Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Fangled Telephones

They sure don't make home telephones the way they used too. I remember when I was a kid, we had a big, black, heavy phone that had a dial on its push buttons. It was hard-wired to the wall, not plugged in. The receiver was so heavy, you could use it for a weight. You could have run over that phone with an 18-wheeler and it would not break and it would still be working after the fact.
Today, they make phones out of cheap plastic. If you drop it a foot or two from a table or desk, it shatters in a million pieces and needs to be tossed in the trash.
We have cell phones, but we still have not been able to make ourselves give up our home phone like many of our friends have done. We actually have four phones in the house. They all have a base that is plugged into the wall. Two of them are "cordless" and two of them are "corded". We always like to have at least one "corded" phone because in power outages, the "cordless" phones stop working. One of the "corded" phones is on our fax machine, the other is just a phone.
We had a "cordless" phone in the kitchen that had an answering machine on it. It worked great for about 10 years and then the digital voice on the answering machine started to get "garbly" to where you could not understand the messages that people left, so we decided to get a new phone.
Have you gone shopping for phones lately? It's very difficult to find a phone that has only one receiver (or handset as they now call them) these days. Most of them have at least two and some have up to six and you can just keep adding as many as you want or need.
Anyway, we bought a V-Tech brand wireless phone with two "handsets" and it had a base with an answering machine in it.

I had a hell of a time trying to figure out how to set-up the answering machine, but I finally did. Everything worked fine for about 27 or 28 days and then the answering machine just stopped working. When people left messages, the messages were not there. My brother would call and say, "How come you didn't call me back? I left you a message two hours ago." But the phone showed no messages.
I tried and tried to get the answering machine work by calling my home phone with my cell phone, but to no avail.
We saw that we could return the phone to Best Buy before 30 days and since it had only been 27 or 28 days, we packed everything back into the box, which is a struggle in itself, and returned the phone to the store. We told them we wanted to upgrade to another phone because we figured since this one only cost $45 that maybe one that cost $69 would be better.
We left the store with a Uniden "cordless" with two "handsets".

This phone set looked and worked pretty much the same as the V-Tech brand, but the phone that we had used for 10 years in the kitchen had been a Uniden, so we assumed that this was the best one to go with.
After about a month and a half, we started noticing a "hum" on the handsets of the Uniden phone. We thought it was our wiring, but noticed that the "corded" phones did not have the hum. But by now, we were past the 30 days for the return/refund of the phone to Best Buy.
We decided to head over to Office Max and buy just a plain, ordinary "corded" telephone with an answering machine inside of it. We found an AT&T phone for $29. Inexpensive and simple. This one actually ended up being more complicated. I don't know how many times I read through the manual to try to figure out how to set-up the answering machine with my "outgoing message" and "contact numbers".

The phone was working great, taking messages and no hum. After 34 days, the phone started making a beeping sound. On the "screen" it kept saying there was a message, even though I could not find one anywhere and when I would unplug the phone, the screen kept saying "line in use" which I thought strange since it was not connected to the phone line. The beeping would go on for about five minutes and then stop, then start up again maybe 20 or 30 minutes later. We tried everything to get it to stop beeping, but nothing worked. We unplugged it from the power cord, moved it to other rooms in the house, but it kept beeping.
I checked my receipt from Office Max, but of course, we had it 34 days and they only take returns up to 30 days after the purchase.
So now we are back using the Uniden with the "hum" on the line. Wish I could find a phone like we had when I was a kid.


  1. We haven't had great luck with phones either. The one we have now, every once in a while it will start skipping numbers when it dials. Then it will work fine for a while. It is working now...knock on wood...ha. This may not be the case with your phone, but you can set ours to beep when there is a message or you can turn it off. Don't know why it would beep if there is no message though. Just a thought...Sheila

  2. Hi Sheila,
    Yes, it has that option to set it to where it will "beep" every 15 seconds if there is a message, but I had that turned off, plus when it was beeping, it was like six or seven beeps, not just one. I think it's possessed (LOL).


I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.