Call forwarding is a phone feature that allows you to send calls made to one number directly to another number. Often, the caller isn't aware this is occurring, unless the call isn't answered and goes to the forwarded voicemail. The advantages of call forwarding include convenience and being able to monitor a phone line continuously. However, there are disadvantages, such as frequent call interruption.
Call forwarding can make your life simpler. Take, for example, a parent who is waiting for the pediatrician to return a call. Instead of being tethered to the home phone number that the doctor has on record, the parent can forward all calls to a cellphone. The call will come through while the parent does other things outside of the house. Call forwarding makes it unnecessary for you to file every phone number with your child's school, the doctor and other important offices. This also makes it easier to fill out forms with contact information.
Advantage: Continual Phone Monitoring
Some people benefit from continually monitoring a phone line. New business owners, for example, often must be available around the clock as their ventures get off the ground. By initiating call forwarding, the owners can ensure that no important call is missed or goes to voicemail. This can help accomplish tasks such as inspection appointments more quickly. It also puts customers in direct contact with you, which can increase your reputation as you establish your business.
A primary downside of call forwarding is a constantly ringing phone. For example, if the small business owner does forward the business line to her cellphone, she may be inundated with calls at all hours. This can make it harder to disengage from work and get some downtime during off-hours. While this may not be an issue for some people, for others, it can make work seem overwhelming. It also means a person may feel compelled to constantly answer the phone.
Disadvantage: Forgetting to Turn Off
In many cases, call forwarding is only needed for a set amount of time -- for instance, overnight to ensure that calls are not missed during off-hours. Forgetting to turn off the feature can be a hassle. If you forget to turn off the feature, but don't have your cellphone nearby, you may miss dozens of calls the next day. Additionally, call forwarding usually must be turned off at the phone of origin, meaning you cannot turn off the feature over the weekend or during off-hours unless you have access to the original phone.