Services they don’t offer here

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

Communications – May 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

We got tired of slimy and illegible faxes, so last fall we bought a plain-paper fax machine for Colorado Central. Its output quality is excellent, but it has been a headache to get it to work properly with our phones: we want it to grab faxes and leave other calls for us or the answering machine.

The easy solution seemed obvious — order “distinctive ringing” from the phone company. For a few dollars a month, we’d get an additional number but not an additional line. The new number would have a distinctive ring (sort of like the old party lines) that the fax machine would know about, and it could ignore everything else. And we’d be free of those annoyances.

However, US West doesn’t offer distinctive ringing in Salida, Buena Vista, Leadville, and most of its other rural exchanges.

You may have seen the TV ads for US West voice mail, where the couple throws away their answering machine. You can’t get that here from US West, either.

Both of these services are now offered by CenturyTel in Saguache and Westcliffe, so if that company buys the rural exchanges from US West, service should improve elsewhere in Central Colorado.

Other popular service enhancements — caller ID, automatic callback, call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling — are currently offered by both companies, according to the service personnel I talked to.

–Ed Quillen