I am having a weird problem with my landline phone(s). Occasionally, they do not ring. This condition is recent, sporadic, temporary, and it it totally unclear what might be causing it. And for background, I'm in the US--in Nashville, Tennessee.
I have a landline with an answering machine. The phone is supposed to ring. If it rings four times or more, the answering machine is supposed to pick up and record a message. If the answering machine does not pick up for some reason (e.g., I am talking on the phone, or there is an electric power failure, etc) then the telephone company's VoiceMail is supposed to answer the call after 8 or 9 rings.
What has been happening is that the landline phone does not ring at all, the answering machine does not pick up, but the calls eventually go to VoiceMail. The problem with this is that I am unaware that I have gotten a call until I try to make a call, when I hear a "stutter" tone instead of a regular dial tone. Or I have one cordless phone that sits in a charger, and the charger light will blink if I have a VoiceMial message waiting.
Now, what is especially weird about this is that there appears to be no rhyme-or-reason for this occurring. And the problem "disappears" within 24 hours. However, the one day I noticed it I did use my cellphone to call my landline number. The panel on my answering machine lit up as it usually does when I get an incoming call, but the landline phone did not ring and the answering machine did not pick up. It eventually rang until VoiceMail picked up.
I guess I should say that I have several phones hooked up to my landline number, and none of them rang. So it is not just a problem with the answering machine phone.
Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? Or what I might do about it?