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General Chat Thread, Telephone Answering systems in General; After a stupid couple of hours fielding calls asking if we are open, I'm going to request we get an ...
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    Telephone Answering systems

    After a stupid couple of hours fielding calls asking if we are open, I'm going to request we get an answering system. We have only one incoming line on our main number, so calling in absent can be a problem as well. So what I want is an answer machine connected to a spare direct line so we can give out that number for people to call regarding such matters.

    We could get a cheap one that would probably do the job but I'm wondering if there are any low-cost systems that can be recommended. We have around 600 kids.

    If I can program it as follows it would be great:

    Press 1 if your wimpy little brat has the sniffles
    Press 2 if you want to report your child ill but in reality you are taking a long weekend in your villa in Spain
    Press 3 if your child refuses to get out of bed.

    etc. etc.

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    You could look at one of the free viop services like sipgate.co.uk - get a number from them, and you can record an outgoing answering message.

    So advertise this number as your "snow line", leave an OGM stating that the school is open (in most cases) or a dated message stating that it is closed on a given date. If a caller does leave a message it will turn up as a wav file in a nominated email address. I think you can set it not to take messages from callers.

  3. 4 Thanks to SteveBentley:

    BatchFile (13th February 2009), dinsyboy (3rd March 2009), jinnantonnix (5th February 2009), laserblazer (5th February 2009)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Tell me about it... I was on the phones here on Tuesday as our secretary was snowed in. The most ridiculous call was "I've seen that you're closed on your website and I've heard it on the radio, but I just wanted to check..."

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    The sipgate thing is perfect thanks. Very simple to set up and they gave us a good number (888328). If you dial the number it automatically goes to voicemail which can be set up by calling an 0845 number.

    Our HT thinks it's brilliant.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    The sipgate thing is perfect thanks. Very simple to set up and they gave us a good number (888328). If you dial the number it automatically goes to voicemail which can be set up by calling an 0845 number.

    Our HT thinks it's brilliant.
    The only problem I can see with that is that parents could still ring the school number whereas if you had something internal then you could have the push button options and it wouldn't matter if they rang the school as nobody would actually have to answer the phone and tell them what the snow line message is.

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    Point taken, but invariably there are people in who need to be able to answer calls, so would not want it to automatically switch to voice mail. Hopefully, the majority of parents will latch on fairly quickly. I guess we could also get a cheap answerphone on the main system.

    As I see it, this method has two big ++++s. It will transfer simultaneous incoming calls, which I guess there are plenty of. And it is dead easy to program remotely. The fact that it's free is a bonus.

    We'll have to see how it pans out. Only trouble with all these things, once you get them in place they aren't needed, so school won't close again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnix View Post
    Make sure the kids don't get hold of the remote details
    Almost worth telling them

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    Is anyone else using Sipgate? I tried updating the OGM by phone and I get a BT message saying the service cannot be connected and their website is unavailable. I do hope they haven't gone!

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    Is anyone else using Sipgate? I tried updating the OGM by phone and I get a BT message saying the service cannot be connected and their website is unavailable. I do hope they haven't gone!
    The website works for me.

    sipgate.co.uk, yes?

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