"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

Main Menu

MCFI=Distinctive Ringing Feature and Forwarded Calls

Started by poplar1, November 09, 2014, 03:23:32 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


AT&T offers a distinctive feature on POTS lines, similar to coded ringing used on terminal-per-line party lines. In former BellSouth areas, it is marketed as "Ringmaster." One line can have up to two Ringmaster numbers in addition to the main number. Dialing one of the soft numbers will cause the phone to ring 2 rings (short short) or 3 rings (short long short) rather than the normal 2 seconds on, 4 seconds off.

Some fax machines can be programmed to respond to only one of 3 or more ring patterns, so that one can give out a direct number for faxes. (A fax machine that no longer prints is handy for the wrong numbers one can expect on the Ringmaster numbers. Apparently, they are recycled faster than is usual for main numbers.)

The problem I've had for some time is that when I forward the main number, calls to all three numbers are forwarded. I finally found an experienced AT&T repair tech who used to be a service rep., and who kept her notes from that time. She said that in the ROS system, the "Commitment" group needs to add MCFI to both Ringmaster numbers. Hopefully, I can find a service rep. tomorrow who will follow through. Then I can forward calls to the "listed number" to my cell phone, and my roommate will still be able to give out one of the Ringmaster numbers for her calls.

I currently have Call Forwarding Variable (*72) + Call Forward Busy Line and Call Forward Don't Answer. The last two are normally used with  to transfer callers to Telco Voicemail. They priced these two features at $1 each per month, probably to keep the price of their voice mail package competitive. However, they can program any number for the destination number on CFB and CFD. This same Repair Clerk told me that would be a tariff violation -- in other words, they'd like to charge more if you aren't using those features with phone company voice mail. However, they are included at no extra charge in the list of available features in their Complete Choice package.

Update 12/3/14:
Still no luck getting the MCFI (Multiple number Call Forward Inhibit) feature added. One supervisor thought I was trying to order "hunting."
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

GTE Rick

What i had that service from NY Tell/NYNEX/Verison, When you ordered you had the option to have only your main number forward when you use call forwarding or all numbers forwarded.  I remember it was very hard to get them to change it.....
Small in size ... Smart in Style ... and it has a lighted dial.


After several attempts, I did get the MCFI feature added to my 5ESS telephone line. The option to forward only the calls to the main number was listed on the ever-changing AT&T website, so I read that section to the service rep. The only problem was that my roommate's friends would just call the number showing on their Caller ID (the main number) rather than the number I had told her to give out to her friends.

Last time I checked, AT&T  no longer shows traditional land lines (5ESS/DMS100 central office) on their website. They are available, but the cost goes up $2 per month every January -- now $58 per month ($40 + junk fees) for Complete Choice without Long Distance or Voice Mail.

"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.