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You can send calls straight to voicemail by selecting the appropriate voice mail options available on most cell phones, using a separate call-forwarding option from your mobile provider, or setting up a straight-to-voicemail calling service in which callers dial a different telephone number to reach your voicemail box. Landline phones can work somewhat differently with this option, although many phone companies offer voicemail services as alternatives to an answering machine. Routing phone messages to your voicemail is a process that can vary from one service provider to the nest, and some of these options can carry additional fees, depending on different providers' policies.
Most cell phones have features that send incoming calls straight to voicemail when you power off your phone. Silencing the ringtone while you are busy will also activate your voicemail after the caller hears a certain number of rings. Some cell phone owners prefer to reduce the ring volume when they first hear a certain incoming call, though this method provides a temporary rather than a permanent solution. A mobile call-forwarding service is usually a more convenient and streamlined option to switching your cell phone's ringer on and off throughout a given day.
Cell phone companies typically offer their customers call-forwarding services that send your calls straight to voicemail without your phone's ringer activating. Some mobile providers may allow you to designate only specific numbers to be sent directly to your voicemail box while others do not offer this feature. Different companies also usually have varying procedures for you to activate and deactivate your call-forwarding option. This additional cell phone feature typically comes with either a flat monthly fee or an accumulation of charges based on the number of forwarded calls per month. Forwarding landline calls to voicemail often involves setting up a similar voicemail box that you can access by dialing your phone number and entering a pass code.
A straight-to-voicemail, dial-in service works with a different method than a mobile calling service. This type of phone plan provides you with a stand-alone voicemail box with its own number. This new number may or may not be toll-free, depending on your provider. Once callers dial this number, they typically need to enter your phone number before reaching your voicemail box. One possible downside to this option is that your voicemail box can fill up if you forget to regularly check it and delete old messages.