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Call your phone number. After the greeting is finished and you hear the beep to leave a message push 123 on a touch tone phone and you will be given a list of things you can choose to do including listening to messages. 123 is the default security code unless the security code has been changed. Since you dont know how to retrieve messages Im assuming the default security code has never been changed.
If 123 is not the default security code and you dont know what the code is, you can change your code in the setup menu. You get to this by pushing the stop/set button on the answering machine and holding it for a couple of seconds. Since GE doesnt offer a downloadable manual for the 29878GE1 you should probably take a look at the manual for the 29875GE1 which is basically the same model with the addition of a digital message counter. Hope this helps.
GE Digital Messaging System ~ Voice/Time/Day stamp
1a] press and hold down STOP/set button and wait for promps.....
ie. press NEXT to change Day stamp and then SET to pick.
ie. press NEXT to change Hour and SET to pick.
ie. press NEXT to change Minute and SET to pick.
1b] press NEXT to pick 1minute allowance recording for recieving messages coming in, or 2 minutes or 3 minutes or 4 minutes. This machine only has 1/2 hour of recording time, so maybe you can 'tell' -record- that and let incoming callers know they have only minutes and machine will automatically shut off and cut them off [hang-up] on them.
2] press and hold down Greeting button and follow promps to change the answering machine voice promps to your own voice. Machine will automatically PLAY BACK your voice, if you don't like what you hear, press and hold down Greeting button again and try again.
~ hope all above helps.