How Do I Forward My Calls? - A Complete Guide

Call Forwarding is a useful feature that allows you to automatically receive all your incoming calls away from your regular office phone on mobile phones, land lines, your home line, other office extension, or even VoIP numbers. 


Things to Keep in Mind about Forwarding 


When the feature is enabled you will be able to make calls but you will not be able to receive calls on the phone that forwarding is applied to.


You will also won’t be getting any new voicemails recorded on that phone until you disable the feature (or unless if you setup routing back to voicemail.)


Call forwarding does not work for international numbers outside the U.S. However, if you forward your calls to a mobile phone with a U.S. number and take this phone overseas you will be able to receive forwarded calls.


A call sent to a queue can only be forwarded if the settings of the queue in the PBX manager the Allow destination to forward calls: field is set to "Yes:".


Forwarding Flavors


Call forwarding comes in various flavors, depending on your specific needs or where you are setting the forwarding from. You should consider if you need to return a forwarded call back to your company voicemail or if you need to be able to control the 


With Basic Call Forwarding you just need to decide if the forwarding is constant or depends on your availability. 


Scheduled Forwarding let you forward calls only on certain hours or days.


If you want to forward calls only for certain caller IDs read the Filtered Forwarding setup guide.


What if you want the forwarded call to ring a selected number but if there is no answer send it back to your company voicemail? See how to route a call back to voicemail guide.


Lastly, learn how to setup Find Me / Follow Me type of forwarding.


Note that Basic forwarding can be setup by any user, but the other choices require access privileges to the PBX manager.


When trying to decide what forwarding to use, you can also refer to the following table summarizes the various features of different forwarding choices. 




Company Voicemail
Able to transfer
Time Routes
Control
Physical phone
Used for temporary forwarding
No (cell Voicemail)
No
No
Phone
Hunt Group
Used only for permanent forwarding
Yes
Yes
Yes
PBX manager
Telephone Line FWD
Use temporary forwarding - web
Only w/Screening
No
No
Web/Teleconsole
Feature Code FWD
Use only for the purpose of scheduled forwarding
Only w/Screening
Yes #9 Only
Yes
PBX manager
Teleconsole web
Only w/Screening
Yes #9 Only
Yes
Web/Teleconsole
Teleconsole Android/iOS
Yes
Yes
No
Android/iOS


Company Voicemail - when forwarding calls to a mobile number and if you don't pick up, would a call get redirected back to your company's voicemail (the one accessed from your desk phone) or will the caller be prompted to leave a message  on the mobile phone's voicemail?


Able to transfer? - when you pick up a forwarded call , are you able to transfer it to another number. As shown in the table this can be done on some destinations by dialing #9.


Time routes - are used for creating schedules so forwarding happens only at specific times. 


Feature Codes - think of Feature Codes as an envelope to a user's phone line and related features. Time routes and Caller routes are applied to Feature Codes rather than to a phone line, for the purpose of Scheduled Forwarding and Caller ID forwarding respectively.


Feature Codes also provide a shortened internal access between users. For example, instead of user A needing to dial user B's full phone number he can just dial Feature Code 210. 


Control - the device from which the forwarding is setup and controlled.



Basic Call Forwarding


There are several ways to enable basic forwarding. 


You need to decide if the forwarding operation is constant or only occurs in certain situations, like when your line is busy. The later can only be set from the web interface. The web interface also provides much more flexibility about the forwarding destination.


  • You can perform basic forwarding, directly from your phone by using dial code *72 as described here.

  • You can activate forwarding from the menu of the Teleconsole's web version as described here.



    The web interface has the advantage over the two other methods described here with more flexible forwarding options such as forwarding only when -

    • You can't answer a call.
       
    • If you line is busy.

    • Or if you are unreachable or have logged out from the Teleconsole.


By default these scenarios are set to forward callers to your voicemail, which makes a lot of sense. But you can easily select to forward calls in such situations to a phone number, extension, or even select to hang up.



  • You can also activate basic forwarding from the settings menu of the Teleconsole's mobile version as described here.



Scheduled Call Forwarding


What if you want to forward your calls only on certain hours or days? Such scheduled call forwarding need to be set up from the main PBX manager, which is usually accessible only by your system administrator.


Setup Scheduled forwarding with the following steps:


  • In the PBX manager select Features>Time and dates from the side menu and click on New >> at the bottom right of the list to create a new time group.

  • Enter a name for the group  and select if time group will be active for any of the time periods or non of the time periods (time periods are created in the next step). Click save.


  • Click Add a new time period » and set the desired time and days for the time group to be active or inactive, based on your "Active when:" selection above. You can create several time periods to cover more complex situation, for example a group that is active two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon.

  • Next select Features>Feature codes and click on the feature code for the phone line you are setting scheduled forwarding for.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the selected feature code page and find Time routes. Click Add a time route >>.

  • In the page that opens select the Time group you created in the previous steps to apply its time periods as a forwarding schedule to the phone line. Select Number for the "Forward matching calls to:" field. Enter the number to forward calls to and click Save. You are all set.

  • To stop the scheduled forwarding simply delete the Time route.

Filtered Forwarding


With Filtered Forwarding (also known as Caller ID Forwarding) you can have calls forwarded only from specific phone numbers, area codes, or even countries.


Setup Filtered Forwarding with the following steps:


  • In the PBX manager select Features>Feature codes from the side menu.

  • Click on the feature code for the phone line you are setting Caller ID forwarding for.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the selected feature code page to find Caller routes: and click  on Add a caller route >>.



  • Enter the specific caller ID number that you want to forward calls for in the Caller number prefix: field.
     
  • You can enter the whole number to create an exact match or any length of a start of a number. For example enter a whole number except the last three digits to forward all numbers from a specific company rather than an individual in that company.

  • You can even forward calls from specific area codes or countries as seen in the example here. Notice that the there are many possible choices for forwarding calls other than a phone number. Here we forwarded all callers from Japan country code to the Reception queue.

  • If you no longer want to forward calls for any ID simply delete it from the list of Caller routes.


Routing a Forwarded Call Back to a Company Voicemail


When you forward a call and if there is no answer, the call will get directed

 to the mailbox of the forwarded destination (if one exists). For example if you forward calls to your private mobile phone, callers will be prompted to leave a voicemail in your private mobile phone mailbox. 


But if you want to have voicemails left only in your company's mailbox than follow these steps:


  • In the PBX manager select Features>Hunt groups from the side menu.

  • Click on New >> at the bottom right of the Hunt groups list.

  • Give the new Hunt group a name identical to the phone line or extension being forwarded. You should also add some description of the function of the Hunt group.

    You can leave the rest of the fields as they are. The Level order: must be kept at " Linear: Always start at 1" for this to work.

    Click Save.

  • On the next screen select Set the default destination >>.

  • Set the default destination as Mailbox and select the appropriate phone line for the user (Mailbox is under "My features" in the drop-down menu.) Click Save.
  • You will be returned to the previous screen. Select Add a destination >>.

  • Set the Destination as a Number and enter the external phone number where you are forwarding the call in the field below.

    You can alternatively select Telephone line if you are forwarding the call internally.

    You can leave the rest of the fields as they are. Click Save.

  • You are all set. Calls will now be forwarded to your selected number and if unanswered will be returned to the company voicemail.

  • If you just wish to edit the destinations (or if you accidently clicked Return to the list of hunt groups >> before setting the destinations), simply select the new group you just created from the list of groups and click the Number or Default destination to edit them. You can also add more destinations here to ring before returning the call to the mailbox.



Find Me / Follow Me Forwarding


With Basic Forwarding you can forward a call only to one destination. If you move a lot between destinations it can be a hassle to keep changing the forwarded number constantly. The solution is Find Me / Follow Me type of forwarding. It makes a call ring several destinations, either in a sequence or simultaneously, letting you pick it up where ever you are.


To setup Find Me / Follow Me follow these steps:


  • In the PBX manager select Features>Hunt groups from the side menu.

  • Click on New >> at the bottom right of the Hunt groups list.


  • Give the new Hunt group a name identical to the phone line or extension being forwarded. You should also add some description of the function of the Hunt group.

    You can leave the rest of the fields as they are. The Level order: must be kept at " Linear: Always start at 1" for this to work.

    Click Save.


  • On the next screen select Add a destination >>.


  • Set the Destination as a Number and enter the external phone number where you are forwarding the call in the field below.

    You can alternatively select Telephone line if you are forwarding the call internally.

    You can leave the rest of the fields as they are. Click Save.

  • Repeat this last step - click Add a destination >> to add the rest of the destination that will ring when you get a call.

    • If you want all destinations to ring simultaneously keep the Level: field at "1 (first)".

    • If you want the destinations to ring at a sequence set the Level: field for a different number for each one.



      The sequence can be up to ten levels maximum, but you can have several numbers at each level, essentially combining both methods.
       
  • On the screen where you click to add a destination, you can also select Set the default destination >> and set the default destination as Mailbox with the relevant phone line. This will direct the call to the Mailbox in case you don't pick it up in any of the destinations.

  • If you just wish to edit the destinations, simply select the new group you just created from the list of groups.

    Click any Number or the Default destination to edit them.

    Here you can also click Level settings for each level individually.


  • On the Level settings screen you can change the duration of time each level rings - from 5 seconds up to a minute. While ringing, you can have each level either play a ringing sound or music.

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