Follow-Me: Send to No Answer if one phone rejects

Hey guys,
Currently, in my office, we’re using a virtual extension with Follow-Me enabled so that if a call comes into our main number, all of the phones in the office ring. What we’d like to be able to do is if someone presses reject/ignore (which produces a “Busy Here” on our phones) on a phone, is have the call immediately go to the No Answer destination. Reason being, we may be busy with another issue and don’t want to have the rest of the phones keep ringing after we’ve rejected it in the office. Is this possible? We can also switch to a Ring Group or something else if it would be necessary to get this working.

Read up on queues and ring-groups. I think you’ll find that one or the other should get you there.

From what I’m reading, you are implementing a ring group using a virtual extension, which just seems so wrong.

If you set up the incoming line as a ring-group (or better yet, a queue) you get a lot more control over what you are doing now, without the downside of not having any real control over your incoming calls.

Once anyone in the ring-group answers (or forwards the call to voice mail, etc.) you should get precisely what you are trying to do with the virtual extension.

It probably is, but doing it this way carried over from another system I setup, where I found no other solution but to do it this way since they wanted call screening enabled before it started ringing the phones.

I’ve looked at both of these and I still don’t see an option to do what I’m looking for. We don’t really want any sort of call confirmation or anything like that, which I think is what you were trying to say I should use. We just want to be able to hit the reject button on one phone and immediately send the caller to our No Answer destination.

Additionally, just tried this with a Ring Group and it doesn’t send it to No Answer if one person rejects, like I’d like it to.

Be warned that I’m used to using Chan-SCCP-B and Cisco phones, so my expectations may differ from the reality of what you are doing.

With SCCP, we have a button called “iDivert” or (immediate divert). If you press it, it answers the call and sends it immediately to the Voice Mail account associated with this phone. This pulls it from the ring-group and sends it on its way, which I think is what you are asking for.

Since SCCP can do that, I assume that all SIP phones can do it, or something like it.

It’s not a Reject though - it’s an immediate blind transfer to the VM. It actually answers the call and transfers it to the “iDivert” extension, which is (almost always) the local extension’s Voice Mail. It’s also not a FM/FM thing. I don’t know if that’s going to help you.

To be frank, though, I can’t imagine setting up a phone system where you’d want to be able to do this. It’s a matter of perception. It’s like when you call someone on a cell phone and they “swipe” you to voicemail. The phone doesn’t ring all five times - it rings twice and I’m suddenly in VM? I’m a little thin skinned, and knowing that I’m being actively rejected is worse than you just not being able to get to me.

If I think you guys are dodging calls by looking at the caller-id and sending the calls you don’t want to answer to voicemail, I’m not likely to keep doing business with you after you do that to me a couple of times.

If, on the other hand, I go straight to VM (busy mode, trunk DND, ring-group DND, something like that that we can set up from a dial code) I can (at least) convince myself that you are just super-busy and that all your phones are in use. If it was me, I’d set up a “day/night” mode and turn night mode on if I didn’t want to answer the phone.

Now - having said all of that - I’m sure there’s a way to set the system up with some kind of button that sends your call to VM instead of just rejecting it at the handset. It’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to do that.

I’m using SIP firmware on these phones, and I also have an iDivert feature. However, and maybe this is just due to the patch I’m using on Asterisk to make these phones behave properly, hitting that button produces a SIP 486 message - Busy Here. Asterisk then takes this as No Answer and sends the calls to voicemail. The phone does not answer the call then perform a blind transfer.

That’s certainly not what we’re trying to do. We don’t reject calls on a matter of Caller ID alone, but if we’re all busy on a call we don’t want the other phones in the office to keep ringing while we’re trying to concentrate. The calls get sent to an IVR, not just immediately directed to voicemail either.

We have Time Conditions setup right now but when activated, it plays a message saying that they’re calling outside of normal business hours - not what we want. Something similar could definitely be achieved with Call Flow Control. Likely, though, we’re not going to think nor want to put our call on hold for a moment to dial the switch code to immediately send calls.

We’re using 3 Cisco 7970 phones which give you almost no flexibility when it comes to programming custom buttons. We also have one Cisco SPA504G which may afford us more flexibility in that regard, but I haven’t found enough concrete documentation to make it do what I want. As a sidebar, we’ve been having quite a few problems with the 7970s and I may be looking for something else to switch to, so if you have any recommendations for at least a 4-line phone with BLF capabilities then I’ll definitely take a look.

The 7970 is Skinny mode is an AWESOME phone. It’s a real shame that Cisco decided to protect their proprietary systems by crippling these phones when they’re running in SIP mode. The BLF in SIP mode will never work correctly and none of the buttons are programmable with the SIP image. I really cannot stress strongly enough that anyone using the Cisco 79xx series phones should REALLY look hard at Chan-SCCP-B for the native SCCP interface.

If you don’t want to, that’s fine, but I’m convinced that you should consider it.

Of course, from a personal perspective, it means that I can get these phones cheap, reflash them to Skinny, and get one of the best phones on the market for pennies per pound. :smile:

Now, on the “Time Conditions” thing. The only reason it says “You’ve called after hours” is because you haven’t told it not to. If you think a little less literally, I’m sure there’s a way to set up a button that turns on “group DND” that you can access through your dial-plan. It’s as simple as any other presence setting. I’m not at my development machine right now, but I have no doubt that there’s a way to solve this problem using a hint that you can set with a button push - TimeConditions are just one way to think about it.

Is the configuration file for Skinny much different than the SIP one? If so, I may reflash one of them over to SCCP and see what it’s like. Or if you’d be able to provide an SCCP config that would be even better.

There is definitely a way to do it, and if flashing to SCCP doesn’t fix anything then I may look into it.

search the web for “Chan-sccp-B FreePBX” to find the Wiki instructions I wrote about installing and configuring it for FreePBX. The Chan-SCCP-B software comes with a sample “FreePBX Config File” and I tried to explain in the page how to set the phones up so they work.

Since you’ll just be doing one of them (to start), I wouldn’t go too deep into the auto-flash stuff in the /tftpboot directory. Set up the sccp.conf file with one line and one phone and you should be able to get it going pretty quickly.

Being able to set up all 8 lines with line buttons (instead of just one) and being able to watch as the icons change based on what the phones are actually doing (off-hook, etc.) should convince you that this might be something you really want to do.

I’ve done this already with the SIP firmware and it’s definitely a nice feature to have. Only thing that doesn’t work (and I don’t know if it should or not) is show if a phone is on hold instead of just in a call.