Panasonic: Is anyone listening?
Posted: 2010-12-21. Categories: California, Staples

We all have businesses we love to hate. You know the ones that provide the necessities of life, but at the same time make you want to scream and claw your eyes out from frustration? I just have one question! What is wrong with the engineers at Panasonic? They just can’t seem to get it right.

Panasonic KX-TG6582T DECT 6.0 PLUS Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Convergence Solution with 2 HandsetsAs technology consultants, my husband and I get all kinds of interesting calls, so we try to be ready with good sound advice for our clients — they rely on it. One of the things we’ve always considered “tried and true” is the Panasonic brand of telephones. They are dependable, durable and with few exceptions, they set the standard in telephone technology. We’ve recommended them to our clients for years. Until…

Several years ago, someone decided it was time to cut corners at Panasonic — bad idea. Their reasoning, according to a certain Staples Sales Associate, in a small California community, was that the majority of their customers were home users, not business users, thus, a shared phonebook was more desirable.

Of course, those design engineers must all be single. Anyone with a teenager in the house can see the value of having their own phonebook on their own handset. We like to label our handset; mom, dad, etc… It helps keep them in their place and identify any issues that might arise with the phones. I love having 4 or 5 handsets in the house; after-all I use two of them almost everyday. I talk on one, while the other is charging – so I always have a fresh phone at the ready.

As you might have surmised, I spend a great deal of time on the phone, keeping up with friends and family as well as talking with clients — let’s not forget all the telephone surveys and sales calls. Our phone sets normally last three to five years. When it was time to replace our last set, we looked everywhere for a 6.0ghz Panasonic phone system without the shared phonebook “feature” unsuccessfully.

We bought and returned two different sets, before we lost hope and resumed using our old phones. Well, just last month, after having all-but-given-up, I finally found a Five-Handset Panasonic Telephone without shared phonebooks and bought them.

We’ve been using the phones for the past month and they were driving me crazy. Instead of being able to simply scroll down with the arrow buttons to check the Caller ID history, now we must press the menu button twice, then the down button to scroll through the list. Every telephone handset we’ve ever had operated the other way (and we’ve had six Panasonic phone sets).

The other issue we have is that our new phones don’t have Talking Caller ID, a feature that you don’t realize you will miss, until it’s gone. I searched for Talking Caller ID units, only to discover the cost was only marginally less than a complete set of phones and most haven’t been rated well – 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement.

We actually braved the crowds (I do most of my Christmas shopping online) to go shopping last night and I was so excited when I found a two-handset Panasonic Telephone System, with not only Talking Caller ID, but also what they call, “Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Convergence Solution.” When I picked it up, I thought the price was $39.99 but didn’t notice until I got outside that the phones rang up as $109.99 — big difference. Especially since the exact same phones are available on Amazon for only $89.00.

The “Link-to-Cell Bluetooth Convergence Solution” allows me to answer calls to my cell phone on the home phone — in fact, this phone will allow me to pick up calls on two different cell phones, as well as calls to the home phone. I have never heard of such a thing. (Ed: technically, she has – since I’ve told her about them on several occasions before settling on our previous set of Panasonic phones.)

Now, if Panasonic would just listen and bring back the phones without shared phonebooks, with Talking Caller ID and the Bluetooth feature, and the ability to see the current Call Waiting ID data on inactive handsets. Talk about a sweet phone.

My biggest complaint our old set of phones up until this point, was poor volume modulation on the answering machine. Our new phones do not suffer from the same malady. If Panasonic wants to increase their market share of the cordless telephone industry, they need to meet the expectations of the consumer market. If you hate the new “Shared Phonebook feature” leave a comment below and let Panasonic know how you feel. Feel free to contact them directly as well.  🙂  You can call them at: 1-800-211-PANA (7262)

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