How Does Google Voice Work When Someone Calls?
When someone calls your Google phone number, the virtual Google switchboard operator pulls out your set of instructions on how to handle the call. Google first checks if you have hung a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your phone, which will direct all calls to Google's voice mail system. When someone calls your Google phone number for the first time, Google internally verifies whether you have elected to prescreen your calls. You can choose to screen for all callers or only for callers who use blocked caller ID. If you have opted to screen your calls, Google will request the unknown callers to identify themselves. With repeat callers, Google confirms whether you have enabled the call presentation feature. This feature will announce the caller using the name recorded during the initial contact and allows you to press 1 to accept the call or 2 to send the call directly to the voice mail system. You can also press * to join the call while caller is in the midst of leaving a voice message or press 4 to record the call after you have accepted it. For known callers, Google also acts as an automatic switchboard operator to respond to the call according to your special instructions:
1. For family members, friends, coworkers, or members of another designated group, the Google switchboard operator handles the call in accordance with your setup instructions, such as welcoming the caller with a special greeting or rerouting the call to a designated phone, such as your personal cell phone. You can also disabled the call presentation feature so that the call rings directly through without you having to push a button to accept it.
2. For persons you place on your contact list (friend or foe), Google Voice will examine whether you have left specific instructions to:
Send the call directly to voice mail - the caller is politely instructed by the Google operator to leave a voice mail, and you are notified via your inbox and, if selected, by e-mail.
Treat as spam - the caller is given a false sense of security by being instructed to leave a message, but the message goes directly to the spam folder in your inbox.
Block the call - the caller will hear the Google's operator's little white lie telling him that number is not in service. In this instance, none of your phones will ring, and the message will be perfunctorily marked as 'Blocked' under the History and Missed folders in your inbox.
3. For other regular callers, Google Voice uses your default settings for your phones and calls, which includes which phones to ring and during what times. You can choose weekdays or weekends or specific hours to cover your day or nighttime routine.