I just moved from TELUS to Shaw Phone.
At Telus, I had Call Forwarding on No Answer/Busy and Distictive Ring for my Fax, Also I did not have Voicemail at home as I used the one on my Mobile. Because I used to change my Mobile number quite often, I never gave that number out to people. Instead, I asked everyone to only call me at the home number which has been the same for 30+ years. If anyone called the house, it first rang 3 times to give me a chance to answer it, then it got forwarded to my Mobile... and after that to my Mobile's voicemail. Same if the home phone is busy. If a FAX came in on my Distinctive Ring number, it was set up so that it would not be forwarded to my Mobile. The FAX modem on my PC was set up to ANSWER only if the phone rang 6 or more times. The modem does not have a way to recognize if the call is a regular call or a distingtive ring, it answers only after the specified number of rings (6 in this case). Things worked very well....
Shaw does not offer this special Call Forwarding Feature for Residential Clients. Instead, I now use the free Simultaneous Ring feature which solves one problem (i.e. people call the house, if I am there, I answer. If not, I can answer the Mobile. Even better, because if I am out, now I can answer the Mobile even faster than before). I also have free voicemail at home now.... set to kick in after 3 rings... which is good and bad. Bad because I used to only worry about checking voicemail on one mailbox -- the one on the Mobile phone -- but now I'd have to check both. I know I can disable the one at home, but I just discoved that the Shaw voicemail allows me to list my email addresses (mine and my wife's which are set up on our iPhones), and it would automatically send us a copy of all voicemails (including the mp3 attachment of he actual voicemail message). Obviously, the people who call my home could be for me or for my wife..., so both of us are now notified immediately and have the option to answer the calls if it's for us. Up to 4 phones can ring simultaneously!
For the FAX, I still have a small problem even though I found a few neat solutions.
First, it is possible to have the voicemail ENABLED on the Main number but Disabled on the number with the Distinctive Ring (which is essentially the same line). So now, if a fax comes in... it can ring for the required 6 rings -- long enough for the Fax to kick in. And it never goes to voicemail.
But there is NO WAY to stop it from also ringing simultaneously on all our Mobile phones. So if a fax comes in, both my wife and I see it ringing on our Mobiles... No big deal because we can see it is a fax so we don't answer it, except when one of us is on the Mobile! Here, the Mobile voicemail kicks in immediately thus the phone never rings the required 6 times needed for the Fax at home to have a chance to answer. Granted, the chance of this happening all the time is small, but never-the-less it is a hassle. It's best if Shaw can find a way to not send the distinctive rings to the phones listed on the simultaneous ring list.
Finally, I've read about this here before, the issue of calling home from our Mobiles... since the Mobiles are set to ring simultaneously when someone calls home.... it starts an undesired loop.... I call home, the home phone never rings and my Mobile voicemail kicks in immediately. Two possible solutions -- both not ideal. 1) I can call my wife directly on her Mobile.... but sometimes she leaves her phone in the car or in her purse and she won't hear it.... 2) I use the Shaw Phone App on my iPhone to disable the Simultaneous Ring Feature before I call home.... it's relatively quick but still a hassle.... and then I have to turn it back on.
With Call Forwarding after 3 rings at telus, at least the home phone would ring 3 times at home before coming back to my mobile voicemail....
So overall, some great features and a few small outstanding issues with the Shaw Phone. I am quite pleased, and I hope Shaw can make a few further enhancements, because then it would be even better than at Telus. Maybe the solution is to add the ability to delay the simultaneous ring by 1, 2 or 3 rings.... enough to give the person at home to answer the phone first. Also stop the distinctive ring from being part of this simultaneous ring feature.