Now that I’m back from almost two months of travel one of the first things on my agenda was to reprogram my Phone.com services. While travelling I had both my personal and business calls forwarded to my cell phone, first to a temporary number abroad and then to my permanent U.S. number. It wasn’t very long before I started getting eMails and cell phone calls telling me that my home office phone wasn’t ringing – calls were going straight to voice mail.
It seems that I had deleted the full time follow me instructions – my home phone never rang with those instructions – and forgot one little detail. I still had to “tell” my phone number to ring on the ATA sitting on my desk. The error was matched only by another which saw the transcriptions of my voice mails sent to my son’s eMail address, rather than mine.
As the saying goes, the most dangerous thing about a car is the idiot behind the wheel – which in this case was me.
The fact is that it is phenomenally easy to set up fairly complex phone forwarding routines using the tools offered by Phone.com, and that’s just what I’ve done. It both makes my freelance writing business look like a larger company, and makes my family look like a small business. In the “bad old days” it would have taken a dedicated telecom tech to do the job anyone can do now – but please be careful. Do what any good programmer would tell you – sketch out a little flow chart to envision how you are setting up your phone system, if it’s going to be at all complicated.
Mine is. I have two U.S. numbers, one overseas number, three ATAs, one IPhone extension, one virtual extension (and more to come), and one other extension that’s still in the test stage. The program for all that includes a couple of menus, follow-me programming, and time and day-dependent intercepts so the family is not bothered at inconvenient times. And I’m a writer, not a software or telecom engineer – if I can do the program for that, then anyone can!
Stuart Zipper is currently a contributing editor to Communications Technology, a high tech business journalism consultant and freelancer, and the past Senior Editor of TelecomWeb news break.