Option to go to voicemail while dialing an extension

Our current NEC DSX system allows the users to press a button and leave a voicemail for someone after only rining for lets say 5 of the 30 second ring time. They do this because they know if this person doens’t answer within 5 second then they aren’t there and they don’t want to wait the full 30 seconds. Does FreePBX have anything like that?

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In FreePBX (with default settings), you can dial * followed by an extension number and be immediately connected to their voicemail. Without any special programming, you would need to momentarily hit the switchhook (to drop the ringing call and get a new dial tone) then dial * followed by the extension number.

With some IP deskphones, you may be able to program a BLF key or softkey to do that.

Duplicating the DSX functionality exactly would require some fairly complex custom dialplan.

Out of the box you can only direct dial a VM of an extension by appending a * to the extension. You can’t set dial duration with a dial string.

It might be possible to create a custom dialplan to do this for you but it would require you to create that dialplan.

Thanks guys. My users want to call the person they just don’t want to wait the full ring duration to leave a vm so dialing directly to vm won’t work unfortunately. I’ll look into the custom dialplan option.

As Stewart said. The only way to do that out of the box is to dial the extension and then hang up after a few seconds and then manually dial *extension to go to VM.

Oh gotcha I understand what you’re saying. That’s unfortunate.

ChatGPT suggested the following, before I give it a try can anyone take a look and see any obvious reason why this wouldn’t work?

To implement the ability to send a call to voicemail before the full ringing duration with the option to skip, you'll need to set up a combination of features in FreePBX:

1. **Enable Call Forwarding:**
   - Log in to the FreePBX administration interface.
   - Go to the "Applications" menu and select "Extensions".
   - Find the extension you want to modify and click on the "Edit" button next to it.
   - Look for the "Call Forward" or "Follow Me" settings. Enable it and set the destination to the voicemail extension.

2. **Configure Voicemail Box:**
   - Go to "Applications" > "Extensions" and find the voicemail extension.
   - Set up a voicemail PIN if you haven't already.

3. **Create a Feature Code:**
   - Go to "Settings" > "Feature Codes".
   - Find an available feature code (e.g., `*77`) or create a custom one.
   - Set the "Feature Description" to something like "Skip to Voicemail".

4. **Modify the Dialplan (Optional):**
   - You may need to customize the dialplan in Asterisk to recognize the feature code and send the call to voicemail when it's pressed.

   exten => s,n,GotoIf($["${DB_EXISTS(skipvm/${CALLERID(num)})}" = "1"]?skipvm)
   exten => s,n,Background(custom/skipvoicemail)
   exten => s,n(skipvm),VoicemailMain(${EXTEN}@default)
   exten => s,n,Hangup()

In this example, if a specific database entry exists (set when the feature code is pressed), it skips the ringing and goes directly to voicemail.

  1. Set Up Feature Code in Extensions:

    • Go back to the extension settings and look for “Feature Codes” or similar.
    • Assign the feature code you created (e.g., *77) to the “Skip to Voicemail” function.
  2. Apply Config and Test:

    • Click “Submit” to save the changes and then click “Apply Config”.

Now, when a call comes in, it will ring for the full duration. If someone presses the feature code you set up (e.g., *77), it will skip the remaining ring time and go directly to voicemail.

Please note that the exact steps and options might vary depending on the specific version and configuration of FreePBX you are using. Always test thoroughly to ensure the desired behavior is achieved. If you’re unsure about any step, consider consulting with a VoIP or FreePBX expert.

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