Answer: .....hope this helps someone

My phone handset was persistently showing me I had a "VM (Voice Mail) Message".

I called the Service Provider and the Voice Message feature was turned OFF but the
notification feature was turned ON. The notification feature consists of interruptions or
pauses in dial tone when connecting to make a call.

This new phone detected this and interprets this as "Voice Mail" waiting to be picked up.

Once the Service provider turned this feature OFF this message disappeared and was
back to normal allowing me to use the answering service provided with the phones.