Product Type: British Telecom answering machines
Newest Review: ... this now retails at £30.53 (February 2013) The machine is lightweight and portable - well, portable in as much as it needs to be near a ... more
A smarter answer
BT Response 75
Member Name: Alfettaman
BT Response 75
Advantages: Well thought-out features, easy to set up and use, inexpensive
Disadvantages: Manual is on disc, not on paper
Wrong. It's free to subscribe, but it's certainly not free for your callers, and it's got some other problems too. BT 1571 kicks in after a very few rings, and your caller is then immediately charged for the (now connected) call, whether they leave you a message or not. What's more, 1571 can only store ten messages, and you have to listen to all your messages in order, even if it's only the last one that you need to hear.
Compare this to an answering machine that's set to answer after, say, eight rings: your friends and family will soon get to know that if you've not answered after five or six rings then you're probably out. They can choose whether to hang up and try again later (no charge for doing that) , or hang on and leave you a message.
We chose the BT Response 75 (BTR75) for its simple controls, low price and the BT brand. At £14.99 + P&P from telephonesonline.co.uk - less 6% if you go to their site via topcashback.co.uk - it didn't feel like too much of a risk.
Easy. Unplug the phone from the telephone wall socket and plug it into the BTR75 instead. The trailing lead from the back of the answerphone goes into the telephone wall socket. There's a power supply that plugs into a mains socket at one end and into the BTR75 at the other. Done!
My only criticism is that the BTR75 didn't come with a paper copy of user manual, only a disc with a pdf file on it. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do if you don't have access to a computer to read the instructions on: perhaps there is a paper manual but it was missing from my BTR75?
The simple instructions show you how to record a personalised greeting for your callers (something else that BT 1571 can't do), and how to set the day and time. That's all you need to do in order to start using the BTR75.
This machine has lots of clever features - here are the ones I've found most useful:
* Answer delay: the BTR75 is preset to answer after four rings, but you can set it to anything from two to nine.
* There's a really neat "time saver" mode too, which answers after six rings unless there are new messages, in which case it answers after only two. If you dial your own number when you're away from home you can listen to your messages by typing in a code on the handset that your calling from, but if the phone rings more than twice you can hang up, knowing that you've got no messages - and you won't have been charged for finding out.
* "Answer only" mode means your BTR75 will answer as usual, but will play a different outgoing message (that you can record) to tell your caller that you are not in and they are not able to leave a message.
* 1471 - a great feature: switch it on and when your caller has finished leaving their message for you, the BTR75 automatically dials 1471 and records the caller's number. Some people feel a bit self-conscious about leaving a message, so the 1471 feature at least means that you'll have their number and can call them back if you want to.
* Audible message alert: a subdued, regular tone that alerts you to the fact that there are new messages for you. It's easy to turn this off if you'd rather not be beeped at, and you can always check the bright and clear LED display which shows the number of messages that you've got.
* VIP feature: press this button and the BRT75 will answer your calls silently, but there's a two-digit code that you can give to selected people that they can enter on their handset and which produces a beeping noise from the BTR75. That way, you'll know the call is from one of your "VIPs", so you can answer it if you choose. It's a clever way to deal with unwanted and unsolicited calls from people you don't know.
* A backup battery (not supplied) means you won't lose your incoming or outgoing messages, even if there's a power cut.
The BTR75 has clear and straightforward instructions, is simplicity itself to use, and feels sufficiently sturdy and well-made to last for several years. It can record up to thirty messages with a total recording time of 36 minutes, which should be more than enough for everyday domestic use.
This is a terrific way to take full control of your incoming 'phone calls, and to access your messages from any 'phone, anywhere. The BTR75 delivers a lot of sensible and very useable features - and all at an unbeatable price. It's one of those devices that you might think you don't need, but once you've bought one you'll kick yourself for not getting it sooner!
A note of caution:
If you currently use the "BT 1571" answering service, it's best to phone BT customer services and get it disabled once your BTR75 is installed. The reason is that (depending on how many rings you set as an answer delay), BT 1571 could answer your calls before your new answering machine does. This happened to me, and left me and my callers thinking that the BTR75 didn't work!
Summary: Turns your home telephone into what it should have been all along...
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