Virtual Receptionist as Backup Option - NOW AVAILABLE

In our office, we like to have a live body answer the phone if at all possible. However, when that isn’t possible, the virtual receptionist with options for the caller to be transferred to a specific extension is not a bad backup option. However, I don’t see a way to configure Ooma Office to work in this manner currently.

We currently have the system set up so incoming calls go to a ring group that rings three extensions. If none of them pick up, then the call goes to a general extension that has a voice mail enabled. What I’d like to see is the option to have the call go to the virtual receptionist if none of the extensions in the ring group answer rather than being dumped to a generic voice mail box.

If there is a way to accomplish what I want currently, please advise how I can do it. Otherwise, please consider adding this capability as soon as possible. We can’t be the only small office that would like to see the system work in this manner.

It’s a good idea and, if I recall correctly, one that was brought up in our beta tests. We plan to add this option in the near future.

I agree with DIA. I am in the process of setting up the base station right now for our new business, and I would really appreciate the option to have the Virtual Receptionist answer if not picked up by designated extensions.

I posted this elsewhere before the Ooma Office Forum was created.

I’d like to request Ooma place this highly desired feature the top of their to-do list. This is a basic feature that every small business needs. When no one is available to answer the phone, virtual receptionist should answer the calls and tell callers we’re busy and give them options to be: 1. On hold 2. Leave a voicemail 3. Ring an extension (e.g. cell phone).

If it’s after hours, then virtually receptionist tells caller it’s after hours and give options 2 and 3 above.

I would like to add my vote for this option.
I don’t know how many replies you need before a suggestion is implemented, but I agree that this suggestion should be moved to the top of the list.
Small business survives on the personal touch. A live voice answering the phone is imperative.
Dennis, I hope the near future is not too far off.

I hear you…It is definitely near the top of our list in terms of features to add.

Just to close the loop on this, we have recently added this feature. Under the “advanced” tab, you can select what action you want to take after the ring group times out. You can transfer the call to another extension on the system (like the virtual receptionist), or transfer directly to one of your voicemail accounts.

I just set this up and it does indeed work the way I was hoping for. Thank you OOMA!

Just to open this loop back up… :slight_smile:
Where exactly are the advanced settings? I do not see it anywhere on any of the pages.

To access the advanced ring group settings:

  1. Goto the extensions page
  2. Click the “Gear” icon to edit the ring group extension
  3. Click the “Advanced” tab to access the settings

I don’t see an option to turn off the Receptionist.
All I see is: Mode Selectbox (Phone or Fax) and Outgoing Caller-ID

Am I posting in the wrong forum? Do I not have all the features available?

There is no option to “disable” the virtual receptionist for an extension. What you do if you want a phone number to route directly to an extension (bypassing the virtual receptionist), is to go the the “Manage Phone Numbers” page and change which extension calls are routed to when someone dials one of your phone numbers. By default it is set to the virtual receptionist, but you can select any extension on your system that you want.

I am new to Ooma and had read this thread before purchasing. This is the exact setup I would like to create, however, when I get to the advanced tab in “Add a New Extension” I get no extensions in the “Select Extension” field. And it won’t allow me to type in the “Virtual Receptionist” extension.

I have the New Extensions settings as follows:
Extensions ringing type: Simultaneous
Duration on each extension: 18 seconds (3 rings)
After timeout: Transfer to extension
Select extension: ------

Thoughts? Am I doing something wrong?

Laura Savard
Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 8.57.12 AM.png

This dropdown will populate if you create the Ring group (click Save) and then open it again for editing. It’s a bug that is fixed in the next code drop.

(1) Incoming call is directed to Ring Group A (single extension for office admin)
(2) If not answered, transfer the call to Ring Group B (4 physical extensions in the office)
(3) If not answered, transfer call to virtual receptionist

Is it no longer possible to perform step 2? I can see the options to transfer the call to physical extensions or the virtual receptionist (step 3), but not a ring group? When speaking with several customer service representatives, they seemed to be under the impression that this was possible, however, when I talked them through my scenario, they can see that I am unable to use the ring group’s ‘Advanced’ tab to transfer the call to another ring group. This seems to be a functionality that was previously available. Is there any plan to restore it?


This option was removed to prevent call loops [bug 19111].

Is there any realistic possibility that this bug/issue will be resolved and the feature restored?


There seems to be no work-around for such a simple request - I do not want your “virtual receptionist,” just a simple ring tone which, if unanswered after x number of rings, goes into a voicemail with my voice on it. Every possibility you suggest seems to go nowhere with commands that don’t show. We just this week bought Ooma; had I known this I would not have bought your system. Can you - again - direct us on how to actually accomplish what people are asking?

Go to: MANAGE>NUMBERS> then link the phone number to the user you would like to ring.