How To Disable Feature Codes (Star Codes) During Outbound Call

Here’s another n00b question. Hope it doesn’t draw too much flame…

We have a down-the-middle-of-the-road default FreePBX configuration from

When our billers are calling Medicare sites, they are required to enter key sequences that include asterisks. Here is an example:


The problem is that as soon as they enter a sequence that matches a Feature Code (*73 - Call Forward All Deativate in the example above), the call is terminated and the Medicare site doesn’t get the updated information the biller was trying to enter.

Can anyone tell me how to disable feature codes during outgoing calls? I can’t seem to find how to do this on-line or in the docs.


How are these calls being sent to the PBX? Is this sequence being sent, users opening a line and dialing them all or is this during an active calls in a response to an IVR?

@BlazeStudios this is the situation where the user is opening an outgoing line, dialing an outside line (if that matters) and connecting to an existing Medicare IVR system out in the wild.

The only thing that is causing trouble is that Medicare requires the caller to enter key sequences that contain numbers and asterisks (“star” keys).

Ideally, I’d like to disable feature codes during outgoing calls because most of our billers are not going to invest the time to learn them.

As an alternative, I could configure a soft key to toggle feature codes on and off so the user could disable feature codes if they know they will be entering astersks (e.g. with Medicaid’s IVR).

I looked, but I did not find a Phone App that toggles feature codes on and off.

I think it is the *2 (by default, an in-call code for attended transfer) that is causing the problem.

Other culprits would be ** (disconnect) or ## (blind transfer).

If you don’t need these functions to exist as codes – in other words, you can use SIP phone buttons to do transfer – you can disable them altogether in the Feature Codes admin.

I do not believe that dialing *73 during a call would do anything interesting. You should not need to disable that.

Sorry, my previous post was in error.

Try changing Asterisk Trunk Dial Options for the outbound trunk to (blank).

Based on the patterns of the codes that you use with Medicare, you could change these troublesome Feature Codes to something else.

As @billsimon correctly notes, you need only concern yourself with in-call feature codes which also includes *1 call record toggle. Disable or change to something that won’t conflict.

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@lgaetz and @billsimon, thank you both for taking time to respond.

Unfortunately, there is no documented list of strings that Medicare’s IVR might require. And, that’s only one of the many IVR’s that our billers call on a daily basis. (It’s just the specific example that has an open ticket on my desk. :wink:)

I’m guessing from the responses so far that there is no way to tell FreePBX/Asterisk to stop listening for feature code strings during an active call. Or, it’s definitely not a widely known capability.

Either way, that’s a major bummer.

Guess I’ll look through the source code to see if I can find a solution.

Mark, I’m not sure you understood the responses given. Three of us gave you pointers as to how to disable in-call feature codes. The only codes that Asterisk will react to during a call are as follows:

*1 - start recording
*2 - transfer
** - hang up
## - transfer

You can disable any or all of these in the Feature Codes admin.

You can also disable the in-call transfer codes as Stewart1 said by getting rid of the T/t options in the Trunk dial strings (Advanced Settings).

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@billsimon, thank you so much, and sorry. I did misunderstand.

I did not know that only those four feature codes are active during an active call. D’oh!

Is that true for active incoming calls as well as active outgoing?

With Feature Codes, the direction doesn’t matter (so *1, etc.). The Trunk Dial Options (Tt) work at the trunk level and they are outbound and inbound respectively.

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