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My reliable GE 29897GE2-A speakerphone w/ digital answering machine works perfect on my AT&T landline, BUT the answering machine does NOT work when connected to my Vonage VDV21-VD line (w/ voicemail and call forwarding disabled). I called Vonage Customer Support to inquire about this from their website:
"Can I use my own answering machine instead of Vonage server based voice mail? If you wish, you CAN use your existing answering machine with Vonage. All you need to do is DISABLE Vonage’s server based voicemail system by logging into your account at www.vonage.com, and clicking on features. The voicemail menu will allow you to disable the entire Vonage voicemail system."
Vonage Customer Support was clueless. The only resolution offered was their suggestion that I might contact the manufacturer (GE-licensed Atlinks USA, Thomson)... lol, good luck with that!
So I installed a GE in-line "DSL Phone Line Filter" between the Vonage VDV21-VD and the GE 29897GE2-A, BUT the answering machine still does NOT work. It appears that Vonage is simply incompatible with the answering machine despite Vonage's bold claims to the contrary.
I found the manual and it told me to unplug the machine both from the back and the socket itself. I did try just unplugging the machine from the back and it would not reset, but when I did BOTH things (which seems silly)...it worked and reset itself. It worth giving it a try...
An overnight rest seemed to cure it. Context - I have a fax machine also hooked up to it that kicks in when it hears the fax signal. I disconnected it overnight while "resting" the answering machine. When the answering machine returned to normal this morning, I hooked up the fax again. So far so good.