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For the TRU9380, you can set the number of rings for the answering system from the handset. Press Menu/Clear and select Answ Setup. Then choose the Ring Time submenu. Move the cursor to select the number of rings (Toll Saver, 2, 4 or 6 Times). Press Select to save the setting; you will hear a confirmation tone. (Note: the answering machine must be on.) In Toll Saver, it picks up after 2 rings if you have new messages and after 4 rings, otherwise.
You did record a message on the answerer, didn't you? Mine displayed that until I recorded the outgoing message for the answerer. You do not need any service from your phone provider. The answerer in the base unit simply records the caller's message when you don't answer after a set number of rings. The manual tells you how to name the handset, which is a nice feature if you don't wish to use "unit 1, unit 2, etc".