I have been using an answering machine for years -- an ATT model 1739 -- that has a fine job for me. For those that wonder why, I find an answering machine far more convenient than voice mail. I happen to be a Time Warner customer.[Moderator snip]
I decided to set up the distinctive ring for people that I know. With Time Warner I can list up to 30 numbers, and those callers will produce a "2 short" ring rather than the one long standard ring. That way, I will know immediately that I should think about answering the phone. I am convinced there is a hidden camera somewhere that tells people to call as soon as I get into the shower.
The only problem with this was the answering machine. It does not like distinctive ring. When a call comes in with the double ring, it immediately (half way thru the second ring sequence) picks the line and immediately drops it. This is not a case of it counting the rings wrong
-- changing the number of rings it is supposed to answer on has no effect. In fact, turning the machine off so it ignores an incoming call, it still does it's crazy action half way thru the second ring. No outgoing message -- just seize the line and drop it.
I ran this by the ATT support people, and they confirmed that machine might not work "right" with some ringing systems. I would like to upgrade the answering machine to something that works with what I have. I just tried a ATT telephone set (answering machine and a bunch of handsets) that looked like what I could use. (That was a model CL83464.) I figured that by now ATT would have gotten bugs out. Wrong! This one does exactly the same with the distinctive ring.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what make answering machines might be able to handle distinctive ring? Actually, I would be looking for something that would do it's normal job of answering regardless of whether the incoming call was with a standard or double-short ring.
A long time ago, when I was a Frontier telephone customer, I had a fax machine on the phone line and a second number that produced a double ring. At that time the answering machine handled things just great -- so there is something different between what Frontier was doing and what Time Warner does.