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Strange Phone Problem---Landline
Old 11-02-2018, 06:19 AM   #1
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Strange Phone Problem---Landline

Called broker this AM to get automated phone acct activity. Connection kept breaking up so couldn't make out #s. Called CU and it was fine. Repeated this several times and the results seemed to be reproducible.

Called broker via another phone number to bypass the automated system and had the same problem. A mystery at this point unless the initial stages of the call went thru the same automated phone system before I got transferred to human.

Called some other institutions. About half had the same problem.

All the above situations were w/ landline

Then called the broker via cell phone.......no problems. By itself this seems to point to a landline problem.......but why some calls to some banks have no problems, while other do. Not a huge sample admittedly but reproducible so far.
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:33 AM   #2
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Even if you're on a POTS landline, some of the companies are probably using VOIP and the connection may sometimes not be as stable as desired. That's usually the cause of this.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:05 AM   #3
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And is your 'landline' actually POTS (Plain Old Telephone System - copper wire, analog), or is it VOIP? Some people consider their phones that are wired in the home (which may be VOIP) as 'landline', but others will say only POTS is 'landline'.

I've seen issues with VOIP A not working with VOIP B, while both A and B seem to work fine with other systems. I have no idea why. And sometime sit clears up or is intermittent.

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Old 11-02-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies. AFAIK it is POTS (new learning for me)......I wouldn't know how to do anything else. For sure, the wiring itself is the old stuff. Earlier this yr, I did have to install a new phone but that was many months ago, worked fine until this AM, and used the same connections as the old phone.

Haven't used the only tool I know yet............reboot.....but coming next if things don't improve.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:19 AM   #5
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Why are you getting account information over the phone instead of online?
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:52 AM   #6
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When I was on analog POTs, I had a surprising number of failures like this with really bad connections. Turns out the buried splices that you didn't know were there got bad. They eventually had to run a full new line from the above ground splice box to bypass the underground splice. So, even POTS can cause issues. If I were you, I'd make some more calls to friends and listen to the quality and see if there is a pattern. If you suspect anything, call the phone company and they usually can see it from their side.

When AT&T came through to sell people first generation Uverse, which at that time actually used the old POTS lines for the first segment, they had to dig up most of these splices and harden them.

I'm now on VOIP since my connection to home is now fiber.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. AFAIK it is POTS (new learning for me)......I wouldn't know how to do anything else. For sure, the wiring itself is the old stuff. Earlier this yr, I did have to install a new phone but that was many months ago, worked fine until this AM, and used the same connections as the old phone.

Haven't used the only tool I know yet............reboot.....but coming next if things don't improve.
Reboot? How do you reboot a land line phone?

I agree with JoeWras, it's probably the wiring somewhere. Was it raining hard recently, soaking the ground really well? Call your phone company if it persists.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:29 AM   #8
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Actually I would start with using a different wall plug, and a different line between your phone and the plug. And a different phone if you have one.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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We dropped POTS and ported the number to TRACFONE about 3 years ago. Now costs about $100 per year, and no more problems.
If your POTS is like ours, it is a big bowl of 50-year old copper with many splices before you even get to the CO.
Rain was a constant problem, as was the condition of the copper wires in many locations. I live in a development with more than 600 1970's homes. There was no way Verizon would replace all the underground wiring. No doubt that is one of the reasons they offload these problems to Frontier.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:07 AM   #10
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Reboot? How do you reboot a land line phone?

I agree with JoeWras, it's probably the wiring somewhere. Was it raining hard recently, soaking the ground really well? Call your phone company if it persists.
Good question! I guess I was thinking of rebooting the answering machine the phone is plugged into. What is rain? Haven't seen that in months. AFAIK the lines come down from the poles, thru the trees, and into the house.

More data.......at least the trend is good. 2nd data pt: good connections still good; bad ones still bad but not as severe. 3rd data pt: good connections still good; bad ones ok now. About 10 min between sampling. Curious fact: good connections are the odd tollfree prefixes.....877, 855,855; bad connections the even ones...800,866,888.

Since the connections seem to not be random.......good ones always good;
bad ones of varying quality.....it has the feel of something like signal strength
of all connections increasing or decreasing at the same time but with some in the marginal zone so they can be good or bad while others are robust since they are not marginal.

Even tho things were ok the last time sampled, it is an uncomfortable feeling.
My experience in the real world: if you usher an unwelcome guest away, it may stay away. If it leaves by itself, it is just as likely to return.

Again thanks for the suggestions/inputs. More welcome.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:20 AM   #11
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Who on earth has a landline anymore? I do not know of one single person who still has one.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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Why are you getting account information over the phone instead of online?
geezer reflex.......seems harder to hack (or at least less interesting) than online.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:49 AM   #13
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Who on earth has a landline anymore? I do not know of one single person who still has one.
He has a landline because his answering machine requires one.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:51 AM   #14
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Here is a test that a phone company repair guy showed me many years ago. You need an old rotary or push button phone that does not require a separate power supply. (These are also handy to have because they still work when there's a power failure.)

Take the phone outside to the location where the wires enter your house. There should be a box there, which you can open. You may need a screwdriver. Inside that box is a regular RJ11 jack. Unplug the cable, plug in your phone, and call the troublesome numbers. If the quality there is good, then the problem is in your in-home wiring. If the quality is still poor, then the problem is outside your home and you need to call the phone company. Don't forget to reconnect the cable before you close up the box.

If you can't find an old phone to test with, you could also try calling the problem numbers from the home of a neighbor who has a landline. If the neighbor has the same problem, call the phone company.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:56 AM   #15
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Someone who can't imagine who still has a landline has no imagination. And it's always said with a high and mighty tone. Take a look at a cell phone coverage map. All those blank spots? Anyone who lives there has a landline. And a lot of others just prefer one for whatever reasons--some valid, some not.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:03 AM   #16
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What Cathy63 said... or... CIA surveillance?
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:34 AM   #17
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Here is a test that a phone company repair guy showed me many years ago. You need an old rotary or push button phone that does not require a separate power supply. (These are also handy to have because they still work when there's a power failure.)

Take the phone outside to the location where the wires enter your house. There should be a box there, which you can open. You may need a screwdriver. Inside that box is a regular RJ11 jack. Unplug the cable, plug in your phone, and call the troublesome numbers. If the quality there is good, then the problem is in your in-home wiring. If the quality is still poor, then the problem is outside your home and you need to call the phone company. Don't forget to reconnect the cable before you close up the box.

If you can't find an old phone to test with, you could also try calling the problem numbers from the home of a neighbor who has a landline. If the neighbor has the same problem, call the phone company.
cathy, thanks for reminding me of this same trick that another phone guy showed me. And yes my phones don't require power tho you gave me a scare when you mentioned having to take the old rotary phone out there (didn't read completely
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:27 AM   #18
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Who on earth has a landline anymore? I do not know of one single person who still has one.
Now you do know one. We keep the landline for just the reason RunningBum said: Spotty cell phone service.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:33 PM   #19
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Well, I can see both sides of the "have a landline or not" dilemma.

F has a landline and I don't. We are in a good area for cell phones. I am always nagging him about dropping his landline (I *try* not to nag! but I'm human and my mouth sometimes starts before my brain catches up). He is still thinking about dropping it. Here are some reasons why he hasn't done that quite yet:

1) His 1960's house has an old, ornate landline phone built into the wall probably when the house was built. It's really stunning and in a central location in his home. He'd have to get someone to remove it and the floor-to-ceiling brick surrounding it, and drywall over the huge gaping hole, I suppose, or maybe just redo the whole room.

2) That ornate phone originally belonged to the phone company, as was the norm back in those days. So, maybe he would have to return it but they probably wouldn't know what to do if he did. Sounds like a wasted hour or so.

3) He has had the same landline number for a very long time. Perhaps some old friend or contact would call him who hasn't called him for decades. Plus, by now many others (newer friends or contacts) have his cell phone number so there's no sense in porting the landline number over to his cell phone.

4) Also, being able to communicate by landline might be handy after hurricanes, if only the cell towers fail and landline connections remain intact. I suppose sometimes that could happen, although you couldn't call out of here either way after Katrina.

Recently he shut off the ringer to his landline, to see if he is missing any calls (they will go to his answering machine). If this experiment is satisfactory and he doesn't get anything important on the answering machine, then he will have more information on which to base his decision.

Anyway, these are several possible reasons why someone hasn't.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:39 PM   #20
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Do you have a cordless phone? If so, there could be interference in the spectrum that the phone operates in.

Your phone might allow you to try different channels.

You could try a corded phone. That would bypass the wireless issues as a test. You could reposition the base unit. A neighbor or your wireless router or other wireless devices could be interfering.

Try a different phone jack and/or cord. Process of elimination.
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