Problem Adding Handsets to AT&T Cordless

Old 03-01-12, 12:37 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: USA
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Problem Adding Handsets to AT&T Cordless

My mother hates anything too "high tech" so when I bought her an AT&T
(SL82118) cordless phone about two years ago she yelled at me a lot.
Within a few days she loved the darn thing.

Recently, she asked me to add a couple of handsets. It was much cheaper
to buy a complete two handset model (SL82218) directly from the AT&T

I decided it was best to "de-register" all three handsets. The procedure in the
manual is very simple. After all three are de-registered they can be registered
as handsets 1, 2, and 3. The problem is it doesn't work.

The original handset and base station work together, but the handset will not
respond to the new base station. The inverse is also true. The two new
handsets will only respond to the new base station.

The new and the old components are identical, so what's going on? Is there
a solution?

If they not are identical, that would mean you could never add additional
handsets. The system is designed for a maximum of twelve handsets.
Old 03-01-12, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
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Looking at their web site, it appears that the ***218 handsets should be compatible with the ***118 base, but not the other way around.

I would first call their customer service line and see what can be done.

Another option would be to plug in both bases. If there is an answering machine involved, I would leave it on the older phone and switch it off for the new phone hookup.
Old 03-01-12, 11:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: USA
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Hello goldstar.

I have an extensive electronics background, which leads me to think this a
bottomless pit of confusion.

The base station is the usual charger/digital answering machine combo. AT&T
sells the same model no matter how many handsets are included. SL82658 is
the largest package in this series with six handsets. The handset purchased
seperately is SL80108.

A local store had a single handset for $152.00! Online prices were also very
high if you wanted to purchase handsets seperately. It seemed like a no
brainer to buy two new handsets and a base station for $48.00 ($8.00
shipping and taxes) from AT&T.

I tried the old and new base station. Again, they should be identical. The
older base would only respond to the original handset, and the newer base
detected the two new handsets, not the older handset.

It's obvious to me that the two handset model I just purchased is not the
same as the unit purchased two years ago. Can you imagine how awful it
would be if you started with one handset and two years later added another
eleven handsets, which is the maximum allowed.

It would have been nice if AT&T tacked on an additional number or letter to
the original model designations. They could also add an asterisk indicating
that new units may look identical, but are not compatible with earlier models.

I just bet my friend $10.00 that customer service will tell me all my handsets
are compatible, and no changes or updates have been made. When I tell
them I tried everything, they will ask for a phone number so their "tech
expert" can call me back.

I'm not in the electronics industry right now, but I spent decades building
and testing all sorts of gizmos. This problem will not be resolved, that I
know for certain.

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