[Update 01-08-05: Handset battery is dead. Bought a replacement battery at Radio Shack but the charge doesn't last, so the handset is virtually useless. I am considering unplugging the unit and sending it to the recyclin bin. Cannot confirm whether the telezapper feature has decreased telemarking calls.]
Recommend this product?
I have owned and used the VT2528 cordless phone for about 9 months. I really wasn¡¦t shopping for a phone as my old Uniden 900MHz cordless was working just fine, but I was receiving an alarming number of calls from telemarketers and a few that had a fax tone to it. Very annoying.
So, I looked around for devices that claimed to eliminate or reduce such unwanted commercial calls. The Telezapper was a device that I first saw as a stand-alone piece that you had to connect to your phone. It claims to work by sending a tone to the telemarketer¡¦s automated (computer) dialer signaling that your number is no longer in service. The number of unsolicited commercial calls (especially those with a fax tone or no answer) has decreased significantly. Along with caller-ID (paid subscription to the service through your local phone provider), we¡¦ve reduced the number of unwanted calls that we pick up.
I purchased the V-Tech VT2528 because it was only about $10 more than what I would have paid for the Telezapper stand-alone. The VT2528 is a 2.4GHz cordless phone with a built-in Telezapper. The VT2528 works like any other cordless phone, but every time you pick up the phone to receive an incoming call, it emits a tone (audible to parties on both sides of the call) that presumably signals a computer to take your number off their list because it ¡§is no longer in service.¡¨ You can select from two levels of Telezapper ¡§protection¡¨: basic (one tone), or advanced (three tones, just like the one the phone company uses along with the automated recording to let you know that ¡§the number you have dialed is no longer in service.¡¨) The Telezapper provides just the tones, not the recorded message. However, because the tones are audible to both you and your caller when you pick up the call, some of your friends may end up asking you why there are those tones. The tones last only about a second and do not interfere with the rest of the conversation.
The Telezapper aside, the cordless phone works just like any other. In direct comparison to my older Uniden, this V-Tech unit is no match. Most other V-Tech products I¡¦ve seen on the market stand out for their flashier designs and maybe one or two fancier functions, but this VT2528 is really a no-frills cordless phone that has a Telezapper built-in.
The phone is plastic with some champagne-colored casing. The handset has buttons are black rubber with white lettering that are not backlit. There is a hard antenna about 2 inches tall that is not obstrusive. The handset features a three-line caller-ID display which IS backlit. It displays the name and number of the caller (if available) as well as the date and time stamp of the call. In different modes, it displays phone status (battery low warning, not connected, phone on¡K) as well as numbers programmed into the phone¡¦s directory and archived calls (takes the last 40 or so¡K). Caller-ID is an option offered by your local phone company. The VT2528 has "Call Waiting Caller ID" which lets you view the name of the caller on an incoming call when you are already on the line with someone else. This is pretty handy to let you know whether you want to excuse yourself from your current call to take the second incoming call or just let the second caller keep ringing. Other than that, there¡¦s not much else to brag about on the VT2528. The base holds the handset vertically (standing up) while recharging and has a footprint of about 4x6 inches, which is pretty compact for a countertop. It uses the 2.4GHz cordless frequency which is supposed to yield more range and less static, but I really can¡¦t tell the difference between this 2.4Ghz unit and my older 900MHz Uniden. The sound quality of the VT2528 is just OK. Volume is adjustable to 6 notches and there is a jack that allows you to use a headphone/mic set for hands-free conversation.
My phone has a problem with its directory. The numbers that I painstakingly stored in the phone¡¦s directory have been erased for no good reason. The 3.6V NiCd rechargeable battery keeps running out pretty quickly. I have replaced the phone and moved it to another, less used location because I still want the Telezapper to work. (The Telezapper works for any other phone on the same line/number, so all you need is to have one installed and it will work for any phone connected to the same line/number in the house, according to the manual.)
The Telezapper seems to be working, but it¡¦s too bad that the phone is not living up to its basic telephone expectations. This was a bit of a impulse-purchase for me and I probably would not buy it again, save for the Telezapper being built-in. In other words, the only reason I would buy a phone like this would be for its built-in Telezapper. I have no beef with very basic phones, but they have to last (that old Uniden is great!) and work well as a phone. If you are looking for a device to rid you of telemarketers, you may want to look around a bit more than I did. There¡¦s also a Federal Do Not Call List and local State lists as well (I know that we also have one here in CA). If you must buy this phone, do it but consider that there might be better phones out in the market.
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