Stutter tones

November 11, 2006 | Comments Off

Nikon D50Recently I was shopping for a two-line phone for the office, and let me tell you two line phones used to be a lot easier to acquire. The pickin’s are pretty slim. I wanted a cordless phone, with speakerphone on the base, but no answering machine. No such luck. I ended up buying a Motorola MD7081 from Amazon (apparently the price went up, I paid $103 for it). It’s expandable – although I haven’t bought additional handsets – and it has some really great features. The handset has it’s own speakerphone and I discovered that the answering machine worked out in my favor, which brings me to the subject of this post.

Apparently since I last shopped for a phone there’s been an interesting technology developed. Since many people have voicemail instead of answering machines the phone will detect the stutter tones when you first get a dialtone and light up a message waiting light. I’m not sure how frequently it checks, but it’s a pretty neat feature. I just migrated Leigha’s mom to Vonage and her single major complaint was that she didn’t know if she had a message waiting unless she picked up the phone to listen for the stutter. Someone already solved her problem! Of course, the cordless phone we bought her for Christmas last year doesn’t have this feature, but the Motorola does.

Personally, Vonage sends me email when I have voicemail (and we almost never miss calls) so this isn’t something from which I get a great deal of use, but I thought it was an interesting piece of technology – and it doesn’t work perfectly. One time after deleting voicemail it took a while (I stopped paying attention after about 10 minutes) for the message waiting light to turn off, whereas usually it did it within a minute.

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