need to update the phone number?

As an example, I started with HCP and purchased a number, sells the business and now the new owner has a different number they want to use. You can port over a different phone number that you want to use for their business and change over to that new number if needed.

What happens if I have two business lines?

If you are using our VoIP solution, you will have the ability to port over both of those numbers. You can choose one of them to serve as your main business line for outbound calls and then use the other one as a call tracking number that forwards to your main business line.

I want to test the Voice system while waiting for my port request to complete. Is there a way I can do this?

Yes, you can go through the onboarding flow and purchase a new business line, then send the port documents (LOA, phone bill, CSR) to porting@housecallpro.com.

What happens if I port over a fax number?

When the numbers are transferred over, they are used for Voice and SMS so they will lose the fax functionality.

Is there any way we could make sure a port is done on a specific day?

No, there’s not a way to guarantee a specific port date. However, if their current carrier is also Twilio, then we will have some control over that date.

Can an 800 number be ported over?

No, we currently only offer non-toll free numbers unfortunately. We will explore that in the future.

Can I port out my number regardless of whether I have VoIP or Call Tracking?

Yes, you own those numbers and can work with your new carrier to get those numbers transferred over. Please note, you are not allowed to port away your custom SMS number right now.

My number has been transferred over but I am still getting calls and/or text messages on my previous carrier, how do I fix this?

This likely means that the losing carrier hadn’t completed everything on their side to relinquish ownership to us and Twilio. Please have them confirm with their old carrier that everything was updated correctly. If there is still an issue, then reach out to the frontline channel and we can escalate to Twilio.

For the letter of authorization, whose name are you looking for? Does it need to be one of the owners' names or the admin on our current plan?

It should be the authorized Pro on the account so the owner of the phone account of their current carrier.

Can I speed up the porting process?

Unfortunately, no. We have little control over the carriers, Twilio and your current carrier. We can reach out to Twilio to expedite the process but we suggest that they reach out to your current carrier to inform them of the port request and ask them to speed up the process on their side.

I am getting a Letter of Authorization is invalid error. What is going on?

This is due to the file not being a PDF. Please make sure you are uploading a PDF file, otherwise it will not work.


Phone Number Verification Process

How does the verify your identity process work?

Once you purchase a number, you will be prompted to submit your information. Once you have submitted your information then we will send it to Twilio and they will approve it.

How long does the Shaken/Stir and CNAM verification process take?

It should take anywhere between 24-48 hours to be verified. Once it is approved, it will take time for it to get updated across carriers. Unfortunately, this is a slow process and we can't control how fast the carrier gets everything updated. To be clear, it may take weeks to get the National registry updated.

What happens if the verification process does not get approved?

If you are still seeing issues with your Caller ID or your calls showing up as spam, then I would reach out via the blue chat bubble. From there, we can see why it failed and figure out what additional information we need from you to resubmit through Twilio.

I purchased a phone number and it is showing up as spam risk to my customers, what do I do?

It means you haven’t registered their numbers so that it will just show up as their business name on the caller ID. They will need to verify their identity through the SHAKEN/STIR & CNAM process.

What information do I need to provide to get registered?

  • General information:

    • Business name

    • Address

    • Email

  • Main point of contact:

    • Name

    • Email

    • Phone Number

    • Role

  • Business information:

    • Business type (see options below)

    • Industry type (see options below

    • EIN (US) or CCN (Canada)

    • Website URL

  • CNAM:

    • Must be 15-characters and CANNOT have any special characters

For the verification process, what are the business type and industry options?

  • Business types:

    • Sole proprietorship

    • Partnership

    • Corporation

    • Co-operative

    • Limited liability corporation

    • Non-profit corporation

  • Industry types:

    • Automotive

    • Agriculture

    • Banking

    • Construction

    • Consumer

    • Education

    • Engineering

    • Energy

    • Oil & gas

    • Fast moving consumer goods

    • Financial

    • Fintech

    • Food & beverage

    • Government

    • Healthcare

    • Hospitality

    • Insurance

    • Legal

    • Manufacturing

    • Media

    • Online

    • Professional services

    • Raw materials

    • Real estate

    • Religion

    • Retail

    • Jewelry

    • Technology

    • Telecommunication

    • Transportation

    • Travel

    • Electronics

    • Not for profit

Will I ever be able to change the caller ID that I submitted?

We can edit the name after the fact but we don’t have a process in the product to do so. Please reach out via the blue chat bubble so we can update it in Twilio.

What happens if my number is mislabeled or the caller ID is showing incorrectly?

If you have registered for CNAM (Caller ID), please give it some time to update across carriers. However, if you are still seeing issues with a carrier mislabeling your number, then you can register with the specific carrier's analytic providers to ensure the number shows up correctly:


Dialer Feature

The dialer won’t ring. How do I fix that?

It’s likely that you don’t have a microphone configured. Please follow these steps to make sure everything is set up correctly. If you are still running into issues, please reach out via the blue chat bubble to get support.

What kind of phone can I use with my VoIP solution?

They can use external audio devices that plug into the computer as long as the computer registers and recognizes the device as audio input and output.

If I am on the phone with a customer, and a second customer calls in, that call could be answered by a different employee on a different device with no issues, correct?

Correct, we use a tool called Simulring so each of your office staff can handle multiple calls at a given time. Please just make sure they each have their own login.

I am having an issue where they are saying the dialer isn’t ringing but they are receiving the call notification, how do we resolve that problem?

Please make sure that their browser settings are all configured correctly. If these settings are not toggled on then they will not be able to receive the notification, hear the dialer ringing, or have the customer intake flow popup.


Phone Numbers

Can I purchase an 800 number?

No, we currently only offer non-toll free numbers unfortunately. We will explore that in the future.

Do you support vanity numbers?

No, the vanity numbers won’t show as the word when they’re calling from so it would not show 303-555-BLUE. Instead it would just show as 303-555-2583.

Do you support e-fax or fax numbers?

No, we don’t support faxing capabilities today.

Will addresses show up on inbound calls even if they aren’t a past customer?

No, that is a caller ID lookup and it has an associated cost to each lookup. Today, we only look to see if the phone number is an existing customer.


Call Flows & Call Routing

Can you route calls directly to mobile numbers?

Yes, you can do that today based on your business hours. You would forward to an external number.

Does this support call trees or call flows?

We support call flows. You can setup a single call flow for how your calls get routed into the system. Call trees will be a future feature.

Will we have interactive voice response or a call greeting that can route calls? Ex. Press 1 to schedule a job, Press to 2 go to voicemail, etc.

Yes, that is a future feature we would like to implement. No timelines right now though.


Voicemail Greeting

What file types are acceptable for the custom voicemail?

MP3 and WAV files work for our custom voicemail. MP4s will not work.


Call Forwarding

Can I forward my calls to a cell phone?

You can forward calls based on hours. You are able to set hours whether you are open or closed. You can also configure rollover forwarding through our Call Flows feature.


Call Transfer

Can I transfer my calls to another person?

Yes, it is a conference call so you can transfer calls to another employee’s cell phone number in the future. The third person will join the call and then the first person can hang up. These transferred calls will be recorded if you have call recording turned on.

Can I do a cold or warm transfer?

Right now, we only have conferencing. We are looking to implement that in the future.

Can I transfer to someone else in the office?

You can transfer to their cell phone number but you can’t transfer to someone else’ dialer. We are working to implement that in 2023.

If a technician on mobile misses a call that was transferred to them from the office staff, will the missed call display as the business line or the customer’s number?

It will be from the business line.

What will the caller hear when a call is being transferred using the “add call” feature? Will it be a dial tone until the call is answered by the third person?

They will hear it say “Transferring” and then the two people on the line can still have a conversation while it’s ringing to the third person.


Call Recording

Can I download my call recordings?

Yes, there is an option to download the call. You will have to do it manually as we don’t have an automated process in place right now.

Can field techs listen to call recordings?

No, not today. We don’t have a way to listen to the call recordings on mobile but we are working on that to make the call log available on mobile.

Can I delete a call recording?

We do not offer deletion of call recordings. We suggest that you stop recording the call while on the call to avoid the need to delete a call. This is relevant if your customer is going to provide you customer-sensitive information like credit card information. In extenuating circumstances, engineering can delete a recording but we highly recommend that they don’t record it in the first place.

Does the customer get notified when the call is being recorded?

When an outgoing call comes from HCP, it does state the call is being recorded to the end caller. This is for legal reasons and cannot currently be changed.

How long are call recordings saved for?

Currently, we don’t have a retention policy so all of those recordings will stay saved.


Call Masking

Are masked calls that an employee makes recorded?

They will show on the call log and will be recorded too.


Call Queueing

Do you have functionality to put a call on hold so that another agent can answer it?

Yes, with our queueing solution, you can place calls on hold so another agent can answer it.


Call Looping

If I have multiple numbers that I use for my business, could I set up a loop to ring all 4 numbers?

You could port over those numbers and have them all forward to a business line today. However, we currently don’t have call looping functionality. You can route calls to multiple numbers through our Call Flows feature.


Call Log

I have several calls that appear to come from the same number for different customers, what is causing this?

We have had reports of calls showing in the call log as (+26) 669-6687 for different customers. This is a common occurrence for VoIP solutions and is caused by the customer blocking their phone number through an anonymous dialing feature. The phone number (+26) 669-6687 spells out "Anonymous" on the keyboard.


Robo-Dialing

Will you ever offer a sort of robo-dialing option for follow ups?

That is an idea we have considered, but we don’t currently have any plans to implement this option.


SMS

If I port over an existing business line, and a customer texts that number, would it go to Inbox?

Yes, those messages would go into the Inbox.

How does my Voice number work with my custom SMS number?

Your Voice number and custom SMS number will be separate from each other to start. This means that your automated text messages will still be sent from your custom SMS number. If calls come into your custom SMS number, we will forward them to your Voice number. If texts come into your Voice numbers, we will forward them to Chat. In the future, these numbers will be combined so that you have a single number for both Voice and SMS if you have the Voice solution.

If we port our number to HCP, can we still use it for texting in another system, like Chiirp?

We do not allow for that because we have our own chat feature so we send all messages into our Chat feature. They will need a new number either through HCP or through their third party system that they want to use for texting.

I'm not getting text messages to my inbox, but I'm seeing some come through my Apple device, how do I fix this?

You may need to unlink the phone number from iMessage specifically. This Apple article provides a clear guideline on how to do it (scroll down to the “Remove your phone number” section):


Voice & Other HCP Features

If I am using CallRail and receiving notifications in HCP, what is the benefit of using VoIP + Call Tracking or Call Tracking only in HCP?

The benefit of using HCP’s solution is that it is in-house and fully integrated into HCP. This means that it is tied to your customer database. You can easily see all of your calls with a customer under their profile. Additionally, it ties to lead source which can then be attributed to the customer or the job.

You get all of the same benefits of above with VoIP + Call Tracking but you also get to have a complete picture of your calls in HCP. You will be able to listen to your voicemails as well.

Can the Voice solution work with HCP Assist?

Yes. Your Pro can set up their call flow and forward based on their business hours. They can set up forwarding to an external number. This number would be the HCPA number.

You can do conditional rollover meaning if you don't answer on VoIP then they would forward to HCPA. This can be setup through our Call Flows feature.

How does VoIP interact with other parts of the platform?

It's more about how does the other components of the platform play together with this feature.

Pro will get a call through VoIP or call tracking, answer it through the customer intake form and then save new customers through the customer intake form. The information from the customer intake form shows up on the job or estimate. Anything created will then popup on the pipeline (if they have that add-on). On the call log, anything created from a call is linked. That is the extent of Pipeline and core product working with Voice.

For Chat, calls into a custom SMS number get forwarded to their Voice number. SMS to their Voice numbers will end up in their Chat Inbox. There is not currently a way to unify your custom SMS number and your voice numbers. That will be a future feature.

How do employee permissions work with Voice?

You will have two new permissions:

  • Inbound call notifications: this means that this employee can receive inbound calls. If this is toggled off they won’t receive any inbound notifications.

  • Configure communications settings: if this is turned on then the employee can make changes to the Settings > Communications section. If it is turned off then they will not have access.

Is there a way to save a Customer Intake form as a draft?

We do not have the ability to save an intake flow in draft form right now. The intake team has been thinking of this as a future feature but no official timelines or plans.

How does Voice work with our Franchises?

Today, our Voice solution works for our child accounts. We don’t have features to support routing from a parent account to a child account. We will look at Franchise support down the road but it’s not currently on the roadmap.


Office Staff

Do you have a way to prevent office staff from viewing calls and listening to call recordings?

No, we do not currently have permissions to prevent them from listening and viewing calls.


Field Tech

Do techs have access to Voice through desktop?

No, because techs do not have access to the desktop version.


Call Tracking Only

How does my existing phone solution work with call tracking?

Basically, you will create call tracking numbers in HCP by selecting a lead source and a phone number. From there, you will add a destination number. This means we will forward calls from your tracking number to your destination number which will be your existing phone system.

Do I still need to have a web-based dialer for call tracking only?

No, so the way it works is you purchase the number in HCP (the call tracking number) and forward calls from that number to your destination number. Your destination number could be a web-based dialer (think Dialpad or Nextiva), it could be a mobile app phone system (Grasshopper or Openphone), could be a landline/cellphone (through AT&T, Verizon, etc.). There’s no limitation to call tracking only and where you answer calls.

If I do not have the lead source field, what do I need to do?

You will need to upgrade to a newer pricing plan to get access to lead source so call tracking works correctly.


Packages & Plans

What is the difference between using VoIP + Call Tracking and Call Tracking only?

The main difference is where you answer your calls. If you wish to keep your existing phone system but track lead sources and where the customer calls in from then Call Tracking only is the right solution because you will be able to forward calls from your tracking numbers to your destination number (existing business line in another system). This means you are forwarding calls from our call tracking numbers to your main business line in Dialpad or a landline as an example.

If you want to have everything within HCP, then we suggest you use VoIP + Call Tracking. This will allow you to port or purchase a business line so that you can manage ALL calls through HCP. In addition to using the web-based solution, you can forward calls from the tracking numbers to their business line in HCP. The dialer is ONLY available through our VoIP solution.

How much do Voice packages cost?

Call tracking starts at $45/mo + overages and we have packages that range from 500 – 2500 minutes. VoIP & call tracking starts at $65/mo + overages and we have packages that range from 500 – 6000 minutes. Are you an existing customer and interested in learning more? Book a demo to learn more.

Are there any plans to offer larger plans with more minutes?

We currently offer a VoIP Super plan which gives you 6,000 minutes at $350 / mo.

Will we ever have the ability to exceed 30 call tracking numbers?

Possibly in the future. We are looking at our re-evaluating our pricing and packaging.


Billing & Overages

How does Voice get billed and when does it get billed?

You are billed monthly on its own cadence so when the you activate you will be charged the plan amount.

Will minutes be rounded up for tracking or billing?

Yes, minutes will get rounded up for billing purposes. As an example, a 20 second call will be rounded up to 1 minute.

When does a call start to count towards minutes?

All calls are counted towards your cost. This includes incoming calls, outbound calls, active calls, voicemails, and forwarded calls. Once the call begins and is going through the call flow, we are counting that duration towards your usage and minutes.

Will call flows count towards minutes used? Ex. You have VoIP and your call flow forwards to your cell phone after hours. Does this count towards my monthly minutes?

Yes, call flows count towards minutes because we are tracking and possibly recording those calls.

Do voicemails count towards minute usage?

Yes, it is a 1-minute flat charge.

What happens when overages occur?

Overages for minutes get charged at the end of their billing month.

Can I view my usage?

Usage is tracked now through Voice Settings > Plan usage.

Can I pause my system if I am a seasonal Pro? Basically, keep my system but freeze it altogether.

We don’t have a way to do this today. It would need to be removed from your account in order for them to go on a freeze, and once you remove the feature you lose the number after 60 days. Also, your number would be disabled and you wouldn’t be able to accept calls for potential new customers when it’s outside of the season.


Reliability & Outages

How reliable is the Voice solution?

We have built our solution off of Twilio which is the main industry provider. Many VoIP solutions out there are built on Twilio and they have impressive SLAs, availability, and reliability requirements.

Do you have any stats on outages so far?

We have had no major Voice-specific outages. The outages that have occurred were Twilio related or an issue that was Housecall-wide. We have a 98% average call success rate so things have been performing well.

We also have a failover application so if HCP-web goes down, you will still have access to the dialer.

What do outages look like?

If we have an outage through HCP, we will failover to our second service so calls should still go through successfully. If there is an outage with Twilio or AWS though, we will likely also see outages.

How does the internet impact Voice? If I have rough internet connection and have to have a hotspot in my office, would I be a good fit?

Solid internet connection is the heart of this system. The Pro can expect that the web-based dialer will be affected by slow internet speeds in the same way that TalkDesk slows down for Support if their internet acts up. If you are looking for additional information, please read this help article: Hardware & Browser Recommendations for Voice Solution.


Deactivations

If I cancel or deactivate after already porting my number, how do I get my number ported away?

You will need to initiate the process through your new carrier. You will likely have to submit the same porting form to your new carrier and then they will reach out to the losing carrier (us, i.e. Twilio) to initiate the process and determine a date. The port away process is your new carrier’s responsibility and out of hands. We will keep the number for 60 days to give them time to port.

If I have purchased a number through the voice solution and then deactivate, can I keep that number?

You own those numbers when you get them so if you want to port them out before you cancel, you can. We will release them after 60 days.

If I have VoIP and deactivate, do I have to go through the whole process again if I decide to use the VoIP solution again?

Yes, you will have to go through the entire process again if we have released your numbers. You will still have your phone numbers linked to your account if you reactivate within 60 days of deactivating.


International Use

Are there any limitations or issues if I am in Puerto Rico?

At this time, we can’t support the purchase and maintenance of numbers for our Puerto Rico Pros at this time, but we are looking into ways we can in the future.

Are there any limitations or issues for international Pros?

If you are outside of Canada and the U.S., you cannot use our Voice solution meaning you will not be able to purchase international numbers. This also means that if calls come in from international numbers that those will not work. The same applies for outgoing calls.

Any limitations or call outs for Canadian Pros?

No, there are no limitations. Our Canadian Pros will be able to use our Voice solution and get phone numbers with Canadian area codes.

Why am I not seeing my Canadian area code?

We do offer Canadian phone numbers. If you do not see your particular area code, then we do not have any available phone numbers right now.

I want to port my Canadian number. What does that look like?

The only thing to highlight is that the time to port is going to be longer, closer to 4-6 weeks. We suggest you start the process with your current carrier to ensure things go smoothly.

I have an office admin that is international, will they be able to use our VoIP solution?

Our Voice solutions should still work. They won’t be able to purchase international numbers but they should be able to use our VoIP solution.


If you have Voice and are not finding your answer in our Voice Help Collection, don't hesitate to reach out to us in the blue chat bubble within the web app!

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