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I have a discontinued phone and have lost the instruction book and need to figure out why the fax machine is not letting the answering machine pick up.

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You have both the fax machine and the answering machine on the same phone line.
The fax machine and the answering machine are set to answer in a certain number of rings.
In your case the fax machine is set to answer the line in less rings than the answering machine. You have to increase the number of rings of your fax so that the answering machine will work.

Posted on Aug 24, 2008

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There is excellent support here on basic fax setups. You have what is known as "Distinctive Ringing Service". There are pros and cons to the various setups. I assume you recognize the rings and answer only when the ring for the landline talk comes on. The fax will pick up the faxes, and the answering machine will pick up the voice.

Need model number of your fax - google that!

Service manual for your phone.

http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/KXTG7841-MUL.PDF
This link shows various configurations of setting up your phone/fax/answering machine or using an answering service.
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Distinctive Ringing Service setup While it is not available everywhere, a distinctive ringing service can be purchased from most telephone companies. With this service, more than one phone number is assigned to the same phone line. Each phone number will ring differently. The main number will ring with a normal single ring and the additional number will ring with a distinctive ring pattern assigned by the phone company.
When a distinctive ringing service is used, set the Rings to Answer to 2 and then follow the steps below to set the distinctive ringing pattern:
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Do you have voicemail or an answering machine? This is usually a sign that another device (fax, answering machine or voicemail service) is set to answer the call after 4 rings. You will need to lengthen to number of rings before the service/device in question picks up. (The method to reset this will depend on the service/device that is picking up.) Another possibility is a call forwarding service that is enabled at 4 rings.

I hope this helps. Please write back with details on the device that could be picking up for details on setting the number of rings. If you have voicemail or call forwarding, check with your telephone service provider to lengthen the number of rings before the service kicks in. (There are too many for me to know all of the providers instructions.)

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No I did not fix it, because when I got into your web site I didn't know I had to pay for your service. I expected that GE would do it free because I bought there product. I'm retired on a fixed income. all I wanted was to fix the amount of rings on the phone so the answering machine would pick up. I lost my hand book, other wise I wouldn't of bothered you. If I have to pay forget it

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