Customer Reviews: AT&T TL76108 5.8GHz Two-Line Digital Corded/Cordless Answering System - Titanium and Metallic Charcoal
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4/4/2012 UPDATE: Three years after purchase, the corded base station has started to deconstruct. First the sliding drawer that hold the spare battery would not stay closed and had to be taped shut. Then calls started to be "disconnected" when the cord to the handset was jiggled. Then the handset stopped working altogether and calls could only be made via the speakerphone. The handset cord was replaced but did not fix the problem. The receiver was switched out with one from another phone. Nothing worked, it was obviously the connection on the base set. One base set and three handsets is a tidy investment that should not have to be scrapped in three years. Very, very disappointed. Downgrade system from 4 stars to 2 stars! Boo! For shame AT&T!!

7/20/09 UPDATE: System still terrific. Considering purchasing more handsets and replacing other, older phones around the house. Forgot to mention the very neat "clicky" quality of the base sets buttons. Very enjoyable clicky-ness! Still sad about the missing clock and calendar on the screen but have learned to use the hold function without searching first.

5/9/09 UPDATE: The phone system is terrific! Excellent sound quality, easy to use, handset never a problem. Still wish screen had a digital clock and calendar.....

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Why must buying a new phone be as complicated as buying a new car? Can't we go back to the good old days of Ma Bell? When all phones were black and only made and received voice calls.

The search for a new, two line phone was about as painful and confusing as anything I have gone through (except a recent coffee grinder debacle Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder).

From past experience, I identified two manufacturers that make phones worthy of owning: Panasonic and AT&T. Serious phones, built to last. The rest, V-Tech and Uniden are, in my opinion, at the "disposable" level. A lot of features for not very much money but after 2 years they are ready for the trash. I am also not interested in anything made by Siemens because after spending a fortune on one of their phone "systems" several years ago, the damn thing started to disintigrate about 5 minutes after the warranty expired.

I wanted a corded base phone because after several blackouts and 9/11, at least one corded phone per household is de rigeur (see note on cordless battery below). I wanted at least one cordless handset because thats the only way I can get a working phone in my livingroom. I needed an answering machine that would answer both lines. I wanted a speaker phone option for those dark times when you are on hold with tech support for 5 hours. I chose 5.8 GHz because the DECT 2 line phones don't seem to have their bugs worked out and who needs to be a pioneer/early adaptor for something that you absolutely positively need for work?

I chose the AT&T TL76108 5.8GHz TWO-LINE Digital phone AT&T 5.8 GHz TL76108 Digital Expandable 2-Line Corded/Cordless Phone w/ Caller ID and Answering System
1) The price was relatively reasonable...$150 deliverd.
2) It included one cordless handset in the price. Panasonic makes you buy each handset for $89 in addition to the base station. Gee wiz!
3) It had more options/feature than I would probably use or probably be able to figure out when sometime in the future, it occurred to me to use them.
4) It was offered for sale by Amazon. This is extremely important in case you need to return the phone because it turns out to be a worthless piece of junk.

I received the phone a few days ago and I am pretty pleased with it. It is very easy to set up and the hand set registered immediately. The sound clarity is very good and there is an easily accessable volume control to make things louder or softer when necessary. The base phone is tilted up so that you can read the display screen easily. The buttons are big and clearly marked. The hand set is not as flimsy as some and the sound is clear and even, with very little, if any, static or interference.

Things I don't like are basically minor irritants.
-The hold button is a soft key feature that only appears on the screen when on a call. There is no actual "hold" button.

-The screen is only lighted when the receiver is lifted.

-The dark screen issue is not that much of a problem as it does not even display the date and time of day.....this has always been a nice feature of phones with LED screens. Especially if you have time/space/continuum issues. Was this an oversight? Is my screen malfunctioning? No. What the screen displays when the phone is "at rest" is "BASE". How helpful! I had no idea it was my base phone! I can go in and name it something else, like "Useless" or "My Office Phone" but why bother? I do know that if I use the intercom to reach one of the other cordless handsets, that handset will know that "Base" is calling. But really, why no time and date?

-The screen does not display the time elapsed while on a call.

-There is no way to program the use of the "1" into the phone's memory. You can set up your directory of #s with the "1" as part of the # but when a call comes in and you see it in caller id.....even if you have already entered it in your directory with the "1", when you hit the "RDL" soft key to return the call, there is no "1" inserted. This is very disappointing! AT&T's solution is to have you hit the "#" key after you hit "RDL" to get a list of possible # variations (with/without 1, area code, etc). This is not quite intuitive but I will probably get used to the drill or go mad in the process.

-There are three separate pairs of "Line 1", "Line 2" buttons on the base set (and no hold button, but I already mentioned that). There are the two "On/Off" buttons where you can, you know, turn the line on or off. There are two "Mailbox" buttons for listening to your messages. And there are the "Line 1" and "Line 2" buttons for actually answering the phone. Very confusing and yes, I have already pushed the mailbox button accidently when I thought I was making a call. Lord knows what my husband, who never reads the instruction book, is going to do when he tries to use the phone. Hah!

-The base set can not be wall mounted.

I do recommend the phone. There will be an update after I have had a chance to kick the tires a bit longer.

3-27-10 NOTE: The AT&T Phone that I purchased is slightly different than the one photographed above! I have included two photographs to show that the phone I received has three additional buttons on the right side of the base set: a "Mute" button a "Volume" rocker switch and a "Flash" button. I have also included a photograph of the display while the phone is "at rest".

3-31-10 NOTE: As other reviewers have rightly pointed out, this is not strictly a corded phone. This means that the base set requires connection to an electrical outlet inorder to work.

AT&T's solution to this problem is to provide a compartment on the base set for a spare battery that, when inserted and fully charged, will allow the user, during a power failure, to make and receive short calls for up to 40 minutes. This battery can also be used to quickly replace a low handset battery.

This is all well and good but should you wish to purchase one of these "optional" batteries, it must be "hunted down". No mention of this battery is mentioned in Amazon's product copy. Nor is it offered as something one should purchase at the same time as the phone system. The battery is the same model as the battery in the handset, but you don't know that until you purchase the system.

The instruction book specifies a AT&T model 102, part number 89-324-00-00. This no longer exists. It has been superceeded by model "00249.

Amazon sells a variety of these batteries that are poorly rated by customers. Reviews about "not quite fitting but if you insert a small piece of carboard...)turned me off. However, a highly rated battery is available on the same page, mixed in with the bad ones. It is from HomeTheatre 24, an Amazon third party vendor. This battery costs more than the others but is an AT&T branded product AT&T 00249 - Phone battery NiMH 700 mAh. Home Theatre 24 is not the "preferred" seller of this battery, you have to search the "More Buying Choices" box on the left in order to find them. The battery arrived in two days and it fit the base station perfectly.
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77 comments|47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 15, 2008
Purchased this phone as a replacement for an outdated phone system. Base phone works great and is easy to use and set up. Easy to read LED display. It does have a hold button that other reviews said it does not have. It is located on the LED display, center button. "Hold" only appears on the LED display when a call comes in. However, out of the box, we have never been able to get the cordless handset to register with the base set, therefore no working cordless. AT&T is now in the process of sending the third replacement cordless handset to see if we can get that to register with the base. If that doesn't work they will have to replace the entire phone system. Very annoying and I had to pay postage to send the cordless back to them even though the phone was brand new. I would have given it 5 stars if the cordless was working. Will update when and if we ever get the cordless to work.
22 comments|23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2009
This product turned out to be a wonderful aid for my Mother who is not able to get around that well. Remote access of phone messages means that she does not have to walk slowly upstairs to get her messages. She is now able to see the message light on the handset and recieve and return messages from the handset. The speakerphone helps her because she does not have to hold the phone with her arthritic hands. Also the operation of the phone is simple enough that the technical operation of the phone was not a problem for her.

I highly recommend this product for these reasons.
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2009
I purchased this phone as a replacement for the older AT&T EP5962. Like its predecessor, the TL76108 is easy to set up and performs well. It does have a battery backup, but you must purchase an additional battery separately to utilize this feature. I wish I could have more than fifty entries in the speed dial, but that is not a major concern. Clarity and loudness are good but not excellent. For the money, I think it's a good choice. My EP5962 was still working after over three years of moderate use but had some wear issues. I'm hoping the replacement will do as well. I would definitely recommend the phone and handsets.

One battery is included for the handset. The base unit has a slot on the side to insert a battery for backup in case of power outage, but no battery is included for that purpose. The backup takes the same type of battery as the handset, so you can purchase an additional one and use the two batteries interchangably.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 17, 2009
The phone works well, but the one feature I wanted, the one which was included in the Product Description and at least one customer review, is not available. The description says, "The phone system is both table- and wall-mountable". I contacted AT&T (after I purchased the phone, unfortunately) and they confirmed it cannot be put on the wall, not even with an adaptor.
So, I have my old, dying Uniden phone on the wall and my brand new AT&T phone on a table. The phone works well and I like the idea of being able to add more handsets. However, I am still on the lookout for a two-line cordless phone which can be hung on the wall.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 17, 2009
The main reason I purchased this phone was for the corded phone feature. We have and always will have a hard wired phone line in case the power goes out. This is not a real corded phone as you need to purchase a battery for the base unit to work during power outages. It will give you about 1 hour of talk time. For the few minutes we had it up and running it looks like it would be a great phone otherwise.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 26, 2008
My wife and I needed a two line phone system for our home office. We'd had
an older Seimans 2420 2.4 ghz. After a few years, the hand held phones
started to be unresponsive when pushing the bottons, then the hand helds
started breaking up badly because of the Airport ( like wi-fi for you non
Apple users). I had read some reviews that wern't very positive, but I
decide to take the leap anyway because it was the only choice that had all
of the features I wanted. Well, all I have to say far so good.
All of the features work good and I'm basically very happy.
11 comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 24, 2013
I have used this phone for my retail business for about 8 years. We do not have a receptionist. I have the phones set for all of them to ring with an incoming call. I have the base plus 5 cordless sets. Having owned expensive multi-station phones in the past, I have found that this phone is very suited for my business. Here are the features that we use with the phone system: 1. Call transfers 2. Intercom 3. Hold 4. Speakerphone. I do not use the message function. Replacement re-chargeable batteries are inexpensive and available on Amazon. My only complaint is no music on hold. I previously used an expensive Siemens system that was similar but about twice as expensive. This phone system is superior in just about every way.
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on June 21, 2009
Excellent product. Easy to setup. Manual actually was easy to follow. Met our needs in superior fashion
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 13, 2009
I have only had this phone a month but so far it has worked flawlessly, easy to use,( did not even have to look at manual) onboard menu was sufficient to set up this two line phone. Have not kept the second remote phone off the charger for long so have no battery life experience and is something I should do.

All in All a good phone.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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