I’m mostly putting these notes here in case I need them again, but maybe they’ll help someone else out.
About 8 years ago I bought an AT&T corded/cordless phone system for my home office and house. It is was a CL84200, which included a corded base station and two cordless handsets. I like the corded handset, because it still works during Ferndale’s numerous power outages, and the sound quality is better.
Recently the base station died, so I bought a used CL84100 off of Ebay. The CL84100 is the same model, it just has one cordless handset. Since the base station can support up to 12 handsets, I figured this would give me a total of three to use now.
But I ran into a problem when I tried to register the two old handsets to the new base. They were still looking for the old base, and there wasn’t an obvious way to reset them. I couldn’t deregister them from the base because it was dead. I tried looking in the manual, going to the AT&T website, even pulled the batteries out of everything, unplugged the base, and then plugged everything back in. Still no luck.
The AT&T website doesn’t list a phone number or email contact for support. For that reason alone I won’t buy another AT&T phone, and I’m already boycotting their Wireless service due to the bribe they paid Trump.
Fortunately, the owner’s manual has a phone number, (800) 222-3111 for troubleshooting. The first time I was honest, and punched in the model number of the phone I had. Their system responded my phone is too old and the only support available is their website, which of course was no help at all.
So then I looked up a new model, called again and gave them that model number so I could at least talk to a real person. That person was nice enough to provide me with the super top secret manual deregistration code for my two old handsets. So here it is: *331734# and then press the Menu/Select button. That’s all I needed to get the two old handsets cleared so I could register them with the new base.
This experience reminded me that somewhere around the house I have an old AT&T rotary phone purchased in 1980 or so when you could finally buy a phone. That’s right kiddies, before the ’80s it was impossible to buy a phone, you had to lease it from the phone company. That’s right, THE phone company, because there was only AT&T. But amazingly, that 38 year old phone still works. True, it’s a pain in the butt to dial, you’re limited to moving about 2 feet from where it’s plugged in, and has no Internet access, but it still works! I wish modern equipment was that reliable.