SMS to a land line? No thanks.
I recently bought a pair of Seimens Gigaset cordless DECT phones for my home office, and I'm very pleased with them. However, a couple of nights ago, whilst going through all of the features and functions available, I made the mistake of experimenting with SMS. I've never had a text enabled home phone before, so I assumed it would be just the same as on my mobile - I was wrong.
At about 10:30 pm I sent a test text from the home phone to my mobile. It was a little slow, but after about a minute it arrived. I assumed that this was because, as it was the first SMS sent on the landline, the network provider needed to activate the service.
I then sent a reply, just to confirm everything worked both ways. This is when things started to go wrong. The phones rang and when I picked up, there was an automated voice message telling me I had received a text, then reading it to me. This, apparently is because the phone is incapable of displaying a SMS message, though I can't understand why, as it has a large, full colour touch screen.
I checked the number that the recorded message had come from, which was an 0800 number, and discovered that it was an auto responder number from BT (British Telecom). I decided that I had no desire to have notifications like that again, so, using another function on the new phone, I set a block against that number.
Half an hour later, the phones rang again. It was the same auto responder message from the same (now blocked) number.
A little research online confirmed that it is possible to block these calls by contacting BT, but BT Customer Services were unable to help in my case, because, although they provide the infrastructure and line, I pay my bills to a third party - Plusnet.
At 11:50 pm, the phone rang again. This time there was no recorded message, it simply went dead within seconds of answering. The call was from the same number though.
I delved deeper into consumer forums and discovered that by default, this 'service' is set not to call between 11pm and 8am, though this was clearly incorrect. A number was given, to call to modify the settings, but this number turned out to be inactive.
At about 12:30 am, after receiving yet another notification call, I discovered the solution.
Dial 0800 587 5252 > 5 > 2. There is then a recorded message to say that an opt out will be activated within twenty minutes.
So far, I've not had any more calls; but I certainly won't be using the phone again for SMS messages.
Take a note of this number. If you are in the UK, and have a SMS enabled home phone, you may just need it.