How do I make my 2 phone lines play nicely?
April 12, 2006 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I've never had a landline -- just a mobile for the past decade. I got married last year, and the little lady has a landline. We need one where we live, since there's no mobile service. So I forward my calls to the home line when I'm home. The problem is that if I don't answer the phone, the voice mail service doesn't work. How can I make these two work together?

I'm tempted to ask the question How can I make Sprint voicemail recognize my mobile number and let people leave me voicemail?, but I think the real question is How can I have people reach me on my mobile number, whether I'm home or on the go, and also permit them to leave me voicemail? (Sprint voicemail gets confused. It looks at the dialed number -- my mobile -- and looks at its own records and concludes that there's no such voicemail box, since they only provide our land line.)

Scrambling for the phone line every time it rings has gotten tiresome. FWIW, I'm a T-Mobile customer for the cell phone.
posted by waldo to Technology (9 answers total)
It sounds mainly like you don't like answering the phone when you're home? Can you simply *not* forward the calls to your homeline, let people leave messages on your cell, and then return them at your leisure?

Or give out the home number to people you actually want to talk to?
posted by occhiblu at 2:09 PM on April 12, 2006

It seems like an answering machine on the landline is the obvious answer. So obvious I strongly suspect you've already explored and rejected that option. but hey, I figured I might as well mention it.
posted by shmegegge at 2:17 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: On the contrary, I don't even give out my landline number. I've had the same phone number for many years. It's my work number.

But I do not want to answer the phone every time. I do like to take a shower, use the bathroom, check the mail, sleep, etc. If I don't get it, the caller is met with a cryptic message about how they've entered the wrong voicemail number. So they either call back immediately or assume that they've got my number wrong.
posted by waldo at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster:
It seems like an answering machine on the landline is the obvious answer. So obvious I strongly suspect you've already explored and rejected that option.
On the contrary, it hadn't once occurred to me. :) I had forgotten entirely about the things. That would eliminate some of the features of voicemail, but it would solve the problem at hand.
posted by waldo at 2:31 PM on April 12, 2006

Jeez, I'd switch land line companies - that's clearly a flaw in how their system works. Before you do anything else why don't you call Sprint up and tell them the problem you're having? I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that if your phone goes RING-RING-RING and nobody answers that your voicemail system.... takes a voicemail message.
posted by phearlez at 2:52 PM on April 12, 2006

You might be able to get voice mail for free through your land line company, and can potentially set up separate boxes for you and your wife and check it from your mobile phone when you're out (if you ever need to).

It *might* also be possible to have Sprint forward calls that ring through directly to your cell phone's voicemail (not back to your cell number, which would be pointless). That seems less likely to me, and depends on both Sprint's and your cell service's features.
posted by dsword at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2006

dsword - the troublesome voicemail he's talking about IS with his landline company, which is apparently Sprint (since he identified them earlier then went on to say the cell is with T-Mobile).
posted by phearlez at 3:18 PM on April 12, 2006

If you can find a single provider for both your landline and wireless you can often get a combined voicemail solution. In my experience, it just isn't worth your landline carrier's time or trouble to ensure their voicemail can handle forwards from other providers.

Does your cell have the capability to forward for x number of rings and then return to its own voicemail on a no-answer?
posted by Sallyfur at 3:56 AM on April 13, 2006

Response by poster: Great points both, Sallyfur -- I'll look into each.
posted by waldo at 8:50 AM on April 13, 2006

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