SPA 504G Transfer stopped by incoming calls

Answered Question
Apr 10th, 2012
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I've been having some trouble with my company's recently adopted PBX system and our 504G+S500 and found this post in another discussion (which was posted in the wrong area).  I've reposted it below and am hopeful that this community might be able to offer some suggestions or advice that could push me to find the answer.  Any help would be appreciated!

"Hey Guys,

So I have a receptionist with a Cisco SPA 504g that has a SPA500 attendant console attached to it. Here is my problem:

- Call 1 comes and receptionist picks up Person A

The call is for Person B, but she has to do an attended transfer, so she
hits the transfer soft key, followed by Person B's 4 digit extension. Person B picks
up and says he is available to take the call.

- In the meantime, a second call comes in Person C.

While the second call is ringing, she can no longer hit the "transfer"
soft key to send the 1st call to Person B. She has to wait until the call stops
ringing for the button to appear.

To handle this I told my receptionist to tell Person B that a call is coming in and that she will transfer Person A in a minute. She then need to hangup on Person B. Next is to pick up Person C and put him/her on hold. Then go back to Person A and transfer him/her again.

Is there a better way of doing this? It is fine if there are 1 person is calling but becomes a pain when 2 or more call in at the same time. It becomes more difficult.

Also is there a firmware release that fixes this problem? It owuld be nice if the new call came in and she could press the down or up arrow and get the transfer button back.

Thanks for all the help."

Correct Answer by deepakitkar about 5 years 1 month ago

I am also using Asterisk-PBX and Queue is working perfect for me and I hope it will work for you as well. We also have a policy to have a receptionist answer all the calls.

Could you explain this "Could we configure it to allow people to dial out without an announcement? " so that I can help you further. Also, I am notsure if this thread is good to answer about Queues. You can open discussion in Freepbx which is what I am using.

Let me know.

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
rbordner Tue, 04/10/2012 - 16:06
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  • Cisco Employee,


Here are some options to try with your PBX:

1) On phone tab change ‘line navigation’ from ‘per line’ to ‘per call’.

2) Edit Programmable Soft Key Ringing State and add xfer option

Then you can use the up and down arrow to move between the two calls and select the softkey option valid for that call.


AgbangaKarite Wed, 04/11/2012 - 08:07
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Hey Randy!

I'll be trying your suggestions today and report back on what works most likely before the end of the day.

Thanks for your help!

AgbangaKarite Wed, 04/11/2012 - 14:13
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Alright, I have worked on this a bit this morning trying to get it running smoothly.  I was interested to see that our 'line navigation' setting was already set to 'per call'.  I DID however modify our Soft Key Ringing State field to say "answer|1;ignore|2;xfer|3;toggle|4" in the hopes that it would add the "transfer" option to the softkeys while it was ringing.  Oddly enough, neither the "toggle" or the "transfer" softkeys appear when the phone is ringing (to be clear, the 'toggle' line was already present but that key has never appeared either).  I did be sure to save my changes and the phone reset itself.  The configuration panel is currently reflecting the changes I made.

Is there any error in my syntax or other reason that it may not show these keys with these settings?

As an afterthought, were the transfer option to be present on a ringing call, would that allow me to complete a transfer I have already begun on another call, or prompt me to transfer the currently incoming call?  Seems like it really could go either way.

Thanks again,


AgbangaKarite Wed, 04/18/2012 - 13:04
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Just a friendly reminder that this issue is still presenting some serious challenges for our customer service department.  Any reccomendations or work arounds that ANYONE may be able to suggest would be very valuable to us.



Alejandro Gidi Sun, 04/22/2012 - 10:20
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Interesting problem

This is not the best solution but alternatives.

We have an attendant that actually has two phones in a ring group.

Or if the PBX asteriskbased you can try installing FOP2

Please do share your findings.

Best luck

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPad App

AgbangaKarite Mon, 04/23/2012 - 08:50
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  Unfortunately we do not have the phones or resources available to open up another phone/operator to call recieving (one of the reasons we went with these phones was that we thought we would be able to handle calls more efficiently), but we DO have Operator Panel 2.  I have used OP2 to perform some basic functions, but i'm not sure how it would be able to aid me with this particular issue.  What exactly do I need to do in OP2 in order to select the "line" that needs to be transferred and transfer it successfully?  How do I do an attended transfer through the OP2?

Thanks for your help,


jteevan001 Wed, 07/06/2016 - 09:10
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This works fine with the 504g but still have the issue with the 502g using multiple call appearance, I am unable to toggle between the calls.


deepakitkar Tue, 04/24/2012 - 08:43
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I tried a different approach but it is totally from the PBX side. I created Queue and the 2nd call will always be in queue before receptionist transfer the 1st call. As soon as the 1st call is transferred, 2nd call rings and so on. What pbx are you using?


AgbangaKarite Tue, 04/24/2012 - 09:55
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That could be a usable work around!  I'm on an Asterisk-based PBX with some added UI and access features.  Our corporate policy right now is to have a person answer the phone 100% of the time, and i'm not very familiar with queues.  It should essentially answer incoming calls and direct them to the recieving line when it becomes available, correct?  Could we configure it to allow people to dial out without an announcement?  I know you aren't necessarily going to be intimately familiar will all Asterisk PBX's, but thought I would ask in case.

Doing a little bit of reading it looks like a queue certainly could help prevent the situation that is causing this problem, but I want to be sure we can implement it without reducing the quality of our customer service or acting outside our company policy.

Correct Answer
deepakitkar Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:16
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I am also using Asterisk-PBX and Queue is working perfect for me and I hope it will work for you as well. We also have a policy to have a receptionist answer all the calls.

Could you explain this "Could we configure it to allow people to dial out without an announcement? " so that I can help you further. Also, I am notsure if this thread is good to answer about Queues. You can open discussion in Freepbx which is what I am using.

Let me know.

AgbangaKarite Tue, 04/24/2012 - 10:25
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Let me rephrase: If a incoming caller is in the queue, do you think it would be possible for us to enable them to dial one of our extensions and bypass the queue without using any automated voice menus?

The scenario we want to avoid is this:  One of our employees calls in to tell us they are running late, but there are two calls in the queue.  The employee knows their supervisor's extension, so we want them to be able to dial in to them, but we do not want customers dialing directly to extensions because they tend to flood single lines and misdirect their own calls.

Do you think it could be possible to enable callers to dial extensions without a prompt or an automated voice recording/menu?

Also, is freepbx a separate forum, or a subtopic?  Could you provide a link?

Thank you very much for your help!


AgbangaKarite Wed, 04/25/2012 - 08:18
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Alright, so i've tried more than once to register with that forum, but I am not recieving the confirmation emails in any of the addresses I have tried so far (or in their respective filters or junk mail folders).  I am still trying to work with the queue settings, but it looks like the powers that be in my office may heavily lean torward just replacing the phone and hoping for one uneffected by this problem.

I'll let you know how any of the fixes or swaps we do turns out.

deepakitkar Wed, 04/25/2012 - 09:57
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Queue will work for sure. I have already implemented this in our both facilities. Let me know if you need any help.

AgbangaKarite Wed, 04/25/2012 - 11:01
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Our first day doing this, and it certainly solves our transfer problem, but we are still determining whether it's a net gain in quality of service for our customers.  Thanks for your help with this Deepak, it's been very useful!

deepakitkar Wed, 04/25/2012 - 11:23
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You're welcome, James. If you still need any help, do let me know.

AgbangaKarite Fri, 05/04/2012 - 10:46
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Alright, we've replaced our 504G+S500 with a Yealink T38G and the problem has been solved.  Things are now running smoothly in our office.

Solution: Get a different phone.

If you desire to have the next call appearance show on the next LED versus just the screen (ANSWER / IGNORE), change the settings on the local 504G:

Login / Admin Login / Advanced / Phone

Miscellaneous Line Key Settings:

  • Line ID Mapping:  HORIZONTAL FIRST
  • SCA Sticky Auto Line Seize: YES

This should now show the second incoming call on the LED call appearance, as well as the screen, allowing you to visually see the LED's flashing for the active calls.

gruppoeos Wed, 05/15/2013 - 06:43
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Hi Greg. Two considerations:

First: I think that this issue is very important for this forum because if the only solution that comes out will be "Get a different phone" (as James Lehnerd suggets), this will not be a good conclusion for a Cisco support site;

Second: the solutions all we are looking for is NOT to "show the second incoming call on the LED call as well as the screen", but ONLY on the LED, leaving the screen as is, IN PARTICULAR leaving the possibility to TRANSFER the current call BEFORE answering the incoming one(s).

Please note that this is the common behaviour on all the phone that have a "HARD" transfer button (like Snom, Grandstream, the Yealink T38G as reported by James Lehnerd, the initiator of this discussion), as opposite to the "softkey" transfer butto on 504G.

I personally think that, if this problem will not be solved, no one would like to buy a SPA 50x phone (I've tested other models and the behaviour is always the same).


jrodney182 Wed, 07/17/2013 - 15:09
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This is an issue (fatal issue) that Cisco has Ignored, and this happen in al series spa5xx.

In my particular case, i had tried everything (last firmware, programmable softkeys, support from Cisco), and the only solution is change it for other IP phone, from other brand. Imagine the situation:

An operator who receives 3 or 4 calls simultaneously, she can't transfer any calls until she answers all calls... that is not functional in a phone assigned to the operator extension...

This problem did not happen in previous versions of the SPA phones, i.e., in Linksys versions....

plicheva Thu, 07/18/2013 - 08:23
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Hello Jeyson,

My name is Plamena Licheva from Cisco Small Business Support. Recently we had the same issue reported by another customer of us and we managed to resolve it after changing the Interdigit Short Timer under Regional settings to something more then the default 3 seconds. Set it for example to 10 seconds. This will give the receptionist enought time to finish the call transfer.

Please provide me your feedback if that is helping.

Best Regards,


jrodney182 Fri, 07/19/2013 - 12:02
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Hello Plamena.....

That doesn't solve the problem, because the problem doesn't have anything to do with time. Let me explain the situation clearer:

1) A call comes into the SPA (call A).

2) The receptionist answers the call.

3) While the receptionist is talking with the client (A), the screen displays the options 'xfer' and 'conf'. Until then she can transfer the call.

4) Then comes a second call, the call 'B', and then disappear options 'xfer' and 'conf' of the screen, and displays the options 'Answer' and 'Ignore'. At that time the receptionist can not transfer the call 'A' until she answers the call B.

Now, imagine this scenario but not only with the second call (B), but also with more calls simultaneously ... She couldn't transfer calls until she answers all incoming calls in the SPA....

I think the problem with the SPA phones from series 5xx is that the soft keys that appear on the screen give precedence to incoming calls instead of the established call as previous versions of SPA phones did.  That makes it impossible to control the established call without first doing something about the incoming call.

gruppoeos Mon, 07/22/2013 - 03:01
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Hi Plamena, here is Tiziano Martelli (gruppoeos) who already try to point out this problem on May, 15.

I would associate to Jeyson request that has clearly explained, better that I've done, the seriousness of this problem. I've already sobstituted 2 SPA504g with the Yealink model suggested by James Lehnerd (see before), but I have more then 20 customer that still use the SPA504 that are waiting for a solution. Thanks

plicheva Mon, 07/22/2013 - 05:36
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Hello Tiziano,

If you happen to have the same issue, I would also advise you to open a ticket with us on the above mentioned numbers.

Best Regards,

cschippers Wed, 11/13/2013 - 06:23
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We have the same problem with the Cisco 504G. Is there already a solution for this probleem.  I would like to Xfer my first call without first pickup the second/third call. !!!


2lconsult Fri, 01/17/2014 - 01:46
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I'm surprised : this post is tagged as "answered" but it is not!!! the so-called answer does not solve the issue. There is a related one, which is hot answered at all and which point to this one. Al in all, I do not see  a solution for  that really important issue.

Does someone has a clue or a link?. Di someone open a ticket and got an aswer???

The other related post is


lzsc4y Tue, 03/11/2014 - 12:38
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This thread is a little old, but I wanted to enlist the help of others.

I have the same issue in a school with several SPA514G's.  After being very insistent with Cisco, they have opened the following bug fix to correct this issue, the only problem is they consider it an enhancement.  It would be nice if everyone having the issue would open a ticket with Cisco small business support, allowing them to see that this is far from just my problem and that it is a correction of a bug not an enhancement.


itgandhdental Wed, 06/25/2014 - 13:17
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I see they logged it in as priority 6 enhancement.....I'm about to scrap my SPA514g phones due to this needed "enhancement", this is basic functionality.


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