Why does my landline phone not ring when I receive a call?

In some cases, callers may report hearing nothing except continuous ringing, a recording, or fax tones. On your end, however, there is no phone ring at all. This might indicate a problem on your line.

You can examine a variety of things to find the solution to this issue.

There are some common and easy-to-fix problems you can check:

  • Check your ringer — has it been turned off?

  • Change the batteries on your cordless phone.

  • If you are a Pure Broadband customer and only have our internet service, then you may have a dial tone, but you do not have true telephone service. You cannot get calls on Pure Broadband lines.

  • If you're behind on your bill payments, your account could be suspended. You may still have a dial tone, but won't be able to make or receive calls. In this case, take action quickly to avoid having your service fully disconnected. Learn about setting up payment arrangments or getting your service restored.

  • If you went away for a while and put a vacation hold on your service, you won't be able to receive calls until you reactivate your service. Contact us and we can help.

  • A satellite receiver can cause callers to hear fax tones. Try unplugging the receiver from the phone line and retesting. If the problem goes away, the issue is the receiver, and you need to contact your satellite TV provider to get it fixed.

  • Check the weather next time you experience this problem. Electrical storms, heavy precipitation, excessively strong winds and other inclement weather can interfere with phone reception, particularly if you're using a cordless phone. If this problem happens only when the weather is foul, try again when the storm has passed or switch to a corded phone.

  • Other home equipment can interfere with your service. Check to see if your computer modem, caller ID box, fax machine or alarm/security system are preventing people from calling you. 

If you've checked off all the points in the previous section and are still having trouble receiving calls, you can check your network service at the network telephone box (NID) on your property, using a standard landline phone.

Note: If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager for assistance.

If you DO NOT hear a dial tone when testing for service at the network box, or if the tone is faint or intermittent, then the problem is with our equipment. Request a repair visit through Troubleshooter, and we will send out a technician. You will not be charged for the technician's visit.

If you DO hear a clear dial tone at the network box, that means the service is fine and there must be a problem inside with your wiring or equipment. See the next section for some ways to check your equipment.

A problem with your phone, cords or jacks could be why calls aren't reaching you. There are some fairly easy ways to check the equipment inside your home:

  • Does your phone get noisy when your move the cord? If so, check that the cord is snug, both going into the handset and into the wall jack.

  • Check your phone cords for damage. Even small nicks and cuts can cause noise on your line. Replace any damaged cords.

  • If the problem only happens with one phone, try plugging a different phone into the jack and place a call from the new phone to see if the issue is resolved.

  • If you have internet service, unplug your modem and then check if you still have noise on your line. If you don't hear noise when you disconnect your modem, the problem could be with your DSL filters. Examine your filters to make sure they're connected and installed correctly.

To test your jacks:

  1. Unplug your phone from both the jack and electrical outlet.

  2. Unplug any other equipment from that same jack.

  3. After you've unplugged all your equipment, wait 1 minute and then plug in a corded phone.

You should hear a clear, strong dial tone when you test each jack. If you don't, and no other equipment is plugged in, you may have a problem with your inside wiring. Learn how to get your inside wiring repaired.

If you do hear a clear, strong tone, then continue to plug in additional equipment, one thing at a time, and listen each time. When you hear the noise again, you'll know you've either reached the maximum capacity for that line or the last piece of equipment you connected is causing interference. Try moving that equipment to a different line. If you're finding interference but don't want to unplug the offending piece of equipment, try installing a radio suppresser or radio/noise filter on your line. 

If people report getting a recorded message when they call your number, they may be hearing a message associated with one of your calling features.

The party you are calling does not accept blocked calls. If you are calling from a blocked number, hang up, press *82 and redial.

  • Callers get this message if you have Anonymous Call Rejection turned on.
  • Anonymous Call Rejection blocks calls from private and anonymous numbers.
  • Callers who don't unblock their number cannot call you unless you turn this feature off.

Your call has been completed. However, the party you are calling is not receiving calls at this time.

  • Callers hear this message if you have Call Curfew turned on.
  • This feature blocks all incoming and outgoing calls during certain times of the day.
  • Unless callers are on your "authorized caller list," they cannot get through to you during those hours.

Learn more about calling features that block calls and how to manage them. 

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