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My phone line is not working. What can I do? | BT Business

My phone line is not working. What can I do?

There are a couple of things to check if you think it's your phone line not working.

Your broadband might still be working even if your phone line isn't. If it's your Cloud Voice Express service you're having problems with, head over to the Cloud Voice Express troubleshooting page.

No dial tone, static or noise on the line, or you can't hear anything

Check these things first before reporting a fault - nine times out of ten they solve most problems.

  • Cordless phone? If you've got a cordless phone, check it's fully charged.
  • Off the hook? Check all of your phones to make sure they're on the hook and all cords are plugged in and secure.
  • One or more numbers affected? If it's just one number, it's probably a service problem with that number.
  • Does it happen at a specific time of day, or under certain conditions, like windy weather?
    This could mean there's something wrong with the line.
  • Is it just one phone being affected? If so, it's probably the phone at fault, not your line. If you rent your phone from us, contact us and we'll deliver a new one. You can also buy a new phone from BT Business Direct.

The next thing to do is run some equipment and extension wiring checks - don't worry they're quick and easy to do, see further down this page.

Your phone doesn't ring or rings but cuts off

  1. Is the ringer on your telephone switched on? It's usually a small sliding switch on the base of your telephone that can be set to Hi, Lo, or Off - ensure it is set to Hi.
  2. Do you have BT Call Minder (not BT Answer)? If so, check that you've set the number of rings to ring more than once.
  3. Do you have Call Barring set up? If you do, check you haven't barred incoming calls.
  4. Have you got more than four telephones or pieces of equipment plugged in? If you do, you might be exceeding your line's ringing equivalence number (REN). To check this, unplug everything and then plug it back in again one by one until you locate which device is exceeding your REN limit. If this is the cause, you can buy an extension booster to boost your line's REN.

I've got a dial tone, but can't make outgoing calls

  1. Are you dialling the correct number? Check the number you're dialling is correct or call BT Directory Enquiries on 118 500.
  2. Is Call Barring active on your line? Certain call barring codes restrict the types of calls you can make. Read more about using call barring.
  3. Are you making your phone calls with another service provider? Prefix the number you're dialling with 1280 (calls via 1280 are charged at normal BT call rates). If the call connects, the problem is with your service provider, not with BT's network. You'll need to contact them to report the problem.
  4. Has your line been restricted by BT for a billing reason? Make sure any outstanding phone bills are paid as soon as possible and get in touch.

Testing your phone equipment

  1. First, unplug all phones and any equipment from your telephone sockets - make sure nothing is left plugged in. If you've got an old-style telephone you can't unplug, get in touch with us
  2. Now, plug a working phone (not cordless) into the main phone socket (it's usually where the phone line enters your premises) and try making a call from it. If you can make a call, the fault is likely to be with one of your pieces of equipment.
  3. Plug your equipment back in piece by piece making a test call each time you do. This lets you identify which item is at fault. To fix it, read the manual or get in touch with your supplier.

Still experiencing a problem? Let's give your wiring a quick check.

Testing your wiring

If you still can't make a call from the main socket, here's what to do to check the wiring:

  1. If your main socket looks like the picture below, unscrew the 2 small screws and slide out the bottom half of the face plate. You'll see a test socket on the right-hand side.

2. Plug your phone into the test socket as shown in the picture below and make a call. See if the line rings once and stops or doesn't ring at all.

3. If you can dial out, the fault's probably with your internal wiring. You can either fix this yourself or contact the company that maintains your phones to do it though, they'll charge you if you're not covered by a warranty.

If you can't dial out at the test socket, the fault's likely with your line and you'll need to report it to your telephone service provider. If that's us, it’s easy to report a fault online.

4. If your main socket looks like the picture below, you'll need to get in touch with us

Report a phone line fault

If you’ve tried all the checks on this page but your phone line’s still not working properly, report a fault to us and we’ll put everything right for you.

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