Why does my phone system ring and nobody is there when I answer?

| December 2, 2009

phone system, voip phones, response point, video surveillance, hosted pbxA common and particularly annoying problem occurs between a telephone or telephone system and the phone company when a call is not absolutely terminated. The symptom is simple. A call rings in and you answer and you have nothing but dead air, no busy tone, no error tone. You think somebody tried to call you and the next call that comes in you typically ask the caller if they tried calling earlier and if they say no, this does not (necessarily) mean you are losing your mind.

The quick answer to this is a phenomenon called “Phantom Ringback”. It occurs when you think you end (or terminate) a call by hanging up. If the Telephone Company does not give a positive disconnect signal back to your phone system, your phone system thinks the call is terminated, but the Telephone Company does not. The Telephone Company in fact thinks you are trying to access custom calling features which are accessed by “flashing the hookswitch” (a short disconnect signal) then awaiting your dialing codes such as forwarding, etc. So the Telephone Company is thinking you want to do something else with this call and after a while a timer kicks in and the Telephone Company rings your phone system back; in essence saying “what do you want me to do with this call?” So, you hang up again until you hopefully get a real disconnect.

There is a simple solution to this problem. If you have analog lines (POTS) service, the Telephone Company should have “Disconnect Supervision” enabled for all lines. The difficult part of this is, when you call the phone company; do not call this a feature as clerks taking those kinds of calls do not have a clue what “Disconnect Supervision” is. Instead call in to repair services and have them make sure that the Central Office (C.O.) Tech enables “Disconnect Supervision”.

Chances are the Telephone Company will deny any trouble with this, but after a few calls you usually notice the problem mysteriously goes away; problem solved.

If you still need help with this situation, give us a call and we’ll get on the line with the phone company and push your case.

Also don’t forget to visit www.telcodepot.com to learn more about our complete line of phone system solutions and video surveillance packages.

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