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Thread: Cannot retrieve messages from my home answer machine using a smartphone

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    Cannot retrieve messages from my home answer machine using a smartphone

    My Panasonic home phone system answering machine needs touch tone dialing to put in a three digit code to retrieve messages. I setup my android phone to send tones, but my answering machine does not recognise them. I have Google Fi for my smartphone and Straight Talk for my home phone.

    My Panasonic home phone troubleshooting guide says: "For models with the Link to Cell features, you cannot operate the answering system when calling from a cellular phone paired to the base unit."

    So is this a problem with Straight Talk or something else? I'm not sure I understand what Panasonic is trying to tell me.

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    I would reach out to Panasonic customer support for a solution. I doubt Straight Talk can resolve this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by radman3d View Post
    My Panasonic home phone system answering machine needs touch tone dialing to put in a three digit code to retrieve messages. I setup my android phone to send tones, but my answering machine does not recognise them. I have Google Fi for my smartphone and Straight Talk for my home phone.

    My Panasonic home phone troubleshooting guide says: "For models with the Link to Cell features, you cannot operate the answering system when calling from a cellular phone paired to the base unit."

    So is this a problem with Straight Talk or something else? I'm not sure I understand what Panasonic is trying to tell me.
    found this - https://support-uk.panasonic.eu/app/...3976/related/1

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    The link to cell feature will have nothing to do with retrieving messages remotely if it there is no cell phone actively connected to the cordless phone through Bluetooth when calling in.

    What do you mean by having your cell phone set up for the tones when calling in? Are you using the pause feature of the phone dialer on your cell phone?

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    What home phone device are you using?

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    Just to clarify this seeming mess, you're using a Straight Talk home phone box of some sort for service at home, with your Panasonic cordless phone set connected to it. And instead of using the voicemail service of the Straight Talk setup you're using the built-in answering machine of the Panasonic device (or that's the intention). Sound about right? I would think in calling up your ST home phone remotely (from any phone) you would hear the OGM (outgoing message) of the answering machine, ONLY IF you've somehow disabled the ST voicemail service. Otherwise ringing with no answer is going to cause the voicemail to pick up the call before the answering machine, UNLESS you set the answering machine to pick up in something like one ring (or disable the ST voicemail) . Once the correct device has answered the call it seems you should be able to communicate with it using touch tone remotely. Can you state if you know which device is answering the call?

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    I'm confused. Anybody who can explain this to me will get a brownie point.
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    Well, until the OP chimes back in & answers a few questions it's a crap shoot. He or she has been looking at this thread for the last few hours with no input. . . . .

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    Unless otherwise more illogical, the OP's home phone service is through the Straight Talk cellular analog telephone adapter. You plug an analog phone into its RJ11 on the back; it connects to the cell network. In this case he's plugging in a Panasonic cordless phone charger base that has an answering machine built-in, and people call the number of that Straight Talk cellular device; when he's home he answers using the cordless phone connected to it. When he's not in he's apparently collecting messages left by callers to that line on the Panasonic's machine, not the Straight Talk line of service's voicemail (like all cellular service typically has). When he's out he has another line of service on a separate cell phone. He wants to call in to his home line of service (Straight Talk) using the cell phone, and using DTMF touch tones from the cell phone dial pad, remotely control the Panasonic answering machine and retrieve any messages that might be waiting on it.

    There would need to be coordination of how to keep the Straight Talk line's voicemail from answering incoming calls before the connected answering machine does. OP says the setup doesn't recognize the tones from the remote cell phone he carries (and calls in on), but we don't know if he's got the answering sequence sorted out, understood, and working as it should. I can't imagine any reason the tones wouldn't simply be passed through to any connected device, like an answering machine.

    My sister still uses a similar setup with her Comcast cable home phone service. It has voicemail service available, but she wants to keep using a connected answering machine so that when someone calls and leaves a message she can hear who it is to decide to answer live or not. Impossible to do with voicemail tech, in most cases.

    Additional: OK, I'm assuming the Straight Talk reference is about a home phone adapter and not another cell phone where a link-to-cell feature would be needed. Also assuming the Panasonic is a cordless model and not something corded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whacker View Post
    Unless otherwise more illogical, the OP's home phone service is through the Straight Talk cellular analog telephone adapter. You plug an analog phone into its RJ11 on the back; it connects to the cell network. In this case he's plugging in a Panasonic cordless phone charger base that has an answering machine built-in, and people call the number of that Straight Talk cellular device; when he's home he answers using the cordless phone connected to it. When he's not in he's apparently collecting messages left by callers to that line on the Panasonic's machine, not the Straight Talk line of service's voicemail (like all cellular service typically has). When he's out he has another line of service on a separate cell phone. He wants to call in to his home line of service (Straight Talk) using the cell phone, and using DTMF touch tones from the cell phone dial pad, remotely control the Panasonic answering machine and retrieve any messages that might be waiting on it.

    There would need to be coordination of how to keep the Straight Talk line's voicemail from answering incoming calls before the connected answering machine does. OP says the setup doesn't recognize the tones from the remote cell phone he carries (and calls in on), but we don't know if he's got the answering sequence sorted out, understood, and working as it should. I can't imagine any reason the tones wouldn't simply be passed through to any connected device, like an answering machine.

    My sister still uses a similar setup with her Comcast cable home phone service. It has voicemail service available, but she wants to keep using a connected answering machine so that when someone calls and leaves a message she can hear who it is to decide to answer live or not. Impossible to do with voicemail tech, in most cases.

    Additional: OK, I'm assuming the Straight Talk reference is about a home phone adapter and not another cell phone where a link-to-cell feature would be needed. Also assuming the Panasonic is a cordless model and not something corded.
    Sorry for the delay in answering this. You are spot on, we are trying to do what your sister does. I would love to turn off the ST answering service...is that possible? Not sure this will solve the issue or not, but it is a start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radman3d View Post
    Sorry for the delay in answering this. You are spot on, we are trying to do what your sister does. I would love to turn off the ST answering service...is that possible? Not sure this will solve the issue or not, but it is a start.
    Set your home answering machine to less rings before answer until it picks up before ST voicemail. In the case of screening calls you want the number of rings before answer short anyway. I used to set mine to 2 rings.

    IIRC, when I had the ST home phone service it answered after about 4 or 5 rings.

    Getting ST to turn off voicemail probably won't work. Unconfigured voicemail still answers with a message saying that the voicemail is not setup. I have never heard of a Verizon MVNO being able to completely disable voicemail.

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    You can reduce the amount of rings on the Panasonic so it picks up before Straight Talk's voice mail has a chance to kick in. It's easy to do under the settings menu.

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    Exactly what these two guys recommended! Unlikely to be able to alter or disable Straight Talk voicemail, so your machine has to beat it to the call pickup.

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    I figured out how to get the Panasonic answering machine to answer before ST answers. Now I am back to where I started, I cannot retrieve my messages remotely from the Panasonic answering machine using my smartphone. I'm following the Panasonic instruction manual, but the answering machine seems to not hear the three digit code I send. I tried my android and my wife's apple, both do not work. I wonder if the tones are somehow not reaching the Panasonic through ST?

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    You should be able to, as a test, be in the same room with both phones, call the home phone from the cell, and when the answering machine picks up press the code and see if you can hear it audibly through the machine's speaker. My experience with answering machines would say yes, if there is no other screening feature turned off on the machine, or the volume is turned down.

    Also, not knowing your machine, some may require the code to be entered remotely during the outgoing message (greeting), while others (more commonly) require entering it after the OGM finishes playing. See if that's mentioned in the instructions for the Panasonic device.

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