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" 56% of the people targeted by telemarketers are 50 or older.

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Phone Butler from Morgan-Francis
Review | FAQ
Our Review

The Phone Butler is a very compact device that resembles a regular phone jack. To install it, you simply remove the connection to your telephone and replace it with the attached cord on the Phone Butler, then plug the cord from your phone in to the open connection on the Phone Butler. Since you won't need to access the unit once it's installed, you can put the Phone Butler on a hidden remote jack that does not have a phone connected to it, removing it completely from view. Neither batteries nor a power cord is necessary - the Phone Butler draws its power from the telephone company wiring.

The Phone Butler is designed to be a passive unit, meaning that to activate it, operator input is required. When a friend calls, you do nothing. When a telemarketer calls you press the “*” key on any phone and hang up, letting the Phone Butler take over by delivering a polite message in a “British-butler’s" voice, and then terminates the call automatically. The dialog of the message puts telemarketers on legal notice that you want your number placed on their “Do Not Call” list.

Under test conditions, we found the Phone Butler to be very easy to install and extremely easy to use, from any phone. Since it works in a passive mode, operator intervention is always required to activate it - you'll always need to press a button to make it work. It's more work than other devices, but it allows you to skip the automatically generated tone other devices utilize. While the legally correct message does inform telemarketers you don't want them to call you, you won't ever know if a telemarketer were making repeated attempts, so you wouldn't be able to enforce the legality of the message. Also, this unit only works with touch-tone phones set to “tone” and not “pulse.”

Privacy Corps recommends this product as a low cost option to easing the pain of telemarketing calls, especially considering that only one unit is required for each phone line, as opposed to needing a unit at each phone. It would also be a great complement to a unit like the TeleZapper, for those manually dialed calls that do get through from small, local marketers. Also, the inventor/manufacturer provides free technical support.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will just ONE Phone Butler really serve ALL of my phones?

Yes, unless you have more than one telephone number in your home that you want to activate. One Phone Butler is all that is needed for your main phone and extensions, including cordless phones.

Do I need to use or replace a battery or provide an external source of power?

No. The Phone Butler runs off the tiny amount of electric current now present in your phone line. No battery or electric outlet is used or needed.

I have two phone numbers in my home but only one phone jack; will the Phone Butler work on both lines?

No, but there is a solution. The Phone butler was designed for single-line, residential use. If you have 2 lines, you will need to purchase a line splitter which plugs into your jack and has 2 female receptacles, one for each number (Line 1 & Line 2). Determine which number you want your Phone Butler to serve and plug it into that receptacle (Line 1 or 2). Plug your phone into the Phone Butler and you are all set. If you want The Phone Butler to service both lines, you will need to purchase 2 units. Again, the Phone Butler will serve ALL phones on a line, including cordless, but you need 1 Phone Butler for each phone number.

Is there a monthly charge like Caller-ID units? Is there a usage charge, for example, are you charged every time you use the Phone Butler?

No. Once you purchase the Phone Butler, it is yours without any further charges, just like an answering machine.

Doesn't Caller-ID do the same thing?

No. Telephone solicitors have figured out ways to scramble your caller-ID unit. By having your Phone Butler handle these calls, you know that solicitors have been told to stay away. Those who don't obey will be subject to the penalties of Federal law.

I call my number to retrieve my voice mails and need to press "star 2" to get them...will I get the Phone Butler? / When someone calls and gets our voice mail, they are directed to hit "*2 for my wife", "*3 for my children" etc., will they get the Phone Butler?

They would BUT, we planned ahead for this. The Phone Butler has an auto shut-off feature programmed into it. When you call your voice mail or record the codes for your callers to choose from, simply ADD another star to the end of the code (example: calling home for messages and your code is "*2", just press *2* ) (example: friends get your voice mail listing for individuals in your home... just record the individual codes with an additional star, i.e. children *3* ). The Phone Butler is programmed with a 1 and 1/2 second delay so by pushing the star for the second time after the code, your Phone Butler will go back to stand-by without a whisper.

If I have call waiting and get another call from a telemarketer, can I use the Phone Butler on the second caller?

Sorry, you cannot. The Phone Butler is programmed to deploy on the incoming call, if you choose. In call waiting, the second call is virtually a "second line "so the Phone Butler cannot activate on it. Our studies show most folks don't have a problem with telemarketers coming in on a call waiting second line as they just say they are on another call.

What happens if the caller hangs up before the message is finished? Will they put us on the do-not-call list?

They better! From the Phone Butler's first words, phone solicitors know
they're being told you don't want their calls. Unless they listen to the rest of
the message and put you on the "Don Not Call" list, they are breaking federal law.

What connection is needed for the Phone Butler?

You need a modular (RJ-11) phone jack, which is present in most post-1973 homes. It is a tiny plug-in type of receptacle. If you have a 4-prong jack, you can purchase a modular plug at your local K-Mart, Wal-Mart, or Phone Store for under $3 and use it to install the Phone Butler. However, the Phone Butler can only be used on TOUCH-TONE phones set to 'tone', not 'pulse'. The Phone Butler needs the tone to be activated, therefore it will NOT work on rotary phones.

Can we put our own message on it?

No. The Phone Butler is pre-programmed to terminate telemarketing calls
quickly and in compliance with federal laws.

Is the Phone Butler FCC (Federal Communications Commission) approved?

Yes. The FCC has approved the Phone Butler for use in the United States.

Does the use of a speaker phone affect the power or voltage?

Possibly. The Phone Butler was designed to operate off the small amount of power in your phone line to eliminate the need for batteries. If you stay on the line after activation, or remain on the line with a speakerphone, those things draw on the power. In some areas, the volume and speed of the Phone Butler may diminish slightly. Our suggestion is to hang up after pressing star, but you can remain on the line... The choice is up to you.

Will lightning affect the Phone Butler?

I do not know of anything that is NOT affected by a lightning strike. Our
engineers tell us that if lightning strikes the Phone Butler, it will probably
knock it out. If that happens, send it back, and we'll replace it for shipping
and handling charges only.

How will the unit affect an answering machine?

Not at all. Just plug it in. You may want to refer to your answering machine manual for ancillary devices. A simpler way is just to install the Phone Butler in a different jack.

Doesn't the phone company charge you when you use the 'star' button?
Only if you are using the star button to activate a phone-company provided
feature (like tracing the last number that called you). There is NO such charge, or ANY charge by ANYONE, for using the Phone Butler. Again, it is your property and, similar to a computer or answering machine, only for a specific use.


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