Landline Phone (Occasionally) Does Not Ring - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 07-17-2010, 06:45 PM
Joe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,660
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?
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#2 Old 07-17-2010, 08:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,032
I had a problem like that some time ago. Do you have access to your box so that you can by-pass your household wiring to verify that it's not your house wiring?

Also have you tried to see if it's not one of your phones inside (so that if you have only one phone (any phone) it will still sometimes happen. If it still happens then, I'd say it's on the phone company's side.

I went around and around with my phone company for awhile when it happened to me. I could reproduce it with any phone straight from the box, but only when it was wet weather (like right after it rained). The phone company kept telling me it was my phone, my answering machine, my household wiring, etc. Until one time they happened to come by right after it rained. Then it took a few weeks for them to fix it.

I have a vague understanding of phone service, but I'd start with trying to isolate the problem. It could be one of your machines, or it could be your household wiring. Have you called the phone company to see if they can come out and see if it's something on their end?

I believe everything.
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#3 Old 08-06-2010, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 68
I remember having the same problem with our landline. I think we called the company and they fixed it , for a while. Then it just came back and we got angry and switched to cells.

My dad also tried to fix the problem alone but he ended up making it worse. So be careful, and good luck!
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