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Things you should know before buying the AT&T CL84100
on September 2, 2011
There are many good things about this phone that have been mentioned in other reviews, and it was because of these that I decided to have a friend order the CL84100 for me. I have a home-based business and I wanted a combined phone/answering system to replace a 15 year old Sony TAM-100 answering machine that I had been using along with a newer AT&T CL2909 corded phone. Being able to record a good quality outgoing message was my first priority. The 84100 answering system would have been adequate, no worse than my old Sony, but not much better. However, it was other things that I discovered that made me decide to return the phone.
1) It has no HOLD button. This is a necessity in my business. I primarily rely on corded phones throughout my home/workplace because they function when the electricity is out. This system only has an INTERCOM button that limits placing the caller on hold and moving calls through it's own system of cordless units.
2) Turning the Ringer OFF requires a minimum of 8 clicks through menu buttons. With my present phone I simply slide the OFF/ON ringer switch, located on the side of the phone, and the task is done.
3) Even when the Ringer has been turned off, and Call Screening is off (which silences the outgoing and incoming messages as the phone is in use) the phone still sounds a tone after the outgoing message plays, so making the phone completely quiet isn't possible.
For these reasons I have decided that I am better off keeping my old system in place for now.
Something I did like about this system that I hadn't seen mentioned before is the male voice that speaks to you whenever you do anything with the system. He's pleasant to listen to when he's giving the time, number of calls, etc. when you play back messages or use other features.
I think this would be an okay phone for people who don't have need for the things I found lacking.