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Your system is set to "Announce" mode, where it plays an announcement but does not record a message. You want "Answer" mode, where the system allows the caller to leave a message.
Since you didn't give the model of your VTech system, I can't tell you how to switch modes. Enter the model into the search box at http://www.vtechphones.com/support/general/manuals to download a copy of the manual.
I suspect you have your answering machine in "Announce" mode, where it plays an outgoing message but does not accept incoming messages. You want to switch it to "Answer" mode, where it will accept incoming messages. Since you declined to specify the model of your VTech answering machine, I can't tell you how to switch modes. I can only direct you to enter it into the search box here to download a copy of the manual.
Hello, When you configured your telephone you must have come across the Remote Access option, in which you chose a secret remote access code or accepted the one by default. If you don't remember that then you should reconfigure it and choose a secret code different from the factory default. While you are at it configure the Toll Saver option too. (more about that later)
When you are away you dial your home number and when you telephone invites you to leave amessage, enter your Remote Access code. You will be read various options, among which there is the Hear New Messages option (if there are new messages). After hearing your messages you hang up. and you will be charged by you telco.
With Toll saver On, you telephone answers after 2 rings, if there are new messages, and after 4 rings if there are NO new messages. If your telephone does not answer after the second ring (if you hear the 3rd ring) that means you have no new messages, and you can hang up without being charged by your telco.
The Rings to Answer setting is important if you have an answering machine on the
same phone line as the HP All-in-One, because you want the answering machine to
answer the phone before the HP All-in-One does. The number of rings to answer for
the HP All-in-One should be greater than the number of rings to answer for the
For example, set your answering machine to a low number of rings and the HP All-in-
One to answer in the maximum number of rings. (The maximum number of rings
varies by country/region.) In this setup, the answering machine will answer the call
and the HP All-in-One will monitor the line. If the HP All-in-One detects fax tones, the
HP All-in-One will receive the fax. If the call is a voice call, the answering machine will
record the incoming message.
To set the number of rings before answering from the control panel
1. Press Setup.
2. Press 4, and then press 2.
This selects Basic Fax Setup and then selects Rings to Answer.
3. Enter the appropriate number of rings by using the keypad, or press or to
change the number of rings.
4. Press OK to accept the setting.
Make sure answer machine function is turned on. Bottom right button.
Make sure an outgoing message is set. Should see a <-> arrow in the display screen. If not, press the <-> button. To record outgoing message... the press the middle button; record out going message; press middle button. Wait a few seconds and you should be set. Hope this helps