FiOS Simultaneous Ring (SR) is a great feature, but it's missing a vital feature: "Press 1 to Accept." Without it, SR is subject to the Voicemail Trap problem.
There needs to be an option available to require that the number "1" be pressed when the call is answered by one of the forwarding numbers. This is necessary to avoid having the call routed to the first voicemail system that answers the call.
Currently I have SR set up to forward to my cell phone. When a call comes in on my FiOS number, it rings my FiOS phone and my cell phone simultaneously, and the call is connected to whichever line I answer first. So far, so good. But if my cell phone is switched off or out of range (as it frequently is when I am home because the cellular coverage in my building is marginal), then the cell phone voicemail answers the call almost immediately, and SR thinks somebody has answered the cell phone and connect the call to the cell phone's voicemail system. The FiOS phone stops ringing in less than one ring, before it's possible to answer it. Incoming calls are trapped by the cell phone voicemail, and the FiOS phone can no longer answer any incoming calls.
With the "Press 1 to Accept" option, before SR connects a call, it makes an announcement on the answering line, "Press 1 to Accept this call." If a human has actually answered and presses 1, the call is connected. If voice mail (or an error message) has answered, then 1 doesn't get pressed, and the call keeps ringing the other SR targets until somebody answers.
Ideally, the "Press 1 to Accept" option could be turned on or off separately for each forwarding number. That way, the user could decide whether the annoyance of having to press 1 for each incoming call is outweighed by the possibility of a voice mail system picking up that particular line too soon. If not, then it could be kept off for that forwarding number, and if that numbers answers, the call is connected immediately.
Other providers have this set up. Here's how it looks on Call Centric:
Google Voice also does this, but it doesn't allow it to be configured separately for each forwarding number, just for the the whole account. The user can have "Press 1 to Accept" on or off for all forwarding numbers -- just not on for some and off for others. That's not as good as having it configurable separately for each number, but it still avoids the cell phone voicemail trap problem.
Can someone from Verizon please think about this suggestion and see if it can be implemented? (If nobody from Verizon is here, how can a subscriber like me raise a suggestion like this to someone who can actually consider it?)
a bit of a work around is to use the "Locate Me" feature as opposed to the "Simultaneous Ring" feature. Locate me will ring your home phone and then ring the list of numbers you set up, in order. That way, you get a chance to answer at home before it tries your cell.
Yes, thanks, but Locate Me takes w-a-y too long before it gets to the first number. It rings the home phone 6-7 times before it even gets to the first forwarding number, and it also has that very annoying "Please wait while we locate the person" announcement. (See my other posting about that, a few minutes ago.)
Locate Me is so poorly implemented that it's not a good solution.