As part of Hangouts' long, drawn-out death, Google is also pulling the plug on the imaginatively titled Call Phones feature, which lets you place a phone call in Hangouts via Google Voice. It was mostly free, but you did have to pay for certain call types. With the feature set to expire by next month, Google is now sending out emails regarding refunds for any remaining balance you might have, and you can trigger the process manually as well.
Folks with a balance may see an email or two from Google regarding the subject soon — particularly if there are any issues with refunding the original form of payment. If you want to trigger the refund process manually, though, Google has provided a set of detailed steps:
- Request a Hangouts Call Phones refund at https://voice.google.com/billing. This is accessible from the Hangouts app if there is credit available.
- Once you complete step 1, you will receive an email confirming the refund request. The credit shown in the billing view will go to 0 and paid phone calls through Hangouts will no longer be possible.
- Google will attempt to refund the remaining balance through Google Pay. It may take several days for the refund to appear at https://pay.google.com.
- If the refund is successful, no further emails are sent.
- If Google Pay cannot refund to the original form of payment (e.g. if the credit card has expired or is no longer in the user’s payment profile), an email will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org asking you to resolve the issue. You can do this from the link in the email or at pay.google.com. Note: it is important to access pay.google.com with the same account as mentioned in the email in step (2).
Google warns that it may take up to 10 days for the credit to appear on your end.
The transition from Hangouts to Google Chat is picking up speed these days. Even if you haven't made the transition yourself just yet, many of your non-group conversations probably have. Just recently, Google Chat began advertising "Preview" functionality for those coming from Hangouts as the transition continues. Group chats are still unavailable, but many other features like video calls and contact search seem to work, and we're continuously receiving tips as waves of our readers report new conversations appearing — presumably as the migration continues on Google's end of things.