This really does work... it's never not worked so there's another issue at play here. The most common problem I see is folks waiting after dialing the DN before hitting #2 - it all needs to be one sequence with no pauses.
I've also seen problems where dialing the DN from the opening greeting takes the caller somewhere they don't expect due to a locked one key map - presumably if you dial just the DN you get to the subscriber's mailbox (after ringing their phone)?
That actually wont work for a couple reasons... first, you can't have a # in the extension number - only digits are allowed. And even if you could, it doesn't solve the problem at hand. When you dial the extension number of a subscriber or call handler (primary or alternate) via the auto attendant, Unity processes the transfer rules first and will ring the phone for that user if the transfer rule is configured to do that. #2 will tell Unity to skip the transfer rules and go right to the greeting rules if you don't want to first ring the phone.
There are also ways to do this in CM with transfer over rides that are much nicer than using the #2 option... CM will forward the call to Unity RNA without ringing the phone and Unity will then send you right to their greeting - this is how it should be done and is how most systems out there do this type of thing.
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