"Time Conditions" is another great feature that some BYOD DIY VoIP providers offer - at no extra charge (at least the ones I use do). So, just what are "time conditions" and how do I use them?
Time Conditions are a feature that is always watching the clock to determine how to handle or route incoming VoIP calls. Based on the time of day and how the settings have been configured, incoming calls will essentially be handled according to the options available by the VoIP provider's time conditions feature.
In my accounts, I have many of the same handling options that I also have for Caller-ID filtering. Some of these options include redirecting the call to another phone number, a SIP URI, a ring group, a voice recording, another sub-account extension, an IVR (Interactive Voice Response system), or to my voicemail box.
The most commonly used routing setting for a time condition is to either forward to another telephone number during work hours, or to a different number after work hours or directly to voicemail.
For myself, I use time conditions to forward all calls to voicemail after a certain time at night so that I am not disturbed until some time in the early mornings.
An example would be that I don't want to be disturbed by phone calls after 9 PM in the evenings until 7 AM in the morning. These kinds of settings can be very useful to avoid being waken up at night by annoying callers, wrong numbers, or by drunks miss-dialing phone numbers in the middle of the night, etc. (Believe me, this has all happened to me on more occasions than I care to remember; but, not anymore with time conditions...)
Small businesses can also find time conditions very useful to redirect their calls to voice mail during lunch hours and after hours.
Time Conditions is another very useful feature that my preferred VoIP providers supply - at no extra cost, of course.
So, which is it? A frill, a must have, or SMB essential? Only you can answer that question for yourself. But for me, time conditions has been a very useful tool. I'm not sure I can call it a must-have, but I think I can call it a "wanna-have". I immagine SMB's will cerainly consider it a must-have essential.