Call Fowarding DID - Easiest way?

Hello all,

I deployed my first PBX, and I’m having trouble figuring out call forwarding.

Main Issue:
I want to program the entire DID to forward to the human answering service in the evening and disable it in the mornings, based on when the office is ready to close and ready to open. (Not trying to forward only extensions or each Yealink phone, I want to forward the entire DID #).


  1. Medical Physician Office, 8 employees.
  2. 5 x Yealink IP Phones (Model: T48s, each has its own extension) --> FreePBX (Repurposed Dell Poweredge Server on LAN) --> (3 x DID’s, 2 of them constantly forwarded to 3rd main DID)
  3. Calls answered by employees throughout the day in-office, and employee forwards main DID to Human Answering Service on a daily basis (enable in evening, disable in morning)

Previous Call Forwarding method:

  1. Previously had Comcast Business analog lines being used with Avaya analog phones.
  2. Employee used to enter feature code on any Avaya phone, along with forwarding phone #, and DID would be forwarded. options:
The main issue I have is, how can any employee forward the main DID # to the answering service easily? From what I understand there are 2 options (both options will incur both incoming and outgoing per minute fees):

  1. Forward through portal --> requires giving login information to staff, navigating to call forwarding page, and enabling/disabling it daily. No feature code available that directs to server from what I’ve been told.
  2. Forwarding through FreePBX --> Possible use of feature codes, easier for staff and more secure for me (do not have to give away login info).

For an employee to call forward the main office DID as easily as possible on a daily basis using any Yealink phone.

Main Question:
How do I program FreePBX to do this? Is there anyway to avoid the incoming and outgoing per minute fees for forwarded calls? And is there any other option I am missing

I appreciate the help, as I am new to PBX/FreePBX and trying to learn this amazing system one step at a time. I’ve searched here and on google but I could not find a concise way on how to easily forward a DID, but only things like forwarding just extensions/follow me, etc. Thank you!

Set up a Misc Destination (I think) so that you have a “Destination” that dials your Answering Service.

In the main menu, look for Time Conditions and Time Groups.

It’s not as simple as pushing a button (you have to program open and close times and days) but it’s still pretty straightforward. Set up a time condition for when you are “open”. At the bottom of that time group, set the “active” destination to your inbound phone/IVR/ring group/queue. In the “Inactive” option, enter the Miscellaneous Destination you just set up. In the Time Group, there will be a number you can dial to toggle the time condition. Write that down and give it to everybody you want to have it.

To your Inbound Route and change the destination from your current inbound phone/IVR/ring group/queue and point it at the Time Group.

All Done

Nope. Even if you forwarded through, you’d be paying the per-minute.

I think I disagree with this…

Seems like OP’s office isn’t running on a exact daily schedule. (which medical office does? Lol)

So using a Call Flow Control toggle seems nore relevant.

Simply set the CFC
Day = Your IVR or whatever your setup is.
Night = That Misc Destination which calls the answering service.

Then, add a BLF key on any Yealink phone with the feature code of the CFC. Should work fine.

1 Like

+1 on @PitzKey 's solution. The BLF key will even show whether the system is in ‘open’ or ‘closed’ mode.

However, if the schedule is generally regular, you can set up a Time Condition to switch automatically and override it (with feature code or button) only when needed.

Also, take a look at . This isn’t a complete solution, but it may be useful to forward to the answering service outside of business hours, in case the staff forgets to set ‘closed’. (And it works even if the PBX is down.)

How are incoming calls handled when the office is open (ring group, queue, etc.)? You could enhance that flow so when a call isn’t answered promptly, the caller is routed to the answering service automatically.

There are many alternatives to that offer an option of unmetered incoming (whether forwarding or not). For examples, check out or . IMO, the companies offering ‘unlimited’ outgoing are not a good value.

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Just so we’re clear - I didn’t make this up on the fly. My company’s primary focus is medical offices and systems. Cynjut is an acronym for “Cover your nose, just use tissues”! Every doctor’s office I’ve ever worked with (say 30-ish) has a VERY specific open and close time for their phone systems.

When you use Time Conditions, there’s a hint set that can be used on a BLF to turn “day mode” and “night mode” on and off. If doesn’t take adding a lot of extra steps and features for this to work exactly the way the OP wants it to work. You can do the entirety of the process in Time Conditions and Groups. This is EXACTLY how I’ve done it since Asterisk 1.8 (before that, it was a little different, but it will still done within this management structure).

Using Call Flow Control means you have to set them on and off by hand. The last person out always has to set Forward button on the way out. The other advantage of using Time Conditions and Groups is that the phones that are coded for the Day/Night BLF will also show when the work day is over, giving everyone a visual reminder that their day should be nearly over.

The provider’s solution is limited, and in fact not nearly flexible or controllable enough for the OP. The Asterisk version of Time Conditions is a complete solution. It is exactly the right solution when coupled with the time-condition hints and overrides that the module offers. It is, in fact, the problem this solution was designed for.

The other two “edge” cases that have been brought up were “no one answers the phone in time”. You don’t want those forwarded to the answering service (at least, not in the US). The HIPAA ramifications alone day-to-day use of the service make that a non-starter. You want to be handled on the local machine through a queue, voicemail, or some other controlled destination that allows for immediate accommodation. Also, most answering services are contracted for specific periods; overflow processing of daytime calls is an additional cost item. Since the OP was concerned about the $0.0033 per minute a call reflect back to an answering service was going to code, I assumed the extra $1200 a month for during hours availability was going to be an issue.

The last case is the power outage: this one can be handled through one of several methods, including backup number, FMFM at the provider (to the service or to a medical professional’s cell phone) or to a POTS landline.

So, no, I wasn’t just talking out my ass. This is how I’ve done this over and over, having tried dozens of combinations of solutions and this was the most cost effective and simplest approach I’ve found that met all of criteria.

I never said you did.

This. Was based on…


After all, some people want to “close” and “open” their lines on their own. “I don’t need that computer to close my shop automatically”

With that being said, some users are getting confused when it comes to override the TC by using a BLF key, especially when it does not always function properly. (I’ve seen it taking a while to update the color, when it changes the state automatically on a TC. Could be I had it wrong)

I agree with this, but I’ve never seen two exactly the same phone system setup.
Meaning, some people will actually be blind on common business protocols, and still use the way THEY think is better for their business.
So yeah, time conditions is definitely better for most businesses, however, I still see why some businesses would benefit using a CFC than TCs. (Btw, We have some clients using CFC, and I don’t think they ever failed with that…)

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