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    17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2008 3:08 PM by

    Need suggestion for home office phone...

    ShantiValley Newbie
      My home office has two business lines. It's important for my phone system to give clients a good professional impression. The phone I'm using is great except for 2 things:
      • It's a cordless system, so when the power goes out the phone doesn't work--happens several times a year.
      • The only way to record a message is thru a cheap mic on the base, so the answering machine sounds unprofessional. The message itself deteriorates with time, so it needs to be re-recorded frequently.
      Here are the things I would really like:
      • A system with a corded phone and at least one cordless phone/ headset
      • High quality recording for outgoing voicemail message, either thru a corded handset or load a recording from pc
      • Auto attendant capability, or at least the ability to switch to an 'after hours' message in the evenings or weekends
      • Good voice quality
      • If possible, page my cell phone when I have new messages
      • Data port would be a distinct advantage, but not absolutely necessary
      I've looked into PC answering software, but my computer often goes with me when I'm out of the office. So far the auto-attendant solutions I've found are less cost-effective than buying a dedicated computer to run PC answering software on. My best option so far has been Accessline, but I'd prefer to find a phone that would handle it from my office rather than have an on-going subscription.

      Anyone have any suggestions?
        • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
          keysongs71 Newbie
          Hi There,

          Check out They have some very interesting business solutions that offer that reliable big company image at very affordable prices. I hope this helps. God Bless!
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
            42n8lady Newbie
            Or you can try PB You are given several extensions . I have ext. 1 and I get my calls forwarded to my cellphone. You can access the line through your computer as well and hear the messages you miss there/ or let the computer dial those important numbers for you. You can have your own recorded message stating the name of your company or use their pre-recorded ones. PB Next or Ring Central can make your business appear more professional and bigger too, than it actually is.

            As for the actual phone, I find the Radio Shack ones do their jobs and you can build around them cheaply. I bought a set of four Uniden phones. Although the main line (three of the other extension lines were wireless) which was also an answering machine worked really well, there was too much static using the single extensions. A good feature of this phone is that if somebody is using one of the lines, the other lines remain quiet and no one can listen in. Maybe I was just unlucky. I just bought new ones for Christmas. If you send me an e-mail and give me your address, I'll mail the set to you and hope that it works better where you live. These are fairly new. No cost. Gratis. Would donate them to Goodwill otherwise.
            • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
              LUCKIEST Guide
              S, Can you use your cell phone for all your needs and eliminate the land line??.
              Have you visited the different phone stores at the malls??
              There are also very professional answering services that may help you.
              Good Luck, LUCKIEST
              • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                Lighthouse24 Ranger

                Unless I'm misunderstanding your situation, your business phone service provider should offer products to help. For example, with AT&T or Time-Warner, they provide clear, reliable voice messaging, the ability to have different greetings at different times, to forward calls, provide paging, etc. There are fees for this, of course, but the quality and reliability are outstanding. Is there a reason why you wouldn't want to put all this functionality onto their system, and get it off your phoneset?
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                    ShantiValley Newbie
                    Thanks for all the good suggestions.

                    The primary reason for not using the various voicemail services, including the phone service provider, is price. I'm on a shoestring budget and the phone co wants $40 a month for voicemail, and a lot more for follow-me forwarding to my cell. Accessline, RingCentral and eVoice all offer much less expensive options that will do the auto-attendant or forward to my cell phone or take a message or both. Accessline thru Costco is very cost-effective, but isn't quite as customizable thru the web as I would like.

                    But since I need to add a good quality 2-line corded phone anyway to deal with the too-frequent power blips in my area, I'm trying to do some price comparison between investing in a suitable phone with auto-attendant capabilities vs. continuing to pay a subscription.
                  • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                    CorpCons08 Ranger

                    If you are looking for easy managed online systems, you might want to check out as suggested or

                    • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                      LUCKIEST Guide
                      Shanti, There is a new posting, That might help you. Check it out, LUCKIEST

             phone service

                      • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                        Hi Shanti, My name is Gary Chisolm,and I have a solution for your home office telecom. needs. We can set you up with our Globalinx partner at
                        The commercial plans some of the features are voicemail, call waiting,three-way calling,*69 Call return,Caller ID, Call Forward,Findme/Followme. A variety of Business Plans,
                        Unlimited Calling, Hosted PBX,IP,Centrex and SIP Trunking, with live people to take your client calls. Take a look at it give me an e-mail or call me at 404-935-0380
                        The Best to you, Gary A. Chisolm
                        • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                          v-guru Newbie
                          Hi, we use both Ringcentral and a service that offers business class corded phones called Packet 8. For what you are asking for feature wise, ringcentral is great except for the hardware. I would go packet 8 and use phons with their autoattendant (configurable via the web). The unlimited US/CAN minutes is only about $40 a month.
                            • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                              ShantiValley Newbie
                              Thanks to all who gave suggestions.

                              Vguru, your suggestion combines well with my growth plans for the future.

                              For those in a similar situation, here's a brief synopsis of the options I found:

                              I found basic auto-attendant voicemail equipment from $400-4000. Add the cost of a good-quality phone and you can really sound like you're in business.

                              PC software with auto-attendant + 'you-mail' type capabilities: $30. Add voice modem (if your computer doesn't have one): $ 30-150. Unless you have a really reliable computer system, I'd probably spring for a dedicated computer, and the total would probably still be significantly less than the auto-attendant equipment. Does it sound as good? I don't know. Couldn't find many opinions on the subject.

                              A search for corded/cordless 2-line combo phones found one that actually calls your cell (or other designated number) when someone leaves a message, with remote retrieval so you can call and hear the message right away. None with real auto-attendant capability or evening/weekend message options.

                              I found several 4-line corded desk phones advertising 'auto-attendant' features, most by ATT. I was not able to find out if any of them change messages automatically for weekends or evenings. I found one brand that advertises automated weekend and evening messages, but I've never heard of them before. Standalone phones with autoattendant were $200-$400.

                              I'm still checking into the quality of various off-site services like ringcentral, accessline, etc. and the prices for what I need are comparable with all of them. Best prices were with Accessline + Costco membership, at least so far. For any company, it holds true that no matter how good their quality is, your message won't sound any better than your input method. Call in on a crackly cell phone line to record your message, and that's what your message will sound like, so there needs to be a good corded phone in the system or a way to record and upload a good-quality file.

                              This is an area where technology and options seem to be changing rapidly, voip and bluetooth options are increasing, etc. so I won't be investing in any major equipment right now.
                            • Re: Need suggestion for home office phone...
                              MoltenJavaDev Newbie
                              Many other forumns on this site also recommend I would check into it :)