How to enter an area code in a touch tone phone?

I decided to get a couple of corded phones to have around for more secure conversations, in case the batteries on the cordless phone die, and for quick testing purposes. I picked up a couple of GE ones with caller ID — for about $14.00 each; not too bad. Years ago, I remember, you needed to set up a caller ID phone so it can tell local vs. long distance incoming calls. I also remember that the process was counter intuitive — and that’s an understatement. But that was then, and this is now, or is it? Today,  the concept, meaning and importance of area codes is all but gone, pretty much all dialing is 10 digits, and there is far less concern about local vs. long distance calling. I expected, thus, the new phones to not bother with the area code setting. Not so. I also expected that the set up process — if required — would be a bit more intuitive than in the past. Wrong again. So what’s the problem? To enter an area code you need to enter three digits. What’s the most intuitive way to enter three digits in a touch tone phone? Right, punch them on the keypad. Too simple. To set up the caller ID in this genius design you press a button once, upon which a cursor starts blinking. You press another button as many times as the digits is (e.g., for 9 you punch that button nine times), when you have it right you press the previous button again and get the cursor to blink for the second digit. Press the next button seven times to get a 7, then go back and repeat for the third digit. In all, in for my area code I had to press buttons 27 times to enter three digits on a phone that has a numeric keypad. Where is the genius that came up with this design? I’d like a few minutes with him in a closed room.

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