Call Has Been Forwarded: Meaning?

Here’s what “call has been forwarded” means:

If you hear a message saying “your call has been forwarded,” it is telling you that a call forwarding system has been activated.

Usually, this is done to ensure that you get some kind of answer to your call, even if that answer is just a voicemail.

Call forwarding is also used to manage call volume.

So if you want to learn all about why you’re hearing “call has been forwarded,” then this article is for you.

Let’s dive right in!

Call Has Been Forwarded: Meaning? (Everything to Know)

What Does the Message “Your Call Has Been Forwarded” Mean?

Let’s start with the basic outlook.

This message means exactly what you probably guessed.

It is telling you that your call has been forwarded from one phone line (or phone number) to another.

So, the number you dialed is no longer the line that is handling the call.

There are a lot of reasons why this can happen, and those are associated with a number of different meanings behind the transfer.

But, in a mechanical sense of everything, you are hearing this message because the call has been forwarded.

It’s very straightforward in that respect.

What Is Call Forwarding?

Of course, if you’re not familiar with call forwarding, then that explanation probably left you confused.

So, let’s get everyone on the same page and talk about what call forwarding is.

Essentially, it’s a phone service.

The service is provided by phone operators or carriers.

So, whether you are using a landline or a cell phone, the service makes it possible for a number to be rerouted to another number.

Basically, it works like this.

If you set up call forwarding, then when someone calls your number, the phone company reroutes that call to a different number of your choosing.

That second number can be attached to a voicemail (probably the most common use of this feature), another number you prefer, or just about anything else that can answer a phone call.

The way call forwarding triggers also depends on how you set it up.

You can make it so any call is automatically rerouted to a different number from the start.

Conversely, you can make it so that the calls only forward after a set number of rings.

There are other options (which I will discuss later) too.

From the perspective of calling someone who uses call forwarding, you will ultimately be connected to a phone line that is different from the number you dialed.

In some cases, you will be informed of the forwarding, but in other cases, you won’t be.

It depends on how things are set up, and that’s why we have to go a little deeper and discuss the different kinds of call forwarding and how they can be used.

What Are the Different Types of Call Forwarding? (3 Variants)

The first thing we’re going to cover is the different types of call forwarding offered.

Ultimately, there are a lot of phone companies, and they won’t all do things the same way.

But in general, the following three options are pretty universal.

#1 Immediate

With immediate call forwarding, anyone who calls you is redirected to the number you choose before the phone rings on either end.

I’ll talk more about use cases a little later, but one simple example can help explain how and why this works.

Let’s say you have a work phone and a mobile phone, and you’re on call this weekend.

To make your life easier, you could set up call forwarding with the work phone to automatically go to your mobile phone while you’re on call.

This way, you only have to keep your personal phone handy, and you still won’t miss any work calls.

Additionally, people at work can reach you when they need to, but you don’t have to give them your personal phone number.

Typically, this type of call forwarding does not include a message.

Callers are not told that their call is being forwarded.

A phone company could include that message if they wanted, but it’s not a common practice.

So, if you call a number with immediate forwarding, you’ll ultimately hear the phone ring normally, and you won’t know about the forwarding mechanism at all.

#2 Unanswered

Probably the most common use of call forwarding is for unanswered calls.

You set it up so that after the phone rings a set number of times, the service forwards the call somewhere else.

Most of the time, this somewhere else is a voicemail, but we’ll talk about that more specifically in a bit.

Technically, you could use this feature to forward calls to an answering service, another phone, or any other destination.

Voicemail is just common because most mobile phones do that by default.

All of that said, when you call a number with this setup, you typically will hear the message.

The line tells you that you are being redirected, and that’s because you already heard the phone ring.

The basic idea is that by telling you about call forwarding, you’ll stay on the line even though the phone rings are about to reset.

#3 Busy

The third common option is to set up call forwarding when there is a busy signal.

As you might imagine, this was a lot more popular in the past.

These days, phone lines come with call waiting by default, so busy signals aren’t as important or common for callers.

But, we should cover it just to be thorough.

This works how you might imagine.

When you call a number, if it gives a busy signal, then the call forwarding kicks into gear.

You’ll get the message, and the system will reroute you to the designated line.

It’s possible that you can be redirected with this setup and not get the message about your call being forwarded.

It depends on how the phone company runs things.

And, I can’t really say that one is more common than the other.

Busy signals just aren’t as prevalent as they once were, so it’s tough to say that you’re likely to encounter this at all.

But, it’s still frequently offered, so it’s worth covering.

What Are Common Call Forwarding Destinations? (5 Options)

Those are the common triggers that initiate call forwarding.

Once it is initiated, where does the call go?

If you’re setting up call forwarding, that’s really up to you.

You can usually pick any viable phone number.

That said, some destinations are a lot more common than others, so we can cover them to give you a clearer idea as to what is really going on when your call is forwarded.

#1 Voicemail

We’ve all heard that message, “Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system.”

It might be the most common automated message in the history of phone calls.

Regardless, this is telling you what we’ve already covered.

The call wasn’t answered in the set number of rings, so now you’re being transferred to a voicemail service so you can leave a message.

Phones do this by default, so naturally, this is extremely common.

Is there really anything else to say about it?

#2 Answering Service

Answering services are very common among businesses.

With a massive business, like say Apple, the answering service is probably controlled in-house.

When you call Apple support, you first enter a call queue.

So, you’re waiting to connect from the same number as anyone else dialing in at that moment.

Then, your call gets forwarded to an available tech support agent.

You won’t get a message about the call being forwarded, but it happens.

Then, during the call, they might even forward you to another department to solve your issue.

There are also third-party answering services.

If you own your own locksmithing company, then after normal office hours, you can forward your calls to an answering service.

They can then take calls that come for the locksmith to make sure no one is ignored late at night.

Then, the answering service can inform you when you need to go unlock something.

In that way, you might be able to catch some sleep if you’re available overnight.

These are specific examples, but hopefully, the point is clear.

Answering services make it so that people can reach a business even if the direct business line is unavailable.

#3 Alternative Number

The alternative number is another common destination for call forwarding.

Technically, every call forwarding destination is an alternative number, but I’m talking about something specific here.

This refers back to a previous example.

You can set up a phone so that all calls to it are automatically forwarded to a different line.

This allows you to answer work calls with your personal phone without giving out your personal phone number.

That’s only one of an endless number of ways to go about this, but it makes the concept pretty clear.

You can set calls to forward to a different phone line for whatever reason you like.

#4 Fax

Hopefully, if this is the case, then no one is getting a call-forwarding message.

You can set up call forwarding specifically to handle faxes.

While faxes are less common than they once were, they’re still used in a lot of formal business settings.

So, if you have a dedicated fax line, then you can use call forwarding to redirect calls to that line when they try to establish fax communication.

That’s really all there is to this one.

If this setup is working correctly, then you won’t even be on a phone call when this happens.

Instead, your fax machine will be on the line, and everything will happen automatically.

#5 Personal Assistant

Forwarding calls to a personal assistant is one more clear way to see how and why people use this service.

A sufficiently busy person could give out their number but set up call forwarding.

The personal assistant can then screen all calls and manage them accordingly.

This is another situation where you’re unlikely to hear any message about call forwarding.

In most cases, it makes sense to use immediate call forwarding to send all calls through the assistant.

But, if you’re setting this up, you ultimately have choices.

It’s all a matter of what you want.

Why Do You Hear the Message “Your Call Has Been Forwarded”? (2 Reasons)

We just covered a lot of ground.

With all of that information, how about we revisit the original question with more context.

What does the message mean?

As you already know, it’s informing you that a call forward service has been initiated.

At a deeper level, you can think about why your call is being forwarded.

It’s hard to know for sure, but you can break most cases into two possibilities.

Either your call is being ignored, or an answering service/system is trying to minimize your wait.

#1 Call Ignored

If you hear the call forwarding message, the very most likely scenario is that your call wasn’t answered in the set number of rings.

That leaves only two possibilities.

Either the other person wasn’t able to answer the phone, or they were unwilling.

Let’s consider the latter scenario.

We’ve all been in places where we didn’t want to answer a call, for any number of reasons.

Maybe you feel compelled to answer anyway, but not everyone does.

So, it’s entirely possible that your call was ignored and then sent to voicemail (or any other call forwarding destination).

So, what does “call has been forwarded” mean?

It might mean that you’re being ignored for the time being.

There are no guarantees, but it’s definitely a possibility.

It’s also entirely possible that the called person just couldn’t answer.

You’ve been indisposed before.

It happens, and it’s not always possible or reasonable to answer a phone call right away.

If you want to be sure as to why your call wasn’t answered, you’ll have to dig deeper, and that’s probably best left for a different discussion altogether.

#2 Call Redirected

The other primary reason that your call will be forwarded is to get you to someone or something that can actually answer you.

In this case, I’m talking about answering services and systems. Companies use them to manage call volume.

Your local Walmart only has so many phone lines, so if you really need to talk to someone with the company, it might be better for you that you get forwarded to an answering service.

The whole point is to minimize how long you have to wait to get your call answered.

In this case, the message means that there is a system in place trying to efficiently handle your call.

That’s it.