You may have heard of the new AT&T add-on called A-List that gives you unlimited calls to and from 5 numbers of your choice. Thanks to a little bit of thinking outside the box, and mostly thanks to Google Voice, you can actually get unlimited calling to any numbers in the US.

For those of you who don’t know how Google Voice works, let me explain briefly. Google Voice gives you a free phone number that entitles you to free calls in the US (and very cheap calls overseas). If you try to make a call from the Google Voice app on your iPhone (or the web-based version), Google Voice will call you at your number and connect you to the number you dialed. I’m not sure if that makes sense but basically, when you use Google Voice for calls, you don’t get free calls, minutes are taken off your plan, which kinda defeats the whole purpose.

Here is how the loophole works. Simply add your Google Voice number to your A-List. Now every time Google Voice calls you to connect the call with the dialed number, it will be free of charge and you’ll be able to call anyone in the US for free (really free).

I’m not sure this is very clear but Google Voice users will surely understand and see the benefits of this little trick. Let’s just hope AT&T doesn’t figure this one out and puts an end to it.

Do you use Google Voice? If so, you should definitely look into it…

Thanks kper for sending us this tip.

  • Oh I had that one set from day 1. I love it. Build up those rollover minutes. That fact combined with GV Mobile) make that little iPhone a total AT&T nightmare.

  • Anthony

    The bummer part is to do it both ways, in and out, two things occur.

    Outbound phone calls take a long time to connect, as you’re actually calling your google number first, dialing the person, then it connects to them.

    You can add the entire phone number into your contacts however so you don’t have to do it manually.

    Also, to “get the call” from your google number, you’ll only ever see the google number. Meaning no caller ID.

    ALSO: The A-list is only available to people who spend over a certain amount on their contract each month. I don’t know if they’ve changed it since launching the service, but when it was first announced it was something like over 60 for a single line (Minutes only, other services don’t count) and over 120 for a family plan (same deal, minutes only)

    So for most iphone users who only have the 450 minute plan, we’re not (or weren’t, maybe) eligible.

  • Tom Burnett

    Anthony,

    GoogleVoice has the option to show your GoogleVoice number when you get a call OR show the incoming caller’s number when you get a call. Log into GoolgeVoice and go to settings.

    You’re right about the plan though. You can’t be on the minimal plan – 500 minutes/month and use A-list. Bummer.

  • Irha

    This is a very old trick (dating back to grandcentral and t-mobile myfaves).

  • Jacob

    “Tom” is absolutely right. Also like Annthony said the so called alist is available for family plan with 1400 min or more and individual plans rqrd 400min or more plan. I have a family plan with 550min roll over and still has nearly 2000 min rollover in my account. Thanks to most of my frnsds n family who switched to AT&T lol. Now a low end user like me there is no use of alist. And those with 700 or 1400 min roll over, I doubt that they ever need to use alist. 🙂

  • Anthony

    Looked it up, and just to clarify:

    “Individual plans 900+ minutes ($59.99 and over) per month, and
    FamilyTalk plans 1400+ minutes ($89.99 and over) per month
    qualify for A-List”

    Also to Tom:

    When google voice showes the person’s number as calling you, its as if it’s actually coming from that number. (as far as your phone knows) So it doesn’t qualify as an In-coming call from your (A-Listed) google voice number.

    In other words, if you turn on the google voice caller ID, and the person doesn’t have AT&T, you use minutes.

  • I read about this a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to start using it. But I know that some how someway there going to close this “loop hole” There is no way ATT is going to loose that money.

  • Dricfresh

    Pimp

  • zack

    ok so seems if i want to take advantage of Google voice then i need to up my plan so i can a-list my outgoing calls for free via the google number….but what do i need to do to use google voice and receive incoming calls for free?? also is there any type of other way to use google voice for free via some type of voip application or anything like that? ill do the a-list and up my plan if its must but i would like to know how to receive calls for free as well..

  • AJR

    This is actually incorrect information.

    AT&T uses CID for determining incoming calls, and will see that incoming calls via Google Voice are actually ‘forwarded’ calls.

    They will start showing up in your call history as coming from your own cell number. Those calls be billed as normal billable calls, even if you have your GV number listed in your A-List.

    Outbound calls where you call your GV number first, are still shown properly.

  • @AJR – I can second that. I’ve started using GV for all of my business calls and was surprised to see my own number listed as the dialed number on my bill.

    I asked AT&T why my own number would show up and 3 out of 3 reps were stumped. They escalated the issue to an internal tier-2 support group who are supposed to get back to me by Tuesday of this week.

    My guess is that they found and closed the loophole by detecting forwarded calls.

  • 1. You don’t need an iPhone or AT&T to use this. I used to do this when I was on Alltel and used a Kyocera KX-12. Google it. Although obviously the iPhone app for Google Voice will make it easier.

    2. “Let’s just hope AT&T doesn’t figure this one out and puts an end to it.” Be careful man, they’re gonna find out about search engines and blogs any day now.

    3. Anthony raises several other good points, among them that this trick requires you to make your Google Voice number appear on caller ID instead of the number of whomever is calling you. That means you have to pick up to find out who’s calling you as though it were 1992.

    My conclusion after doing this for several months was that I don’t actually talk on the phone for this to be worth the trouble. I enjoyed the feeling that I was sticking it to my carrier, though.

  • Sam

    Let me give folks a better option that makes local and long distance free, but the catch is you need to have vonage as home phone service or know someone who has vonage and can share their id/password.
    Download the application callsunltd on iPhone and what this app does is whenever you place a call to any number local or international(It logs into your vonage account and sets up a call forwarding to the dialed number) and then it will just dial the vonage number which is a US Local number.
    All you need to do is Add vonage number to ATT A-List and all calls are FREE.
    I have been using it and it saves a ton, i dont have vonage at home but a friend does and we all share his id/pwd:)

  • Frank

    Guys, the app Gizmo5 does just that, no loophole or tweaking. I recently installed v3.0, all calls in the us/Canada free, incoming or outgoing, over wifi or 3G. If you have signed up for a gizmo5 account before google bought them.

  • Noah

    I can’t wait until I get an iPhone! I already know how to get free texts, but now I can get UNLIMITED CALLS! Im 9 year old. All my friends with iPhones (or any other phone) will be so amazed!

  • JayStarr

    actually, I’ve found that the cheapest (Free) way to do Wi-fi calling, is with Google Voice and Talkatone. Both available in app store. GV for the free number. and Talkatone for the free VoiP. And there’s a tool in Cydia, Which can trick apps into thinking its on Wi-fi instead of 3G. (iPhone 3g – 8m – F.W. 4.2.1 – baseband 6.15.00 Cracked)