1717 Digital Answering Machine Reviews
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1717 Digital Answering Machine

36 ratings (36 Epinions reviews)
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AT&T 1717 Answering System: it usually works....

Nov 7, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:price, good basic features

Cons:bad sound, somewhat unreliable

I bought the 1717 because it was cheap, I confess, and have been using it for about 18 months. Most of its operation is satisfactory. There are several good things about it, although none of them is anything out of the ordinary for an answering machine.

The size is a plus: it takes up very little room on my desk, and is easy to move around. The unit is attractive overall. The display also makes it instantly clear not just that you have messages, but how many. The same window displays error messages such as when the memory is full or you need to reset your clock.

Other positive things: it has a lot of room both for your outgoing message and for incoming ones. It has skip and repeat buttons plus a very obvious PLAY button. You can set how quickly you want it to pick up calls. And of course the price is great.

Now, however, there are some problems as well.

First, there's that much-touted remote pickup of messages. It's not that this *doesn't* work, but that it works so slowly and clumsily. I sometimes have to enter my code 6 or 7 times to get logged in. After each event, you have to wait a few seconds to hear two beeps before you can make your next keypad entry. Sometimes it doesn't take your entry at all and just sits there, leaving you pressing random buttons in an attempt to wake up the fake little voice that lives inside the box.

Second, as others have said, the sound quality is poor. This seems especially so with your outgoing message, which I guess is the quality of the microphone. Your voice sounds muffled and indistinct. Incoming calls are better, but not that much better.

Third, this machine just seems to freak out sometimes. I know it hates it when the power goes off -- you have to reset everything. But other times, for what seems like no reason the messages will not play or it will not take your remote call in and just beeps. This has only happened a couple times, but once is too many.

And fourth, a minor complaint, but in order to delete a message when you are at the machine (as opposed to calling in), the message apparently has to be actively playing. You can't hit delete after it finishes. In fact, if you try to delete it then, you run the risk of accidentally deleting your *next* message, which is then gone forever. So you have to go back, start the previous message again, and then delete it. Wastes a second or two on every message, which probably adds up to a waste of a few minutes a month. Minor annoyance, but still, an annoyance.

Oh, it's not all that bad, but I wouldn't buy it again.





Recommend this product? Yes


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