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As long as I have worked in my current job we have had the same "answer phone" as it was a simple to use model I bought one for my home as well.
BT Response 75 - Digital Answering Machine
I am not a big telephone user at home, none of my family are in fact - we all have mobile phones and tend to use our mobiles to be in touch with each other, but the home landline is part of our Sky package, and official phone calls and non-mobile people tend to use it to get in touch with us.
There have been times where you are waiting for an important call and really do not dare miss it. It was for this reason that I bought the answering machine.
Around four years ago I bought our machine, it was around the £35 mark, I have just had a quick search online and see that on Amazon 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 mains power socket and close to the actual telephone wall socket
The machine is very simple to set up, you simply connect the phone cable from the machine, into the socket on your telephone if your phone has that facility, or failing that connect it into the telephone wall socket. (You might have to buy an adaptor to make the socket split two ways, one for the phone and one for the answering machine - these adaptors cost next to nothing, I have seen them in the cheap shops and Poundland)
You do have to buy a 9V battery, which is not supplied - this battery gets fitted into the back of the machine and in the event of a power cut, your messages stored on the machine are saved for up to six hours.
The machine does also come with wall fittings, should you wish to fit it to the wall permanently.
The machine has a digital display which flashes the number of messages that have been stored.
You can record your own outgoing message, which is very simple - this message can be up to 2 minutes long - however you do not have to use this facility and there is a default message already set up (Hello, your call cannot be taken at the moment, so please leave your message after the tone) or If you wish to inform callers that there is no-one available to take your call, but you do not want them to leave a message then it will say - Hello, your call cannot be taken at the moment and you cannot leave a message, so please call later.
The buttons on the front of the machine are self explanatory, Answer on/off - Play - Volume - Stop - < Skip - > Skip and Pause.
So you can listen to your messages, skip through them backwards or forwards and of course the little red button, which says delete and you can get rid of them permanently.
The final feature worth mentioning is the VIP feature, where you can set the machine to answer calls silently (do not disturb) but allows designated callers to alert you with a beep tone and try to get in touch with you...
I have to say that I don't seem to use this machine any longer as my Sky package has given me a built in/automatic answerphone - however I have kept the machine, just in case as it really is as good as new still.
Would I recommend this model, well yes, you probably won't need it any more as technology has advanced with phone providers like BT and Sky, but it works perfectly and seems to last for years.
I bought it and tried to use it. I kept having problems with it. Eventually the tape would not work. Fair enough though I did get my money back.
Most people think of an answering machine as a way of not missing a call, a way of knowing that someone called while you were out. But for me I used this as a way of screening calls. My house for some reason was bombarded with cold callers many times a day. I don't know if we were on some list or something but they all seamed to call and sometimes at very late hours at night.
This compact machine had very easy to understand instructions and was therefore easy as can be to set up. There was only really two steps to follow. First I had to simply remove the plug from the phone socket and attach this to the answering machine and then attach the lead from the machine into the wall socket. The answering machine has a long mains powered cable, so simply plug this in where you want the machine to stay. The answering machine itself felt heavy enough to make me feel that it wasn't cheaply made and would last for years to come. The main body of the machine is gun metal grey in colour, this didn't exactly go with our sitting room but didn't stand out to much either. It can record up to thirty separate messages and has a recording time of thirty six minutes in total.
This was more than enough especially for the reason we were using it.
There are simple instructions included that tell you how to leave your personalised message for your callers to hear. "Sorry I'm not hear at the moment please leave a message after the beep", being the standard and most simple one to record.
There are also some other features that can come in handy such as, being able to control how may times it will ring before going to message. This way if you don't want to screen your calls, you don't have to be running for the phone to stop it going to message. It can be programmed to ring for up to nine or as little as two. There is also a VIP setting to let you know when it's family members or friends calling.
The little LCD screen on the front is very easy to read as the numbers glow a vivid red.
The play back of the recordings was clear and crisp and when I left messages for my family myself by calling home the outgoing message also sounded good.
This machine was a total necessity when it came to our family, it works great for what it's designed to do, meaning friends and family could leave us messages to let us know they had called. But what was most enjoyable was listening back to the cold callers mumbling and stuttering then hanging up. This became a nightly laugh for the family, they must have noted down that they kept getting an answering machine because eventually they all stopped calling.
This can be purchased online at : home-phones.co.uk
For £32.99 + shipping.
I've never really had much need for an answer phone as only about five people actually have my landline phone number and I'm rarely at home to answer it either. However when my parents offered me their old BT Response 75 answer machine I said yes, maybe I was missing hundreds of phone calls a day and I just didn't realise it so an answer machine would come in very handy! They were replacing it with an integrated phone and answer machine, like most people did about ten years ago really but they're just a little slow at times.
The answer machine itself is 12.3cm by 16.5cm by 4.2cm making it a little larger than a DVD case (and a fair bit little thicker). It sits rather nicely next to my phone on top of a cupboard and doesn't take up a lot of room at all. It weights just 340g and is metallic grey in colour with a small digital display and several buttons on the top. Overall it does look quite sleek despite being over four years old now and it does still look fairly modern - apparently it is due to be upgraded but I've not found anything online regarding this.
It's really easy to set the answer machine up and it took me about three or four minutes which is a bit of a record for me when it comes to technology! It comes with a small PP9 battery for power and then you simply plug it into the same socket as your phone which was easy enough. Once the answer machine is plugged in and set up it's easy enough to programme it using the instructions that come with it - these are very straightforward and really easy to understand. The digital LED screen will light up and you're in action!
The answer machine has thirty six minutes of recording time available before it will tell callers that it is full and can't hold anymore messages. Now I certainly won't be getting thirty six minutes worth of messages in a day, unless one of my friends forgets to put the phone down which has been done before, so I wouldn't worry about it running out of recording space at all. You can also record your own greeting message or it does have two pre-recorded outgoing messages if you'd rather not have your own voice blaring out!
When you have a message the small digital display will show the number of messages that are currently being held. You can then select "play" to listen to your message and you also have the option to "pause" or "stop" at any point. In addition if you've got multiple messages you can use the "skip" buttons to either move forwards or backwards through your messages. There's also a red circular "delete" button which allows you to delete your messages one at a time as you listen to them, you can't actually delete them without listening to them.
In addition there's also the option to increase or decrease the volume but I find the sound quality to be really clear with absolutely no distortion as long as the caller's line is good and there's no background noise obviously. You can also select the speakerphone option which will play your messages on speakerphone and allow you to move away from the answer phone yet still hear the messages clearly. Finally when playing back a message you'll also be informed of the caller's number and the time of the call which is useful.
Overall I'd give it full marks in terms of usability due it being really easy to set up and the fact that once you've plugged it in it starts working immediately without the need for much customisation. It's easy to turn on and off using the controls on the top of the answer phone and you can easily change the number of rings it requires before the answer phone actually kicks in. The only downside I've found is that the message display only goes up to nine although it can hold far more messages... for me this isn't really an issue!
My parents said that it came supplied with a mounting kit to allow you to mount it onto a wall but they never bothered to use this and it's since been thrown out. They've had it for over three years now and they've never experienced any problems with it at all, obviously it's still going strong. They have had to replace the battery a couple of times, on average twice a year they thought. I should also mention that it comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty if bought from new; obviously my warranty has long since expired!
The BT Response 75 answer machine is currently priced at £30.50 on Amazon or is available for £37.00 at Dixons. There doesn't seem to be a great amount of choice if you're looking for a stand alone answer machine as most seem to be integrated with a phone these days. I'd certainly recommend this one, it's one of the cheapest available at the moment and it does a great job of holding all my messages - so far if I'm honest I've only had four, three of which were from my mum but I'm still hopeful that they'll start rolling in!
Thanks for reading.
Having always come home to have missed a phone call I thought I needed an answering machine. The old system was the BT one whereby when you picked the phone up the dial tone would suggest you had a message. I wanted something more reliable though because I kept forgetting to check for messages every time I went out and the phone didnt tell me I had a message.
The BT Response 75 is a very handy answering machine because the buttons are all wuite chunky and it is well laid out. The silver colour isnt the most attractive in my newly decorated hallway, but it serves its purpose effortlessly. I like ther fact that your phone stores the messages and you dont have to use 1571 and pay for the privelage to listen to your messages. This machine has the capability to store 50 minutes of recordings and has a speaker volume control. The LED message counter lets you know how many messages are waiting to be listened to which is useful because you dont have to touch the machine to find this out as I did before. The phone will store two pre-recorded messages that callers will hear upon getting through to the answering machine and there is also a personalisation facility to allow you to put your own message on there too.
The phone records messages digitally which ensures high quality sound recording and is very reliable and efficient. Another feautre that appealed to me initially was the fact you can remotely access your messages with a security pin. Although I havnt used this function as a necessity yet, i have tried it out and it is very simple. Overall, I would say this is a good basic answering machine and BT are very reliable in my experience of their handsets. I would recommend this, especially for the luddites amongst you!
No-one needs an answer-phone any more, because the BT '1571' answering service is free, right?
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!
This is a very neat and efficient little answer machine ideal for home or small business which is exactly what we purchased it for. I have used other machines at work in the past and found them difficult to use and set up. the BT response machine was simple and quick to get going.It has some very usefull features such as the fact that it automatically dials 1471 after every call - even if the caller doesn't leave a message, and on playback, reads out the caller's number and time of call. The out going message we set up is very clear as are all the messages we receive. We find the skip feature is particuarly usefull when we want to go through our messages quickly. Also the time button which gives up to date accurate dates and times.The volume can be alltered and is loud enough to be herd in another room when we enter the house. Good value for money and very simple to set up and use.
In these days of modern telecommunications, it is an 'easy' option to allow your telephone service provider to be responsible for taking your 'voicemail' calls - i.e. Provide you with an answering machine service.
However, I worked out that at £1.75 a month that this was unnecessary, for a one-off payment of £20 to £30 you could have an answering machine that had better functionality than what my telephone service provider could offer and it has paid for itself in the 2 years, or so, that I have had the machine.
So, what can I say about the BT Response 75?
As soon as I get home, I know whether somebody has called me as the machine has an audible 'beep' alerting me to the fact that I have a message/messages. This function can be switched off, if you find the beep 'annoying'.
The quality of the recordings is very good and I haven't misheard a message yet!
The machine itself is very simple and intuitive to use, although it is worth having the quick guide to hand for some features that you may need to amend on the odd occassion - for example, how to turn the 'beep' alert on or off, how to take the machine out of answer mode so that you can answer the phone as and when you like, how to reset the number of rings of your phone before the machine answers the call, etc.
A feature of this machine that I particularly like is that when I listen to the messages, the caller's number is given out at the end of the message, as well as the time of the call - even if a message hasn't been left, I am given the caller's number and the time that they called.
Also, if you're away from home and you wish to access any messages on your BT Response 75, this is also possible by calling your home telephone number and by simply pressing a couple of buttons on your phone, and entering a security number, you will be able to access your messages. Coupled to this is that to save you paying for a call, i.e. waiting for the machine to 'kick-in' before you enter your security code, you can set the machine so that it will only ring twice if you have messages, but six times if you don't (i.e. you can hang up between ring 2 and 6!).
Also, if you're unfortunate enough to experience a power-cut, the BT Response 75 has a battery (9v battery, one of the square ones, which you must purchase separately) which will keep your machine functioning until power is restored.
I can honestly say that I haven't found/noticed any disadvantages to using the machine; but the best advantage is that I'm now saving £1.75 per month as the machine has paid for itself and I'm not paying my telephone service provider!
And, I almost forgot to mention, that I had the machine up and running, with my own personalised message for callers, within half an hour of getting the machine out of it's box.