Troubleshooting office phone system issues at your business may be something that can be done before users call a phone system technician. There are many phone system issues that occur frequently in a business or office, and many users may be able to repair the phones on their own. If the problem exists outside of your phone system, the phone company may have to come out and repair the problem. Before the phone company is called out, try the tips below to see if users can troubleshoot the problem first.
If the phone does not work, there is no dial tone, or there is static on the line, follow these steps:
Check the cord going from the wall jack to the phone, as well as the cord going from the phone to the handset. All cords should be completely tight and secure. Loose cords may cause a phone not to work. Any noticeable damage to a phone cord may cause the phone to not work. Try swapping out a damaged or loose cord for one from a working phoneUnplug the phone and try it at another location. If it works elsewhere, you may have bad cabling
If you are having trouble with a cordless phone:
Unplug the power supply and phone cord from the wall jackBe sure all lines are properly hung upMake sure additional equipment (fax, answering machine, etc) are working properlyTo check each machine, power it off and then unplug it. Leave the machine unplugged for a few seconds, then plug it back in and power it on
If callers have trouble hearing you, or you have trouble hearing them, you may have an issue with the handset. Try swapping the handset and the cord with one from a working unit.
If the phone rings, but there is no one on the line, or the phone rings once and then stops:
Check and see if your call forward feature is onUnplug all devices from the wall jack and power supply, then plug a single phone in and have someone call. If it still does not work, try another phone jackThe calls you are receiving may be misdirected calls from a computer or fax machine. There may be silence, a fax tone, or a computer tone if this is the casePressing the phone hookup before actually hanging up (a common habit for many office workers) may cause a three-way conference call to initiate. This may cause your phone to ring back once you have hung it upTelemarketers may have a delayed greeting on an auto-dialing machine that has reached your number
If no phone calls are coming in, check and see if:
The ringer is turned onCall forwarding is turned off
If this does not work, try these steps:
Unplug all devices from the wall jack and power supplyPlug a single phone in and call the phoneIf the phone still does not work, try another phoneIf the second phone works, the first one may need to be replaced
If users hear other conversations on the line, there may be interference from a CB radio or AM/FM signal. A modular filter may be available anywhere that phone equipment is sold. This should get rid of the problem. Cordless phone users:
Unplug the phone from the wall jack and power supplyTry another phoneIf the problem is with the phone, try changing the frequencyFor corded phone users:Unplug the phone from the wall jack and power supplyTry another phoneIf the second phone works, the original phone may need to be replaced
If you think there is a problem with the phone jack, try another jack. If you believe the problem is in the wiring or cabling of your phone system, call a telecommunication technician.
If users cannot make long distance calls:
Check to see if the service has not been shut off because of payments due to the long-distance carrierA user may have placed "toll blocking" on the phone, which would disallow the ability to make long-distance callsThere may be a problem with long distance carrier switch. In that case, users would need to call their long-distance carrier
If the voice mail is not answering, check the power to the voice mail system. For many older units, the voice mail may have its own power supply
If no solution is working properly, always remember that when in doubt, power out. There is one disclaimer that comes with powering out. If a battery that retains phone memory powers down, you may lose programming to the phone, so always use caution. If you are unsure, call a telecommunications technician for help and service.