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How to divert calls to a new number

Diverting calls from your existing number to a new phone number is surprisingly simple. In this guide we’ll show you all the steps you need to take to get it done quickly, so you can start answering your calls on your new phone line or divert them to your virtual receptionist included in your telephone answering services.

You can choose to have all calls diverted straight away or only after 6 rings, whichever suits your needs.

Most phone line providers (BT, Virgin, etc.) offer call transferring for free, while some will charge you for each call diverted.

If your provider does charge, you may want to try our porting option which will transfer your existing number to Virtually There. This is explained more in our How to port a phone number guide.

How to divert your landline calls to a new number

If you’re using a BT line, the first thing to do is activate your call divert facility. You can do this via www.bt.com or by phone:

  •       Call 152 for a business line
  •       Call 150 for a domestic line

The service is usually activated immediately. You can check that it’s been switched on by dialling *#001#. You’ll then hear a message advising you which services are active on that line. If ‘divert’ isn’t listed, make yourself a cup of tea and check again in a few minutes.

When activating the divert facility, you have three options:

  •       Divert all calls
  •       Divert calls only when your line is engaged
  •       Divert calls only when your phone isn’t answered in time

Before you can divert your calls, you’ll need your new phone number. If you’re diverting to Virtually There, this will be your ‘divert to’ number found on your Virtually There Portal.

Once you have this number, you can set up call  diverts on BT and Virgin Media in the following ways:

Lift the handset and listen for the dialling tone.

For BT lines dial:

*21* followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #21#

For Virgin Media lines dial:

*70 followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #70

You should hear a recorded message confirming the service has been activated. If you lift the handset again, you’ll hear a slightly different dialling tone. Callers will now be diverted to your new number according to your instructions.

How to divert calls only when your phone is engaged

Lift the handset and listen for the dialling tone.

For BT lines dial:

*67* followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #67#

For Virgin Media lines dial

*76 followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #76

You should hear a recorded message confirming the service has been activated. If you lift the handset again, you’ll hear a slightly different dialling tone. Now, anybody calling while your line is engaged will automatically be diverted to[LT5]  your new number.

How to divert calls only when your phone isn’t answered

Lift the handset and listen for the dialling tone.

For BT lines dial:

*61* followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #61#

For Virgin Media lines dial:

*77 followed by the number we’ve provided you, then #

To turn the service off, lift the handset and dial #77

Again, you should hear a recorded message confirming the service has been activated. If you lift the handset again, you’ll hear a slightly different dialling tone. Any calls not answered within 6 rings will now be automatically diverted to your new number.

Always remember to activate divert when you are going to be away from your phone for a significant period of time. Alternatively, leaving your *21* divert on for BT or *70 for Virgin Media permanently will give you one less thing to have to remember!

Often, once you activate the divert service, callers will be greeted by a recorded message informing them their call is being diverted. This defeats the purpose of what you are trying to achieve so make sure you contact your provider and ask them to change the facility to divert without an announcement.

Quick Divert Command list

How to divert calls from your Android smartphone

It’s important to note that not all Android devices have the same settings so the steps required may vary depending on your phones’ manufacturer. But this guide should be broadly effective.

1.       Open your phone app

2.       Hit the 3-dot menu button or the 3-line menu button

3.       Go to Settings or Call settings.

4.       Tap on Call Forwarding

5.       You will see multiple options, including:

a.       Always forward: All calls go to your desired secondary number

b.      Forward when busy: Calls go to your secondary number of choice when busy

c.       Forward when unanswered: Calls go to a secondary number if you don’t answer

d.      Forward when unreached: Calls go to a secondary number when your phone is off, in aeroplane mode or out of signal

6.       Once you have chosen your preferred option, enter the number to divert calls to

7.       Select Enable, Turn on or OK, and Save or Confirm if necessary 

How to divert calls from your iPhone

  1. Open your Settings app
  2. Tap “Phone”
  3. Tap “Call Forwarding”
  4. Turn on Call Forwarding by swiping right.
  5. Tap “Forward To”
  6. Enter the phone number you want to redirect calls to
  7. Use the back button to save your changes. Don’t force-close the Settings app as this can delete the call forwarding information you have entered

How to divert calls from your BT line:

For further guidance please visit the BT website FAQs

Call Divert on all calls:

  •       Set call diversion: *21* [enter telephone answering number] #
  •       Check call diversion: *#21#
  •       Cancel call diversion: #21#

Call Divert on no reply:

  •       Set diversion on no reply: *61* [telephone answering number] #
  •       Check diversion on no reply: *#61#
  •       Cancel diversion on no reply: #61#

Call Divert on busy:

  •       Set diversion on busy: *67* [telephone answering number] #
  •       Check diversion on busy: *#67#
  •       Cancel diversion on busy: #67#

Call Divert on no reply or busy:

  •       Set diversion on no reply & busy: *66* [telephone answering number] #
  •       Check diversion on no reply & busy: *#66#
  •       Cancel diversion on no reply & busy: #66#

How to divert calls from your Virgin Media landline:

Call Divert on all calls:

Set call diversion: *70 [enter answering number] #

Check call diversion: *#70

Cancel call diversion: #70

 

Call Divert on no reply after 6 rings:

Set diversion on no reply: *77 [enter answering number] #

Check diversion on no reply: *#77

Cancel diversion on no reply: #77

 

Call Divert on busy/engaged:

Set diversion on busy: *76 [telephone answering number] #

Check diversion on busy: *#76

Cancel diversion on busy: #76

To cancel ALL diverts on Virgin Media landline:

# 002 #

 

How do I set up call divert on my BT Mobile, O2 or Vodafone mobile?

To set up Call Divert  for BT Mobile, O2 and Vodafone:

  1. Press **
  2. Enter your preferred code:
    1. 21 to divert all calls
    2. 61 to divert calls you don’t answer within 15 seconds
    3. 62 to divert calls when your phone is switched off
    4. 67 to divert calls when your phone is engaged
  3. Press * again
  4. Enter the number you want to divert calls to. Remember to dial +44 instead of 0
  5. Press # then press send/dial

To check Call Diversion has been activated:

  1. Press *
  2. Press #
  3. Enter the code you used when you switched on call diversion (21, 61, 62 or 67)
  4. Press # again

To switch off individual call diverts

  1. Press ##
  2. Enter the code you used when you switched on call diversion (21, 61, 62 or 67)
  3. Press #

To switch off all call diverts

  1. Dial ##002# and press send / dial

 

Paul Sandquest

Head of Marketing

Paul is Head of Marketing at Virtually There and has over a decade of experience supporting businesses across the globe.

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