rec's for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by rayrick

Posted by Marvin on March 16, 1999 at 01:24:13:

Thanks Karp.

rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by rayrick

Posted by rayrick on March 14, 1999 at 10:54:16:

well, my answering maching just broke and I’m looking to move up to a simple voicemail system. My wants are simple:

  1. decent outgoing voice quality

  2. I want a caller to get a master greeting, be given several choices (three would probably be fine), and (here’s the kicker) GET A SEPARATE TAILORED MESSAGE THAT CORRESPONDS TO THE CHOICE THEY MADE (preferrably up to 5 minutes in length).
    Sorry to yell, but this feature has proven to be annoyingly elusive. I’ve struck out at Staples and Office Max.

  3. I would accept as an alternative to the above that the machine can recognize distinctive rings and give different greetings accordingly (though this is less preferable, since I’ll have to shell out for the distinctive ring service)

That’s really it. I don’t need multiple line capability, I don’t even really need multiple mailboxes. It’s the user dictated multiple greetings that I’m really after.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Cost IS a factor. Thanks!


Thanks all- and the winner is… - Posted by rayrick

Posted by rayrick on March 15, 1999 at 15:42:28:

…voice modem. I’ve been looking for an excuse to ditch my 14.4 clunker for a while now and this route seems like the cheapest way to get where I want to go.
Tina does sound cool, and maybe someday we’ll get together, but for now, it’s just me and my PC…

Now I’m down to sifting through the myriad software options available to me. CallAttendant is only $50 and sounds decent. Anyone ever used it?


Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by Bob-Tx

Posted by Bob-Tx on March 15, 1999 at 08:53:17:

This may seem very untechie, but I use “Call Notes” a v/mail system offered by SW Bell in my market. Allows for up to 6 mailboxes, each one can have its own outbound message. Simple and straightforward.

Why not use… - Posted by LHoffman

Posted by LHoffman on March 14, 1999 at 19:44:20:

a voice/fax/data modem. I have one by Diamond. It can have up to 200 different voice mail boxes. Not that I would need that mamy.

It’s also a fax modem as well. With this modem I don’t need a seperate line. The software can determine if the incomming call is a voice fax or data.

I love it. You have to leave your PC on all the time. I leave mine all 24-7. But, this is due to the fact I used to design printed circuits boards. Usually a pc will fail on powerup do to surge current.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you another option. This modem cost around 130.00. Email me if you want more info.


Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by ChrisG

Posted by ChrisG on March 14, 1999 at 16:58:26:

I was recently doing research for voicemail options and I decided to go with Ameritechs Voicemail Plus.

It runs about $10 a month and it even lets me use the line while it takes messages. It can take 5 messages simultaneously and has three mailboxes and can handle 60 messages max. I don’t think I’ll be needing anything more fancy maybe it’ll work for you too.

Check it out at

To me the clincher was that I could still use my line for other things and still be able to get voicemail. I was thinks of getting a 3Com 56K Voice MODEM and Symantecs Talkworks Pro, then I would have the second line sitting there doing nothing but waiting for calls and I would still have to worry about installing another modem and software package on my PC.

Try this - I have one myself. - Posted by Bo (GA)

Posted by Bo (GA) on March 14, 1999 at 12:24:22:

Try and click on the “TINA” picture. I bought one about 2 months ago, and it works great, after I had figured out how to program it. The manual is extensive, but lacks the logical step-by-step setup one would expect. Anyway, for about $240 with shipping, it blows any other voice mail system away, as these are typically $1,500+.

The only other option I saw was Microsoft’s Cordless Phone System (, but it required my PC to be on all the time, and not too busy doing something else, like scanning or burning CD-Rs.

If you want to hear what my system sounds like, send me an e-mail and I will e-mail you back whth my phone number.

Please note: I am not in any way affiliated with any of these companies. :slight_smile:

Bo (GA)

Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by KevinMiami

Posted by KevinMiami on March 14, 1999 at 11:34:16:

Here are a couple options:

1 - Try your local telco, in addition to basic voicemail they might have something like that (they do in my area).

2 - Some Modems are actually voice modems and can be used in conjunction with software to perform the functions of an impressive voicemail system with minimal additional investment (newer ones allow you to even leave your computer off). Works out pretty good since you can save messages to cheap floppies, email them to someone etc., and also receive faxes and e-mail in the same program (I know this since I set up a couple for people already). If you’re interested in this one then contact me and I get some more specs/info for you.

Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by Carmen

Posted by Carmen on March 14, 1999 at 11:23:34:

As an alternative, why not try one of the voicemail services out there? For about $14/month, you can get what you are looking for. There are several services in every area, or you can call a nationwide service which “rents” numbers in your area. One that I’ve used before is American Voice Mail, 1-800-347-2861.

You can either just check your messages every so often, or get paged whenever a message comes in (for a fee). It also gives you the option of adding mailboxes or sub-mailboxes as you need them.

This also allows for multiple callers, so no one gets a busy signal.

Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 14, 1999 at 11:21:37:

Intel Connect is the voice-mail system that came with my computer as a part of Windows 98. Set-up a master message to guide the user to the appropriate mail box (by selecting 1, 2 etc.), each of which have separate greetings. Greetings are as long as you want (or your hard-drive can store), and up to I think thirty mailboxes.

I’ve set it up to page me when a message gets left (handy when you have a J.O.B.), and it has a log feature that shows me everyone that’s called and their name and phone number (I have caller-id on my business line for this purpose). It also recognizes fax-tones and accepts FAXes & many other features.

The Caller ID comes in handy. Knowing their name, I can get into the Assessor’s and Recorder’s data base online and look-up details about their property before I ever return their call.

Ray, I looked for an answering machine that does all this and had the same frustrations you did. I think you have to get into expensive business phone systems to get this level of sophistication, but maybe some else will surprise me and post a machine I don’t know about.

Good luck-


Re: rec’s for simple SOHO voicemail systems? - Posted by Marlene

Posted by Marlene on March 14, 1999 at 11:16:02:

Rayrick: Try Hello Direct @ (800) HI-HELLO. They have sophisticated phones/voice mail systems/headsets. If they don’t have what you want, the customer representative may be able to point you in the right direction.

Re: Thanks all- and the winner is… - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 15, 1999 at 16:00:41:

Ray, if you buy the Windows 98 upgrade, you’ll get Intel Connect free (for voice modem use), and have an updated Operating System. Just a suggestion.


I AGREE- - Posted by karp

Posted by karp on March 14, 1999 at 14:37:09:

Tina kicks butt!
I have used this for four years.



I Do Not - Posted by Marvin

Posted by Marvin on March 14, 1999 at 21:26:41:


Tina and I have not gotten along in the two
years we’ve been together. She malfunctions.
Constantly. Further, Datacom has ignored
numerous inquiries from me.

All I can think of is that the many problems
may be a result of me using a two line Tina
with one line plus distinctive ring. Any ideas?


Re: I Do Not - Posted by karp

Posted by karp on March 14, 1999 at 21:52:46:

I dunno Dude.
I am not a techie.

Wait a sec… I have an idea…
Wanna sell your Tina’s to me??

How long can you hold paper?