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Phone calls in Hangouts are going away soon: get a refund of your call credit balance

A very useful feature in Google Hangouts is the option to make phone calls, with almost all calls to the United States and Canada totally free.  This feature will be removed by the end of the year. 

A few weeks ago Google announced that Hangouts would be removing phone calling feature for everyone, along with the removal of SMS for Google Voice and Google Fi users.  The reason? "New telecommunications regulations" that are being introduced in the EU and U.S. in 2021. 

Hangouts has started rolling out a notice of this change in the Hangouts mobile app and Hangouts on desktop.
Calling in Hangouts will be turned off soon. You can keep making calls with Google Voice.
Google Voice is free to use, but is only available to users in the United States. 
If you are in the US, you can continue to make phone calls by upgrading to Google Voice. If you are not in the US or do not want to upgrade to Google Voice, you can continue to use the Hangouts call phones feature until late 2020 with access to classic Hangouts. You can also request a refund of your eligible calling credit.
Google Fi customers also have the option to transfer their text messages from Hangouts to Messages by Google (aka Android Messages) and enable syncing across devices. That lets you make phone calls, send texts, and check voicemail in Messages for Web

Note that while most Hangouts features will eventually be migrated to Google Meet and Google Chat, Chat does not support phone calls, and when using a personal account Google Meet does not support dialing in or out to a phone. Google Workspace users in many countries can offer a dial-in phone number for a Meet video meeting, or have Meet dial out to a US or Canadian phone number.

Request a refund of your calling credit

Phone calling in Google Hangouts will only be available until "late 2020". As it's mid-November now, that doesn't give you much time to spend your current calling credits. 

1. Sign in to Google Voice ( with the same email and Google account you use to sign in to classic Hangouts.

2. At the top right, click the Settings gear.

3. On the left menu of the Settings screen, click Payments.
4. Click Billing history and then click the Refund balance button

Note: you can go directly to the Refund balance page at . Just make sure you are signed in to the correct Google account when you do that.

5. To refund your entire balance, click the Request refund button and then Request refund.

Note: refunds are not available for free promotions or if it has been less than 31 days since your last refund request. 

How the refund works

Refunds are only made in one of the following currencies: US Dollars, Euro, Canadian Dollar or British Pound Sterling. The refund is via Google Pay, so make sure you have an active credit card or bank account linked to your Google account's Google Pay account

1. An email will be sent to the Voice account holder confirming the requested refund amount.

2. Google Pay will then attempt to refund your credit by reversing prior Google Voice transactions.

3. If there are issues you will receive an email from Google Pay with information on how to resolve these issues.

Current balance refunds usually take up to 10 business days, depending on your bank or credit card company. 

If your credit card isn't active, the refund will go to the company that issued your card. If that happens, Google says you will need to contact the credit card company to recover your funds.


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