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My answering machine is quite old, but when my phone rings,

Customer Question
My answering machine is...

My answering machine is quite old, but when my phone rings, it announces the number of the person calling and then a message says, the person you are trying to call has not activated their mailbox. I don't understand this. What do I do??????

Technician's Assistant: Just to clarify, what's the exact make and model of your machine?

I know its an AT&T, it says on the top of the phone. Model 1719

Technician's Assistant: How long has this been going on? What troubleshooting have you tried?

Just recently, maybe the last 2 days.

Technician's Assistant: Anything else you want the Phone Expert to know before I connect you?

No, thank you

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Phone Systems
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
11/21/2017
Electronics Technician: Nathan, Technician replied 8 months ago
Nathan
Nathan, Technician
Category: Phone Systems
Satisfied Customers: 30,831
Experience: Residential and commercial systems.
Verified

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble, but I'll do my best to help you. Please give me a few moments to review your details here.

Do you mean that your caller hears a greeting mentioning the mailbox? Or that you hear it on your end?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
They only hear, the mailbox has not been set up yet and they cannot leave me a message. I hear the same message after the phone number of the person calling is announced. I went online and looked at all the AT&T phones and the one that looks Identical to mine is model # 1738. I just want to know what I have to do to get my answering machine working properly again. Noone can leave me a message on my answering machine.
Electronics Technician: Nathan, Technician replied 8 months ago

Thank you for confirming,

what is happening is that you are reaching a voicemail service provided by the phone company. It is answering before your home answering machine has a chance to pick up the line, which is your callers hear that error message (the system is on, but not fully configured yet), and why you get no messages when checking your home answering machine.
The solution in that case is to contact the phone company and have them cancel/remove the voicemail service from your account, OR as an alternative, you could just stop using the answering machine and use the voicemail function instead. You can record your own greeting on the voicemail if you like, and voicemail actually has several advantages: it is always on, meaning it will work even if the power goes out, while the answering machine could stop taking or playing messages if it is ever damaged or unplugged. VM will also work even if you're on another call, with answering machine, the 2nd caller would just get a busy signal. For these reasons, I tend to recommend voicemail over using your own machine, simply because it tends to be more reliable and accessible. The choice is yours of course though.

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Satisfied Customers: 30,831
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