Phones & answering machines

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    OK, so I'm in the market for a new cordless phone with a digital answering machine. I saw a "nice" 2.4Ghz AT&T set at Costco. Came with two cordless handsets, answering machine, the whole works. Bought it, and less than a month later (ie, last week), it quit working properly. So I returned it but you know how Costco is, they didn't have any left, so we went over to Best Buy and bought the same set from them.

    This one doesn't work right, either! The buttons on the front of the answering machine have to be pressed incredibly hard to get them to function. So, I want a new set other than the AT&T 2255. Here's what I'm looking for:

    [*]Decent digital answering machine[*]2.4Ghz preferred, will consider 900Mhz[*]Must have caller ID in the handset[*]Prefer TWO cordless handsets on the same phone[/list] Barring that, are there any nice standalone answering systems that interface well with a computer?
     
  2. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan, Take that crappy AT&T back, then go back to Costco and get the V-Tech package with 2 phones, ans. mach base for $169.00. It can expand to 4 phones, and is a great buy!
    Plus it's small, easy to use and very cool looking.
     
  3. James St

    James St Supporting Actor

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    Ryan, you should look at Panasonic and Siemens phones. They offer 2.4GHZ range with backlit handsets and caller id. You can buy additional handsets(up to 6 or 7) as well.
     
  4. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    Mark, according to Consumer Reports all AT&T phones have been made by V-Tech for a while now. (V-Tech bought AT&T's consumer product division.)

    I hope I have better luck with my AT&T 2255 set (Sam's Club) than you did, Ryan. I've had it for about a month and so far it's great. I did a lot of 'net research on phones before I bought it and didn't see any problems like you had. Whatever you end up with, better luck next time!
     
  5. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Ryan-
    I just picked up this Panasonic at Best Buy 3 weeks ago and I love it. [​IMG] It's on sale this week for $79.99 so I am off to get my price guarantee [​IMG] I actually purchased the extended "drop it and we'll fix it" warranty for $10 more, I never buy those but with the rough treatment my phone gets I thought it a good idea.
    It has fantasitik range and sounds 10X clearer than my old Sony 900mhz.
    They also offer a model with keypad buttons on the base.
     
  6. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I bought a uniden phone package with exactly the same features you want for $149 at best buy about a month ago. I am very happy with my purchase.
     
  7. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    I've always been totally opposed to extended warantees, but in the case of a cordless phone that gets heavy use, I would consider making an exception. My experience is that these things never make for 3 years and often fail in 1 year or less. I currently have a panny 2.4 gig (you know ... the ATV of phones). Aftre 13 months, it just started saying "no signal".

    Also remember ... nothing beats the Costco return policy: 12 months - cash back - no questions asked. SAve that receipt (I staple to owners manual)
     
  8. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    A lot of the 2.4GHz phones will screw up an 802.11b wireless network, if you're using one at home. However, the Siemens 4200 series -will not-! They're available at Best Buy. When I replace my phones at home (waiting for my Sony to give up the ghost, should be any day now), I'll be getting the 4215, and a second handset, the 4200.
     
  9. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Chalk me up as an additional customer that's very satisfied with my 2.4 GHz Uniden phone/answerer combo. The only drawback...no ringer on/off switch on the handset. The voice quality is crystal clear though and I get fantastic range. The Uniden models always rank very high in Consumer Reports ratings.
     
  10. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    The only AT&T phone I've ever purchased was a piece of crap. I would recommend buying a Panasonic cordless phone. I've bought a few of them and they've all been fantastic. My 900Mhz panasonic still works great after 5 years. I'll be buying a 2.4Ghz soon and it will definitely be Panasonic.
     
  11. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    Michael*K,

    My uniden has the option to turn off the ringer on the handset. I just go to the menu on the handset and select ringer volume. Perhaps the models are different though.
     
  12. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I bought a uniden a few years ago and ended up returning it because there was no way to turn the ringer on the handset off. It had a ringer in the base (don't ask me why!) and one in the handset, and only the base one could be turned off, or maybe it was only the handset one, but in any case I brought it back.

    Bummer that V-tech makes AT&T phones now. The AT&T phones used to be decent. V-tech makes the Sony phones too and they're pieces of carp as well. I'd avoid anything made by V-tech.

    I have a Casio 900 MHz phone that's lasted 4 years now, despite being dropped, gotten wet, etc. But if I need to replace it someday, I'll either get another 900 or a Siemens 2.4 GHz. As long as it doens't break 802.11b wireless networks.

    KJP
     
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I love my Siemens Gigaset. They have all the features you're looking for and more. My model will support up to eight handsets.
     
  14. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Ryan, here's something I know you'll be interested in, so read this. Here's my favorite feature of the Siemens Gigaset:
    It has an auxiliary port to hook up a fax machine. (Forget about the fax machine – keep reading.) If you have Distinctive Ring feature on a second phone number (forget about that, too – you don’t need Distinctive Ring), then the Gigaset phone detects that and routes calls to the AUX port instead of to its handsets.
    The beauty of this is that with this feature enabled, it suppress the first ring tone for all incoming calls while it’s determining what kind of ring it is. Then, if it’s a normal call (with no Distinctive Ring), the handsets will begin ringing on the second ring, displaying the Caller ID data.
    Don’t hook up a fax machine, and don’t get the Distinctive Ring feature from your phone company. Just enable this feature on the Gigaset and use it with another answering machine (I use my computer, actually) on the same line that is programmed to pick up the line after the first ring and take messages only for Privacy or Out Of Area calls.
    With this setup, if I receive a Privacy or Out Of Area call, I never even hear the phone ring! My computer happily and dutifully takes messages from these calls before the phones ever ring. Meanwhile, every call with valid Caller ID data rings through to the handset without a hitch, albeit a ring late.
     
  15. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I've been using the Siemens Gigaset (Model 2415- with answering machine, with extra handset) for 2 years now.

    Very nice. Other neat things about it-

    1. It takes regular AA NiCd or NiMH batteries. I use some NiMH, and the charge stays for days!
    2. They have an earplug port, that uses the same 2.5mm earpiece jack as my cellphone.
    3. You can transmit the phone book from one handset to another.
    4. No antenna visible.
    5. I can walk to the far side of my neighbor's yard, and it keeps the call.
    6. I can never remember all the options for checking messages away from home. No problem- the help menu reads them to you!

    One disadvantage- my microwave bugs it, but doesn't drop the call.

    Todd
     
  16. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    My family and I swear by Panasonic 2.4Ghz cordless phones. The better ones are made in Japan too! [​IMG]
     
  17. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Sorry for the late reply. Thank you to EVERYONE who replied!! I'm going to take a long hard look at the phones you mentioned, especially the Gigaset.

    Thanks again.
     
  18. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    OK - I'm heading to Best Buy to pickup a Siemens 4215 and an extra handset in about an hour.

    Thanks again to everyone for your advice.
     
  19. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    DO NOT...
    I repeat...
    DO NOT BUY A PANASONIC CORDLESS PHONE!
    I'm currently shopping to replace my 2nd Panasonic cordless that BROKE the exact same way (after only 1 year each). The buttons to dial WILL eventually wear out, forcing you to press so hard to dial that your fingers grow numb! In fact, I can no longer dial a "2" on this keypad at all! The EXACT SAME PROBLEM...TWICE!!!
    &!@#ING Panasonic!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan,

    Get the Siemens Gigaset!! I had Sony's top of the line phone/answering machine, it broke. Had Panasonic's top of the line phone/answering machine, it broke. Just bought the Siemens. This phone rocks!!! So many options (multiple mail boxes, multiple handsets that do NOT require phone jacks to be plugged in, completely customizable,etc)

    Wish I had got the Siemens before going through all the other juck ones.

    MM
     

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