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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Technology Value
This machine is yet another illustration of how quickly technology innovation moves forward (the cynical person would wonder if the vendors were intentionally keeping these machines less capable to sell their ever-green answering services).
This machine is very small and packed with features. The one review here at Amazon.com said that you couldn't see the caller's...
Published on December 23, 2002

versus
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some nice bells and whistles; can be complex and frustrating
I've been using this answering machine for almost two years now. I was originally attracted to it's multiple mailboxes and spoken-aloud caller ID feature. It delivers quite well on those two features, but is otherwise frustrating to use.

All of the unit's features are configured by pressing a single 'setup' button, and all the options are voice menu driven...
Published on October 20, 2004 by Matt


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some nice bells and whistles; can be complex and frustrating, October 20, 2004
By 
Matt (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
I've been using this answering machine for almost two years now. I was originally attracted to it's multiple mailboxes and spoken-aloud caller ID feature. It delivers quite well on those two features, but is otherwise frustrating to use.

All of the unit's features are configured by pressing a single 'setup' button, and all the options are voice menu driven. This seems very convenient, but in reality it takes a good couple of minutes to cycle through all the dozens of options available to find the one you want and then set it properly. The prompts are unclear and the settings cryptic.

The absence of a back-up battery means that I lose my outgoing greeting about once a month on average. I would not recommend this unit if you have regular power outages (even a brief power 'hiccup' will reset the unit).

Probably my biggest issue with this unit is that it doesn't always work well via remote operation (when I call home using a touch tone phone). Even when I'm calling the machine from a quiet room using a regular (not cell) phone, I often find I need to enter my passcode at LEAST twice before it is recognized (and sometimes as many as 3 or 4 times). Also, the other remote operation codes are very unfriendly to enter and remember.

I've had about half a dozen answering machines in my lifetime. Comparatively, I'd say that this unit offers slightly above-average quality, but is also by far the most complex to operate.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Technology Value, December 23, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
This machine is yet another illustration of how quickly technology innovation moves forward (the cynical person would wonder if the vendors were intentionally keeping these machines less capable to sell their ever-green answering services).
This machine is very small and packed with features. The one review here at Amazon.com said that you couldn't see the caller's ID. This is true but the ATT1726 will speak the number for you before you have to answer the phone. Way cool.
Other outstanding features: 1. A priority code lets your important callers signal that they're on the line via a special ring; 2. Set your toll saver not only to 2/4 but also to 4/6 or up to 7 rings; 3. With caller ID, the machine will store the incoming number with the message and even (get this, telemarketing haters!) have an automatic message for blocked ID calls saying they can not be accepted and then just hang up; 4. Have callers select a mailbox for their message using a key press--good for roommates; 5. great remote access controls, multiple outgoing messages, announcement only, memory protection for power failures, listen to messages at fast or slow speeds, customizable options like call screening (on/off) and message alerts (beep sound/nothing)...I could go on but you get the point. I had ATT's last machine (the 1725) for years and this is a stellar upgrade. The only drawback I can think of is that the engineers overloaded the buttons with different functions (prob. to save space) making the interface a bit dodgy--setup can be tricky. Great instructions, though.
This thing is awesome. And J&R sell it for [money]!! The price at Amazon.com [money] can't be beat. Although I just got the machine and don't know yet about service issues and the like, my recommendation is to get rid of those silly answering services and save some bucks.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars satisfied so far, August 6, 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (SOMERVILLE, MA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
First, thank you to the reviewers who explained how to record

the outgoing message! :)

I bought this to replace a well-loved Phonemate 4200 that had

worked for almost 13 years before getting spotty. Let me

add that I agree with all who have said it: If only we could

still get dual-full-size-cassette analog machines, with

unlimited per-message length and long overall tape length!

I would have bought one if I could have found it, but the

reviews for this machine made it sound like it would do what

we needed.

So far, so good. The set-up was straighforward except for

recording the outgoing message (for which I used the amazon.com

page as a reference). I liked that you can choose a 3-digit

security code, as well as a 3-digit code for people to dial

in if they want to be announced as a "priority caller".

We don't have caller-ID, so I didn't bother turning those

features on.

I tested the machine, and it works as promised with regard to

being a "tollsaver" (fewer rings to answer if there are new

messages).

The sound quality is ok, but not great, but that's ok for

voice-message-recording purposes.

I liked that you can turn it so you either do or do not hear

the outgoing message as your caller hears.

Hangups are not recorded as messages, which is good--but

if your caller hangs up during the outgoing message, the outgoing

message does finish playing to completion.

The remote-access codes are convoluted, but there is an

available wallet card (two copies for separate users).

If you don't want to use the separate mailboxes, you can just

ignore that option and the default is to have all messages go

to the first mailbox.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent features, crummy documentation, mediocre sound, June 7, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
After having my faithful dual-cassette answering machine finally expire after more than a decade of use, I'm thrust into the painful position of being forced to choose one of these "digital" models. I can't seem to find any models that anyone really recommmends, it seems this new generation of answering machines tends towards mediocre sound quality *and* short lifespan. But I digress, so I'll comment on my limited experience with the AT&T 1726, which I've only set up tonight.
First, the documentation is not even sufficient to explain fully how to record the greeting. As another reviewer mentioned, after selecting the greeting one wishes to record, you have to sit and wait about 15-20 seconds before the unit will go into a state that allows you to record. The manual does not mention this waiting period at all, it implies you can record immediately. This model has been out quite a while, plenty of time for AT&T to have updated/corrected the documentation. Thanks to reviewer T B Curtz, without the info provided in his review, I'd still be fumbling around trying to get this unit to record the greeting. I'm good at following instructions, and technically-minded (engineer), so I'm not accustomed to being baffled by a simple piece of consumer equipment.
The sound quality of the recorded outgoing message is poor. It sounds as if it was recorded underwater, with uneven volume, and cuts off with a burst of static. I've only listened to one incoming message, which sounded better than the outgoing recording, but still had a muffled, filtered quality.
When replaying a message, you can skip back to the beginning of the message, but there does not appear to be a "partial skip" in case you want to just listen to the previous 5-10 seconds of a message. With my old tape unit, the manual rewind control was handy for this, but with the AT&T if you miss some content, you have to listen through the whole message again. This lack of a partial rewind feature may be typical for digital units, but is especially missed if the sound quality is muffled.
I don't understand why the designers of this type of equipment (not just AT&T, all answering machines) don't focus more on sound quality. Why did my 10-year-old dual-tape unit sound better than a brand new digital unit? And shouldn't there be testers who approve the documentation, to ensure that a new user following the instructions can actually operate the unit? So, in summary, I can't recommend this unit, although honestly I don't know how it compares to other digital answering machines. I believe if someone produced a sturdy analog dual-microcassete unit, in the $30-50 range, there would be huge demand.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tape answerers are no more!, July 25, 2004
By 
Swim (Somewhere) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
By the way, Staples has it for $29. 7/25/04

I'm very happy with this purchase. It replaced a 16 year old Code-A-Phone microtape unit. Sound quality of this AT&T is better than the tape unit. Three mailbox feature is neat and the ability to move messages among mailboxes is super handy for moving old messages to a different mailbox so they will not clutter up your incoming mailbox. Setup is super easy using just two buttons Setup and Skip. Hold Setup Button down for 3 seconds and voice prompt will appear to walk you through the setup process. Monmentarily press Setup to index to the next setup parameter or press Skip to change the parameter value.

I have the answers to some of the complains from older reviews.

1) Can only record greeting after 20 second. The reason is the machine does not allow you to record your greeting if you're in Setup mode. 1st select your outgoing message A, B, or C (A0 is for announce only). Press Stop to exit Setup. Now you can record immediately.

2) Static at end of outgoing message. If you release the record button abruptly, then the sensitive microphone will pick it up as static. Solution to that is to release the record button gently. It's true that the it will take some practice to record a good outgoing message. The main thing is to find the ideal distance from the mic and speak in even tones.

3) Lack of caller ID display. I wish it has that too, but I guess then the cost would go up. This feature is really not needed because most phones have caller IDs anyway. What? You don't have caller ID on your phone???

4) I read reviews on the AT&T 1719 that it reverts to announce only mode after a power failure. I tested that feature by unplugging the power cord from the unit and I'm happy to say that the 1726 worked perfect. All my messages were saved and the machine is still able to pickup phone calls and record messages.

I have not use the remote feature yet so I can't comment on it. I've only have this unit for about a week and so far I'm very happy with it. The only wish I had is for it to use standard flash memory cards to store messages. That way it would be a true replacement for a tape unit. Maybe future generations will have that...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time, Day, Year, but no DATE, March 13, 2005
By 
David (Fort Worth, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
I got the machine for a friend and I and am happy with the quality and volume of the sound and also the message capacity. However, while setting up the time/day, I discovered that this machine reads the the time/day info in the following format, "Monday, 12:35 PM, 2005." So we have a message from Monday.

BUT WHICH MONDAY OF THE YEAR?!!!

If you are gone for three weeks or if you choose to save an old message for an extended period of time (yes there are good reasons to save some old messages), now you have no clue when the message was left. ATT said they have received many calls regarding this really dumb mistake and that they will include the month/date on their next model. Overall, if you do not care about the date issue, get this machine. If you need to know the date a message was left, this is not the machine for you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound Quality Fails, March 19, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
I was impressed with the compact size and fairly easy operation of the AT&T 1726. But that was about all I was impressed with. The description of the unit emphasizes it's sound quality. I guess it doesn't say that it's "good", though. I should have know. After recording my message many times using different distances from the unit and even using remote access, I was still unable to barely recognize what the announcement says. The playback and recording quality is equally poor. After spending the money on mine and after only 1 month in service, I sold it at a garage sale for $2. Believe me, the buyer got took.... both times!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does what I want, but sound quality is poor, June 23, 2004
By 
Noca (Davis, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
As other people have mentioned, sound quality is lacking on this device. I retired an older Lucent AS60 (also digital) in favor of the AT&T 1726's multiple mailboxes. However, I'm disappointed by the step backwards in terms of sound quality.
The multiple mailboxes work well in terms of what I was looking for -- the ability to file messages for different people in my house. We use one mailbox as a common (default) inbox, and then save messages as needed in the remaining two mailboxes. Used this way, you really only have 2 personal mailboxes. However, you avoid an annoyingly long outgoing message "Press 1 for so-and-so, press 2 for who-and-who, press 3 for what-and-what..."
A count of messages in each individual mailbox is not shown (which would be nice), but an individual light for each mailbox shows solid for any messages, and flashing for any new message. Messages transfered to a new mailbox come up as "new" regardless if they have been previously heard in the old mailbox -- a nice feature in my opinion.
You can record multiple outgoing messages, but this is really only for quickly switching between outgoing messages, not for personalizing individual mailboxes. The device only ever presents one outgoing message per incoming call.
Another feature I would have liked to see -- a battery to avoid having to reset the clock after a power failure.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably Priced for What You Get, February 13, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
The AT&T 1726 is a compact 3-mailbox answering machine. It's sound quality is fair but a real drawback is the fact that the announcement must be recorded "handsfree" (you can't use a telephone or a handset unless you call in remotely). It's sensative microphone picks up the slighest rustle of paper which also makes volume levels fluctuate. The 3 mailboxes are simple one-button access to easily recover your messages. Unfortunately, they are not accessed by password, which means anyone that has access to your machine can listen to anyone else's mailbox messages. It's date/time stamp provides day/time announce which means if the message is saved or not listened to initially for over a week, you don't know which "Tuesday" it's referring to - this week's or last weeks. Finally, when listening to messages, you have to listen to them over the speaker rather than a telephone handset (again, unless you call in remotely). That means everyone in the room hears your messages as you do.
Overall, it's not a bad little machine for what it costs. I've been in the communications industry for over 25 years and have seen hundreds of answering machines. The 1726 has some great features even for a little box, such as 40 minutes of recording time, call screening/intercept, and announce only. The remote access is not easy to use and you must carry a card with you to know all the functions necessary to retrieve your messages. But the toll saver is a plus, even though it's on most untis that have been manufactured in the last 20 years. Number announce actually speaks the caller ID information however you must let it ring 3-4 times before it announces the info - which means your call is most likely going to the recorder before you have a chance to answer it. You can pick the call up even if it's gone to the recorder, but many callers hang up as soon as they hear the announcement anyway so you end up calling them back. A caller ID display works much better, though would add to the cost of the unit. If you're looking for a nice little answering machine, this isn't too bad. However don't be sold on the "3-mailbox" issue. You might as well get a standard "one-box" answering unit because ultimately, that's all this one does. If I see there are 4 messages, I can go to whichever boxes they are saved in and retrieve them. Why not simplify and just go to one box anyway? For the price it's okay. But I think I'll stay with my older Panasonic tape unit. The Panasonic sound quality is better and it's less hassle than this AT&T unit even though the Panasonic doesn't have the date/time stamp. I hope the 1726 sells well at the next garage sale....
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One big problem with the instructions..., May 28, 2003
By 
Thad Curtz (Olympia, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes (Office Product)
The instructions for recording your own message are unusable - once you select the greeting that you want to record (it allows pre-recording four) you have to wait twenty seconds or so for the system to reset. (The instructions don't mention this.) THEN, though the letter for the announcement you are recording is no longer displayed in the screen, you can hold down the button and it works as advertised. If you don't wait, holding down the button simply steps you to the next greeting slot.
(I didn't diagnose this psychically - I called customer service after trying all the alternatives I thought of.) They don't tell you this on the ATT recorded voice mail help line either - you push *3 when the voice mail system starts offering options to talk to a real person.
The help line's advice for this problem beyond "Make sure it's plugged in" is turn the power off for 60 seconds and then repower it so the software will reset, so that's probably also worth trying if you have trouble with the machine sometime.
Though you have a choice about whether it plays your recorded announcement into the room when someone calls, the message someone is leaving always plays while they leave it. (There is a volume button right on the front, so I guess you could turn the sound on when you wanted to listen to a message and then turn it off again until the next time.)
Otherwise, it seems respectable so far - the sound's adequate, and it's reducing my phone bill by $6.95 a month.
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AT&T 1726 Digital Answering System with 3 Mailboxes
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