Answering Machines & Voice Mail Services
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Silent Answering Machines
Hello, I wonder if anyone can recommend a voice mail service
besides Pacific Bell's? I had theirs for a few years but it
didn't deliver my messages reliably--after I cancelled it and
got an answering machine, my calls increased by about 30%! I
missed friends passing through town or calling to say not to
pick them up at the airport till tomorrow. Argh. Problem with
answering machine, though, is that people get a busy signal when
I'm on the phone--it annoys people who aren't used to calling
back. Are there companies or services anyone knows that could
help reliably? Thanks.
If you are missing calls while using the phone, then you might
consider getting call waiting. I have had a number of offers
from MCI, PacBell and others that will bundle two ''free'' options
with regular phone service. Choose call waiting as one of your
options. With call waiting you should hear a beep occasionally
if someone is calling you while you are using the phone.
Quickly press and release the button that is normally depressed
when hanging-up the phone, and you will be connnected to the new
caller. Quickly pressing and releasing the button again will
transfer you back to the first party.
CostCo members have a great deal:
Plain voice mail is $4.99/month or have a local phone number
forwarded to your home, mobile, voice mail or fax inbox for
$13.99. Superior to anything PacBell offers.
For a local provider (San Rafael), try Bay-link:
$12/month or $79/year:
With a baby on the way, we are looking for an answering machine that can
take calls silently. (On our current phone/answering machine, the volume
can be turned down but not off.) Most convenient would be a combined
cordless phone + answering machine, but we are also open to separate
units. We're considering using PacBell voice mail, but it's pretty
expensive--after just one year, it's added up to more than most answering
machines cost. Nomi
Are you looking to provide a silent sleep environment for your new baby?
If so, it shouldn't be necessary. Babies are not accustomed to a silent
environment (consider your womb and the constant beating of your heart,
gurgling of your digestion, etc.). I think you will find that your precious
will sleep through many noises which you consider quite loud. At times,
you may need to provide noise from a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner to
help him or her sleep. Providing a silent sleeping environment may cause
you and your child distress because that kind of environment is not attainable
at all times.
We have a digital answering machine made by AT&T, that not only can you
turn the volume all the way down to silence, but there is no whiring and
either. I work nights sometimes, so this has been great for me. These machines
have no tapes to replace.
Pacbell has Message Center, which is a service rather than a machine. We use
it and like it. We got it because it takes a message when you are using
the phone instead of just giving a busy signal. It is quiet, the tape never runs out, it doesn't go off when
there's a power outage, and it's easy to use. I think it is about $5 a month.
this page was last updated: Nov 6, 2003
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