Phone of the Day: Nortel T7100 Digital Telephone at a Retail Store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago

While shopping with my girlfriend this evening at one of my late Mother’s favorite North Michigan Avenue discount stores,  I spotted this Nortel phone at the checkouts, laying sideways on the counter.

The T7100 runs off the Norstar and BCM line of Nortel switches and also runs off the E-MetroTel UCx switch as well. 

This store is unique paging wise.  They originally had Toshiba DK Strata telephones that were installed when Marshalls opened in 1992 and was owned by the Melville Corporation.  When an overhead page was made, you could end the page by pressing the Intercom button or simply hanging up and an analog trunk “pop” or “click” would signal the end of the page.  

Now at this location, TJX eventually updated to their choice of Nortel phones.  When a page is finished and the associate wants to disconnect, you hear a “#” number sign DTMF noise pressed on the dialpad to end the page and then a disconnect “pop.”  But then you also hear paging coming through the Norstar set telephone speakers on the sales floor.  Somehow their IT guys jimmy-rigged the external vendor analog  (Bogen, Valcom?) paging controller from the Toshiba days to sync up with the internal Norstar paging. I wonder why they just didn’t hook up the paging to the external output on the Norstar?  So what erroneously happens?  When an associate makes a page, they press # to end the page but then you still hear a hang up noise on the Norstar telephone speaker paging.  They don’t press RLS after pressing # to end the page.  So if you are a shopper on the sales floor next to a phone you are going to hear that loud click of the hangup in your ears. 

Additionally, if you just hang up the phone by slamming it down without pressing #, the paging system is put on hold… strange.  So to page properly the associates need to end the page by pressing # and then RLS after.  

Way too confusing!  At least they still make paging announcements once and a while.