Monday, August 3, 2009

3 Common Home Telephone Challenges (And Possible Solutions)

By Tammy Swamson

Residential phone service isn't infallible. A number of things can go wrong, such as a bad jack, underground cabling issue, or markedly increased interference on the line. When problems occur, fixing them may be difficult depending on your familiarity with wiring and electronics.

In order to ensure their customers can enjoy making and receiving clear calls, a lot of home telephone providers offer their subscribers a monthly repair plan. While underground cabling issues are typically covered at no cost, problems with your house's phone jack or internal wiring are not. The monthly plan is usually inexpensive (less than $2 or $3 per month) and insulates you from the cost of hiring an electrician just to diagnose and repair a broken phone jack. In this article, we'll describe a few common problems that residential phone subscribers experience. We'll also offer advice regarding how to resolve them.

1 - Single Telephone Isn't Working

When every phone in your home except one works fine, figuring out the issue can be frustrating. First, check the connections. Is the handset connected properly to the base (irrelevant if you're using a cordless)? Is the base plugged into the wall securely? Will the dead telephone work in other outlets?

Try plugging a working telephone into the outlet that the non-working phone was plugged into. If you hear a dial tone, the issue is with the first phone. Plug it into the outlet that the working telephone was plugged into. If you hear a dial tone, double-check the connections. Also, switch the receivers between the working and non-working phones to further narrow down the problem. Ultimately, you may need to be replace the non-working unit.

2 - Too Much Interference

Static and interference are most commonly experienced when talking on cordless phones. Both analog and digital cordless units can operate at 2.4 GHz. The problem is that this is the same frequency at which other devices in your home operate. For example, your computer is at this frequency. So are baby monitors. With analog cordless telephones, the 2.4 GHz frequency is shared with microwave ovens and other appliances.

If you're dealing with excess interference, try to relocate the base unit. Also, during conversations, stand away from appliances and devices that may be using the same frequency.

3 - Unable To Hear A Voice After The Ring

This problem confuses a lot of consumers, but is one of the easiest to fix. The cord that connects your handset to your base will deteriorate over time. The result is that you'll pick up the handset when your phone rings, but be unable to hear the caller. It seems mysterious, but the problem can be resolved by replacing the cord.

Your home landline service can be affected by a number of potential issues. Most are easy to resolve on your own. Others can usually be fixed by your provider. In such cases, the key is to use a provider that is both responsive to customers and timely with repairs.

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