A call coverage arrangement in a telephone system. Any station served by the system may be assigned to a call coverage group as a principal station. A coverage group includes the identities of a plurality of call covering stations for the principal station and an indication of the order of preference of the covering stations. Call coverage criteria are stored for principal stations specifying circumstances under which calls intended for the principal stations are redirected to coverage. A covered call is redirected sequentially to each of the covering stations in a coverage group in the order of preference until the call is answered or abandoned. The coverage criteria include options based on both the state of a principal's station (active, busy, idle, etc.) and the class of an incoming call (internal, external, priority). Principal stations are equipped with a 'send all calls' button. The button may be operated while a call is arriving to redirect the call without waiting for automatic coverage to take effect. To give a caller control over the disposition of a call scheduled for coverage, the caller is alerted at the time a coverage criterion is satisified that the call is scheduled for coverage. Thereafter, a short time interval is provided during which the caller may abandon, activate the automatic generation and storage of a callback message or wait for the call to be redirected to coverage.
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