Posted by: talkjack | September 7, 2008

Phones to deal with those nasty nuisance calls: Panasonic KX-TG8323

Fed up with all the nuisance sales, marketing and unwanted business calls to my personal landline, I have been feeling harassed by the disrespectful businesses who pester me at home and invade my privacy. Angered at the amount of overseas call centre staff, especially from India, who disturb me at home against my wishes and with no regard for my telephone preference service registration; I know I am not alone. People living in Bully Britain are constantly subjected to this harassment.

I have just invested in some shiny new telephone handsets for my home, I have chosen the model Panasonic KX-TG8323.

Reducing nuisance telephone calls without paying a monthly fee

Why did I choose this model? I found out about the Night Mode that they offer. It works like this. First you add all your usual contacts – friends, family, work etc into the address book. You can put them into categories. Next you configure night mode to tell your phone not to ring during times you specify unless the caller is in your contacts list. That way you will not be woken up by strangers and wrong numbers in the middle of the night. It sounds brilliant. Is it?

Well, as a customer I can say that these phones are good, and have already stopped nuisance call centre staff from cold calling me and spoiling my evenings. I am rating these Panasonic phones as Good, a rare honour from Talkjack! Here’s why I recommend them.

Good Points:

– Night Mode (obviously) is brilliant. The default time zone is 11pm through to 6am however you can set this to what you want. I have set mine to block nuisance calls after 8pm to see how it works. So far so good, I may make it earlier to limit unknown calls to working hours only. It is brilliant to feel you have some control over these nuisance callers without paying a monthly fee to your telecoms provider.

– Outgoing Call Barring. Great if you have teenage kids and want to stop paying for their lengthy calls to their friends.

– Incoming Call Barring. Great to block numbers you know , from people you do not wish to receive calls from. Again, it feels good to take control of your phone calls without paying a monthly fee.

– Battery life is good. I am charging my phones up overnight, but they don’t need daily recharging. I think the real reason I charge them up overnight is so I know where I left the handsets.

– Intercom is useful. No more running up the stairs, shouting to your kids or banging on the floor just to tell them that their dinner is ready to eat. Now I can call them from downstairs, and there is no call cost to pay. Sweet.

– Ring tones are OK. I have set different ring tones for different callers so I can tell from a distance if I am likely to want to answer the phone or just ignore it. No more running over the room to check the Caller ID on my old phone before seeing the dreaded word ‘International’ which means a nuisance call 99.9% of the time. Now I can blissfully ignore them. I would have liked a facility to add my own ringtones but the 20 provided are adequate. My kids like the one which reminds them of the Harry Potter theme tune.

– Easy enough to set up. On day one I put the phones on charge while I had something to eat. After lunch they had sufficient charge for me to set them up. I had the phones up and running within a few minutes. It took a while for me to tinker with all the settings and get them set up exactly the way I wanted, but I imagine most people will use default options. I like to play with new gadgets!

– The Missed Call facility works fine. I read about other handsets which show a missed call on each device, even when you have deleted the list entry from one phone. Not so with the KX-TG8323. Delete the list entry for a missed call from one phone and all three devices are updated. Simple.

– Signal strength is good. I can get an OK signal anywhere in the house. I have not tried the garden yet, but I am optimistic.

– Build quality is good, and I find the look and feel is nice. The joystick and keypad suit me just fine.

Areas for improvement

– The option to copy all Contacts from one phone to another is good. However I would like it to copy all Categories across too, and all Night Mode settings. A pity that I could not find a way to do this other than by hand.

– I would like to see a wildcard facility on the Night Mode and the Incoming Call Barring features. I was hoping to be able to ban all international calls by experimenting with settings. The phone lets you enter an asterisk after a few digits on your call barring list but does not treat it as a wildcard.

– I would have liked Night Mode and Incoming Call Barring to allow you to choose to block Withheld and unknown International phone numbers. A great pity the Panasonic does not do this. I wondered if this is due to UK regulations rather than a design feature. In Bully Britain the telecoms providers seem to prefer making money out of nuisance calls to residential numbers, and at the same time to make money out of selling services for the harassed victims of cold calling to block them. See BT’s Choose to Refuse service for example; it should be free!

– Speaking of Choose to Refuse, I had hoped that the Panasonic KX-TG8323 would provide the same level of functionality as the BT service but without the monthly cost. However, the Panasonic relies on Caller ID so cannot block withheld numbers. Surely it is not beyond the wit of Panasonic’s programmers to build a phone which blocks withheld numbers?

– As with all other DECT phones I have used, there is a bit of a design flaw in that during a power cut you cannot make or receive calls because the base unit is unpowered so the handsets cannot communicate with it. I would like to see suppliers include a cable to connect a handset straight to a phone socket to allow emergency calls during a power cut. If I am missing something here, please tell me. I chose to keep my old-fashioned handset for emergency use, although in this day and age I guess most people would use their mobiles.

– After having set up all my contacts, categories and other settings on all the devices it would have been nice if there was a USB connection to allow me to back up my settings onto a PC. Just a thought, hardly a showstopper.

Conclusion

In 2008 I have received many more nuisance calls from businesses and Indian call centres than in previous years. I found these Panasonic phones to be a delight to use, and they are helping me to cut down on the nuisance calls I have been bombarded with this year.

The Panasonic KX-TG8323 phones are also available with different amounts of handsets. If you want more or less than three handsets then take your pick from the range. If you are interested, I recommend checking them out on Amazon; at the time of writing their prices are competitive. I know from past experience I can always buy from Amazon with confidence because their returns policy has been exemplary to date.

I recommend this phone, it is a significant improvement over old fashioned land line telephone handsets, and the Night Mode is a must. Price was reasonable, and this phone is most certainly helping me to avoid nuisance calls.

(c) Copyright Talkjack 2009

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Responses

  1. I looked at amazon and there are alot of really good deals there. Thanks for this.


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