Help and Support

Use this troubleshooter to help identify and fix any Home Phone fault without the need to contact Customer support. Faults usually fall into one of these areas:

  1. Problems receiving calls
  2. Problems making calls
  3. Problems with line quality (crackle, noise) or telephone equipment

Callout charges for Home Phone faults

You may find that none of the troubleshooting tips below fixes your problem. If you do raise a fault and an engineer has to visit your premises please be aware that charges may apply.

Callout and repair time charges will apply where the fault lies within your internal wiring, regardless of whether it has been damaged by you or not. These charges also apply where you have damaged external wiring e.g. the wire from the telegraph pole to your building, or any underground cabling within your property boundaries.

Problems receiving calls

Problem Description Troubleshooting
I can't receive calls

Ringer switched off or low

Make sure that you have the telephone bell or sounder switched on and turned up. Also make sure that the telephone is plugged in correctly.

Phone placed on soft surface

Many telephones have the bell or sounder positioned on the telephone base. Make sure this is not placed on a soft surface which could affect the ring tone.

REN value too high

Every telephone has a Ringing Equivalent Number (REN) - most have a REN rating of 1. (You'll see this by looking on the base of your phone).

You can have a maximum number of 4 (adding the REN values of all your connected equipment together). Fax machines, answer machines and modems may have high REN values, so you should check what equipment you have connected.

Overloading a telephone line may result in your telephone failing to ring when incoming calls are made. Try reducing your overall REN value by removing one or more connected items on your line.

If you are still having problems, there may be a fault with the supplier network. You should get in touch with us using Contact us providing as much information as possible, such as:

  • Are you able to receive incoming calls from a landline telephone?
  • Are you able to receive incoming calls from a mobile telephone?
  • Are you receiving incoming calls in error? (i.e. calls destined for someone else?)
  • Do you get a dial tone when answering incoming calls?
  • Can the ringing be tripped? (Stop the phone ringing by picking up the receiver?)

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Problems making calls

Problem Description Troubleshooting
I can't make calls

Check the area code

Check that you are using the right code for the location of the call you want to make.

Use an override code

Use the override code 141 or 1280 before the number you want to dial.

Check your phone and cables

Try unplugging all your equipment on the line (e.g. your telephone, PC's, modems, freeview or satellite boxes and any cables). Now plug your phone directly into your main telephone socket with nothing else attached. Do you get a dial tone? This way you can check whether the fault is with your cables or phone.

Also, if you have more than one phone in your premises make sure that all the handsets are on the hook.

Service problems with the number you are ringing

There could be problems with this number, or you may just be trying to dial the wrong number. Try dialling another number that you know works to see if you can make a successful call.

Outgoing calls have been temporarily stopped

This will happen if you reach your credit threshold, we can't take payment for your Home Phone service, or fraudulent/nuisance calls from your service are being checked. (You will still be able to make emergency 999 calls though). We'll email you if your outgoing calls have been stopped and tell you how you can make calls again.

Phone switched to an unsuitable setting

Check your phone's manual to see if this is multi-frequency (MF or touchtone) dialling. Some Home Phone calling features will only work if you have an MF or touchtone telephone.

If you are still having problems, there may be a fault with the supplier network. You should get in touch with us using Contact us providing as much information as possible, to help us identify the problem, such as:

  • Are you having problems when receiving incoming calls?
  • Are you having problems when making calls to a mobile telephone?
  • Do you hear a dial tone before dialling an outgoing call?
  • Did you receive a dial tone after dialling (engaged, ringing tone or number unobtainable)?
  • Does the problem happen all the time or just sometimes?
  • Are calls cutting off?
  • Are the calls faint?
  • Is there background interference (high buzzing or crackling)?
  • Can you overhear other people's calls?
  • Are you getting one way transmissions (i.e. you can hear the other person but they can't hear you and vice versa)?
  • Are you getting crossed lines? (Similar to overhearing other calls although you will be able to talk to all parties if the lines are crossed).

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Problems with line quality/equipment

Problem Description Troubleshooting
Noisy/Poor call quality

Test a different phone

Remove any extension cables and try plugging a different phone (not a cordless phone) directly into your main telephone socket.

Phone needs recharging

If you have a cordless phone check that the batteries are fully charged.

Microfilters are not being used

Make sure that every piece of equipment connected to your line has a microfilter attached. If you don't use microfilters this will create interference - which will affect the quality of your Home Phone calls.

Also, one or more of your microfilters may be faulty. You can test these by replacing them with new microfilters.

Service problem on other number

If you get noisy/poor call quality when only ringing the same number it is likely that the other number has a service problem.

If you are still having problems, there may be a fault with the supplier network. You should get in touch with us using Contact us providing as much information as possible, to help us identify the problem, such as:

  • Have you tried using another phone?
  • If you have a cordless phone, have you changed the batteries?
  • Have you checked the microfilter set up and/or tried a different microfilter?
  • Does the line noise occur on all calls that you make or is it intermittent?
  • Does the line still appear noisy or crackle when you plug directly into the master socket?

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Can't find what you're looking for?

If we've not been able to address your query through a support article please contact Customer support for further assistance.

Having problems with your broadband connection?

Use our Broadband troubleshooter to diagnose and fix the problem.

Service Status

For full details of our current issues or any maintenance work that could be affecting your service please visit our Service Status site.