Image Number 5 for United States Patent #4696028.
Disclosed is an intercept system for integrating the personalized services of switchboard attendants associated with on-premises PBX switching systems with the capabilities of the intercept system for allowing calling parties the opportunity to complete their own calls to the on-premises switching systems when the telephone extension numbers of the called parties are known to the calling parties. Depending on the mode of system operation selected, the intercept system either presents all incoming calls directly to the switchboard attendants, or intercepts all incoming calls and presents the caller the opportunity to complete the call, or a combination in which incoming calls are first offered to the switchboard attendants for assistance and then after a time wherein attendant assistance is not gained, the call is intercepted and the caller is given an opportunity to complete the call. When a call is intercepted a bidirectional communication path is established between the caller and the intercept system, wherein a digital announcement circuit transmits an instructional message to the caller soliciting the dialing of the desired on-premises switching system telephone extension number, and a DTMF receiver collects the dialed extension number digits. The digits are then outpulsed to the on-premises switching system and the call to the desired party is completed without the intervention of a switchboard attendant.