Conference call retry behavior

"How many times will xMatters try to call me to join a conference, and how do I modify this?"

This article describes how to modify the default behavior used by xMatters for handling voice notifications for conference call requests, such as the number of times xMatters will try to call you, how long to wait between retry attempts, and options for leaving a voicemail message.

Default behavior

The default behavior used by xMatters for voice notifications and conference call requests is to call you once, and - if there's no answer - leave a voicemail message with callback information. If you're a member of a group, xMatters will escalate the conference bridge request to the next contact in the escalation order.

Handling options

The default behavior can be modified by adding the Handling section to your message form in the communication plan layout view:


The Voicemail Options settings under Handling are used to configure the handling behavior for standard phone notifications and conference calls:

Voicemail options

The Voicemail Options settings can be used to specify how many times xMatters should retry the call if not answered by a person on the initial attempt, how long it should wait between attempts, and what type of message xMatters will leave when a call is answered by a voicemail system or answering machine.

Here's an overview of the three available settings:

Retries - The number of additional times xMatters will attempt to call you after the first try. For example, if the Retry field is set to 3 times, then xMatters will make 3 more attempts after the first call - for a total of 4 attempts). (Note: In trial versions of xMatters, the retry setting applies to conference bridge notifications only. Standard phone notifications always use the default handling behavior).

Time between retry attempts - The number of seconds xMatters waits before attempting to call you again.

Type of voicemail to leave - These settings can help you protect sensitive messages from being stored in a medium that is not secure. You can choose from the following options to specify what type of message xMatters will leave:

  • Message Content and Callback Info: a voicemail containing both the notification content and callback information (this option is not available when users are required to provide a phone password).
  • Message Content Only: a voicemail message containing the notification content, but no callback information is included (this option is not available when users are required to provide a phone password).
  • Callback Info Only: (default) a voicemail with callback information only, allowing the recipient to call in to retrieve the message.
  • Do Not Leave Message: no voicemail message.

You can control whether any of the Voicemail Options settings can be modified by defining their visibility to the message sender by toggling the Show/Hide icon (the eye icon).

Additional retry attempts

If xMatters is unsuccessful at contacting you or leaving a message, it may retry the call. This may happen in several circumstances:

  • If the system determines the call was cut off before it could reach you, it assumes there may have been a system failure and will retry the attempt.
  • If your phone continues to ring without being answered, our conference provider may determine there is a problem and retry the call.
  • If you decline the call and don't have voicemail, the system will assume the call was terminated and will retry the call.

Under these circumstances, we've found that an additional 3-5 call attempts are typically made. These retry attempts are not configurable by xMatters because they are being initiated based on how downstream voice providers are configured.

Note: Some of our customers, particularly those in countries where voicemail is not very common, may experience these additional retry attempts due to confusions between their systems and systems that expect voicemail (such as ours and our service providers).



xMatters reference: DTN-3724; DTN-4791 Originally created by Daniel Thomas


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  • If retry is set to 0, will the system try to contact someone for as long as the activation is active or will it never call back?

  • Yep, 0 is no retry, so it won't attempt again. 

    Docs for reference:

    Although that doesn't explicitly detail what should happen with retry of 0, based on my experience 0 will make it not callback. 

  • Thanks for the reply Travis, it's strange though because I recently activated a scenario that has it's retry value set to 0 but I got a few people saying the system called them 5 or 6 times. Is there a global value for the entire system?

  • Hi Ryan. Those extra calls were probably a result of the system retrying calls that it believed to have been dropped, as explained in the Additional Retry Attempts section at the bottom of the article. The most salient bit is probably this one: "These retry attempts are not configurable by xMatters because they are being initiated based on how downstream voice providers are configured."