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The Bells and Whistles : PHONE FEATURES

April 04, 1991|CAROLINE LEMKE

The following features are available from Pacific Bell and will work on any Touch-Tone phone. The options have initial start-up fees ranging from $5 to $25. Monthly rates per telephone line are from $3.50 to $6.50, depending on the complexity of the option. Combinations of these features cost slightly more.

* Call Waiting. Enables you to put a caller "on hold." This feature gives off a special tone when someone calls you while you are already on the phone. You can answer the second call and still be able to return to the original call.

* Cancel Call Waiting. Companion option that allows you to turn off Call Waiting before making a call. When this feature is on, people trying to reach you will get a standard busy signal, ensuring you of an uninterrupted phone conversation.

* Three-Way Calling. For those with the attitude "the more the merrier." Allows you to add a third party to your existing two-way phone conversation.

* Call Forwarding. If sitting by the phone is not your style, but you don't want to miss Prince Charming's call, this could be your social lifesaver. This function enables you to automatically transfer incoming calls to whatever telephone number you are at or to an answering service.

* Speed Calling 8-30. Lets you make calls quickly to eight or 30 of your most frequently called numbers by pressing one or two numbers on your telephone. The full number is stored electronically in the phone.

* Busy Call Forwarding and Busy Call Forwarding Extended sends your incoming calls to a pre-selected number when you are on your line. Forwarded calls may be subject to some restrictions.

* Delayed Call Forwarding. Lets your home phone ring the number of times you specify, then automatically forwards the call to any other number you wish. Certain limitations apply.

* Direct Connection. Talk about never lifting a finger. This feature automatically connects your phone to a pre-selected number when you lift the receiver.

* Intercom Plus. Enables you to turn your telephone into an intercom system throughout the house. Transferring calls, putting an extension on hold, and adding a third party are the features offered with this option.

PROPOSED SERVICES

These new services, which are scheduled to be implemented in Los Angeles and San Francisco this year, will not be available in San Diego County until 1993.

* Caller ID. Displays the caller's telephone number on a small screen, allowing the caller to see the number of the person calling.

* Priority Ringing. This alerts you with a unique ring to important calls from numbers you've selected.

* Call Return. Allows you to automatically dial the number of the last caller, whether you answered the phone or not.

* Repeat Dialing. Automatically checks a busy number, and when the line is clear, it rings you back and completes the call.

* Select Call Forwarding. Allows you to have calls from selected numbers ring at another number.

* Call Trace. Permits you to automatically trace disturbing or threatening calls. Numbers are held in a secure computer file and given to authorities when a police report is filed.

* Call Block. Helps you avoid unwanted calls by rejecting calls from numbers you specify. An announcement informs those callers that, "The party you are calling is not accepting this call."

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