Don't buy this telephone answering machine unless you want to be let down as we were. In the medium price range, and produced by BT, we did not expect any trouble but how wrong we were. True, it has some good functions including 11 minutes of digital recording, message indicator, memo facility, remote facility, volume control, 10 memories and so on. However, we bought it in October and by December it was behaving very bizarrely indeed. To our great inconvenience, it failed to record important incoming messages and gave no indication that there had been any. Our first indication of any problem was when I phoned in myself using the remote function (excellent in theory) only to hear the engaged signal over a period of several hours. By the time I arrived home, I found not only the answerphone dead but the phone too. None of the buttons responded to touch so we were unable to switch the machine either on or off and yet an old, presumed deleted, message suddenly blared out of its own accord! Worse still, our line was not active again until we had unplugged the Response 123. We returned the answerphone to Argos where there was no problem at all in exchanging it for another one. Still trusting in BT, we chose the same model again, took it home, recorded a message, phoned into test it and found this one was faulty from day one! It was bleeping randomly and the bleeps were cutting out both the recorded message and the incoming message. Clearly BT have not got the hang of digital recording. Needless to say, we have exchanged it for another model, £10 cheaper and much better.
After our disaster with the audioline 925 telephone/answering system, we got this Binatone recently. It is another digital system, but with the pleasing benefit that the battery back up actually works! There is a 10 number memory, which is easy to programme, plus all the usual features of a modern telephone such as last number redial and recall. The answering system part is easy to use, it has a green led which flashes if there are any messages, and the digital display tells you how many messages there are. You can programme it to tell you the day and time the message was left, which it does at the start. It is easy to delete the messages, nothing complex, just hit the delete button, and they go! The handset on this phone is nicely designed, we found the audioline one felt very insubstantial, but the Binatone feels like a telephone should do. I do find sometimes the playback quality isn't as good as I'd like, I'm not sure if this is to do with the phone, or the recurrent fault on our line which makes voices sound fuzzy at times, so I wouldn't like to condemn the product when it could well be down to BT! But if you get one of these, just keep the receipt until you're sure yours is ok. PLEASE DON'T E-MAIL ME ASKING FOR OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS - WE NO LONGER HAVE THIS MACHINE. THANK YOU.
After my own BT Freestyle cordless telphone/answermachine started picking up radio stations (namely BBC Radio Scotland) I decided it was time to choose a new one. I searched for a cheap Dect with answer machine and found this model on th Argos site. www.argos.co.uk I reserved it online and picked it up in my nearest store. Well for only £69.99 i have never been so pleased with a product offering so much value for money. Not only is it crystal clear reception it has a phonebook just like a mobile and has a choice of 5 ring tones also. The batteries last for ages and you can replace them with any old rechargeable ones too, unlike my Bt model which needed a special battery costing £12 a go! Stylish and sleek and oh so poseable i love my new phone!
The Amstrad Emailer is a fully featured communications suite for £80. For your £80 you get a great deal of features packed into a great looking machine. It's a normal telephone, with a built in digital answering machine, the ability to send and receive emails, the ability to send faxes and also view/listen to pictures/sound sent as attatchments. The Emailer has built in memory which is used to store everything, voice messages, emails etc so this can be filled up very quickly indeed. However, the Emailer's memory is expandable by buying Smartmedia Cards (which are commonly used as digital camera "film" and can be bought from electronics shops/camera shops etc) which is something I recommend. The answer phone is digital and is very good quality as a result. It doesn't record people when they hang up which is a bonus, but your actual allowance of time for recorded messages can't be determined easily because it's dependant on the amount of free memory on the machine. The same goes for the amount of emails stored. The email function is hassle free and easy to use even for those with little technical knowledge, a few button presses can send or receive an email. A nice keyboard is included to aid quick typing. As I say, you can also look at pictures sent in your emails as long as they are send as Jpg's or Gif's or Bmp's. Wav files (audio) are also useable. These files will use up a lot of the memory on your machine though. One other lovely feature which I haven't mentioned is the "Pocket Docket" which is a little personal organiser which slots in the side and comes with the unit. The idea being that you put all your names and numbers etc on it and then slot it in to retrieve them on the Emailer to make it easier to access names/numbers/email addresses. A fantastic idea. All in all, it's a great machine at a fabulous price. Highly recomended.
I needed a plain paper fax machine and answer phone. Looking around, I found the best buy in my local Curry's store - a Sagem Phonefax 325 for £199.99. It looks nice, is a 'no paper' fax, which means you don't keep paper in it, you just feed it through when you have a fax, which is great for home use. It has lots of features and a digital answering machine BUT when I got it home I found I had something else with it which I had no idea I was getting...a digital cordless phone. With a flip front and base you can plug in anywhere, this little phone has a 300 metre distance and, because it is digital, there is no crackle and hiss. What a brilliant deal. So, for £199.99 I got a nice looking machine, a plain paper fax, a digital answering machine and a digital flip front handset. It was so nice to have something for nothing for once.
What a gimmick! we bought this answerphone after our old one gave up on us, and chose this one for a laugh really. We particularly wanted an answerphone but this one looked so cool we had to have it. The answerphone is really easy to set up and its groovy screen shows you when your messages came in. It doesnt save the message when someone hangs up which is good coz i hate listening to hang ups. Sound quality is good and not sure how many messages it holds but we've had quite a few on there. It has two keyboards for some pointless reason, and the one on the phone seems to be there for lazy so-and-so's like me, so we can just program all our numbers in and then just press M for Mum and then the number comes up for you to ring. !!! Also, for those of you with friends with millions of numbers, you program them all in and then when you press the first letter of their name, you then press Home, Mobile or Office and it dials the correct number. The other keyboard slides underneath the phone and you have no chance of just jumping in and using it, you DO need the instruction manual, also you need this to log onto amserve.net, although if you follow the instructions it seems pretty straightforward. We dont use it for emailing as we have our own PC's but we registered anyway and you MUST beware about the email side of it. Each time it checks for email this costs 12pence. We were told this in the shop and didnt see it as a problem, what they DONT TELL YOU IS.. that it automatically checks email twice a day ie.24p per day. We havent figured out how to turn this off yet, but as we are online 24/7 nowadays it cant check anyway, but no doubt we should investigate further. Apart from this we still think its a pretty groovy looking phone which is great fun to play about with, and very easy for the kids to phone family and friends without a million different wrong numbers.
The problem with answering machinese is that when people leave a message on it they assume that you will recieve it. They don't account for the fact the answering machines have the awful habit of going garbled at the important point, or mysteriously deleting your messages before you've listened to it. Maybe it is just me but hey, sometimes I think they are more trouble than their worth. Good if you are busy and can't be bothered answering the phone, but then again you could leave the phone off the hook and no one would bother you again!