I just bought a two-line phone online for my home office. It was a project, let me tell you. It was complicated by the fact that I didn't want all the bells and whistles - I just wanted a corded phone with two lines and a speaker.
That's right - it was complicated by my quest for simplicity.
The two-line phone that I about about 2 years ago always gave me problems when I tried to use the speaker function., I could hear them just fine but they could never hear me unless I picked up the handset - a real problem if you live and die by conference call. Lately, it's begun disconnecting itself mid-call. So I started shopping and reading user reviews.
Here's the thing - in all price ranges, telephones get mediocre reviews.I think it's because the people who take the time to write extensive electronic reviews that nitpick over the smallest details are freaks. They don't give a 5-star to anything and are just as likely to two-star for big buttons as for poor sound quality. So I continued to research and go strictly by my minimum requirements. Thispart was really hard - it was like trying to find a car without power options for windows, mirrors and brakes. It can be done but it takes true grit to keep plodding along past the fancy extras and the shiny finishes and stick to what you really want.
And I found it - guess how much I paid for it? $22.99 - brand new! This one also has a 2-to-3 star rating range but for 23 bucks, what the heck. It couldn't be worse than the pricier disappointment it was replacing.
It sounds great. And it does have conferencing ability and an option to stick a head set straight into the jack, without messing around with an extra amplifier, so I guess it's a little bit fancy. But here's the best thing about it - it's old. New as in never used, but old as in technology of the past. The color is the first tip-off - they call it white but it's really an oyster tone.
Inside the box, the phone was sealed in some kind of shiny astronaut wrapper and right next to a bar code sticker, it was stamped Dec '99. Oh yeah. We were thrilled to see that - no muss no fuss not many parts to go wrong and built to function longer than 6 months. Sami's a big fan of older electronics. His favorite phone in the house is a cordless relic of the late 80s that has a shiny metal telescoping antenna similar to the kind Don Adams has on his Get Smart shoe phone.
We were so happy, especially when we opened it and that new plastic smell wafted out, straight from the last decade. We knew it was toxic gasses from decomposing plastic, but hey - that's the smell of our childhood. We breathed deeply and passed it back and forth to take turns sniffing it.
So now it's installed and the fancy non-performer is in the wastebasket.I tried it out with a few phone calls and the sound quality is excellent, both on handset and speaker. Tomorrow I have five conference calls lined up and I can hardly wait.
I just hope it doesn't burst into flames during the night.