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BT phone constantly ringing

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My parents had their old BT phone connection box replaced with a modern one a couple of months ago, and they also had a new phone line put in to their sitting room. The phones have been fine, but my m… Read More
Sophiasky Avatar
2y, 9m agoPosted 2 years, 9 months ago
My parents had their old BT phone connection box replaced with a modern one a couple of months ago, and they also had a new phone line put in to their sitting room. The phones have been fine, but my mum has just told me that since 1.30 am this morning, the phones have been constantly ringing. She has dialled 1471 and nobody is there, etc. She called BT and they have told her that there is nothing wrong with the line and if they want an engineer to come out, they will have to pay £120 for them to look at it. I've suggested that she pulls the leads out and then puts them back in a few minutes later, but I don't know if this has worked yet. The phones are a matching pair that were bought from Currys a few months ago. Does anybody have any ideas as to what is happening as regards the ringing? Thank you.
Sophiasky Avatar
2y, 9m agoPosted 2 years, 9 months ago
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#1
If they have broadband down the line, make sure they are using microfilters. If possible try a different new microfilter. Unlikely to be the issue but you never know.

Get hold of a wired handset.
Unplug any extension cables you might have, leaving just the handset and the master socket (and a microfilter if applicable).
If it is still ringing, then unscrew the front of the master socket and plug the phone (and microfilter, if applicable) into the test socket (you'll see it when you remove the front of the master socket).
If it's still ringing, then call BT and tell them the steps you've taken. The master socket and line into it are their responsibility so they won't charge you. If they threaten to, then just threaten to leave for a competitor.

Edited By: joshm on Sep 26, 2014 12:28: .
#2
joshm
If they have broadband down the line, make sure they are using microfilters. If possible try a different new microfilter. Unliekly to be the issue but you never know.

Get hold of a wired handset.
Unplug any extension cables you might have, leaving just the handset and the master socket (and a microfilter if applicable).
If it is still ringing, then unscrew the front of the master socket and plug the phone (and microfilter, if applicable) into the test socket (you'll see it when you remove the front of the master socket).
If it's still ringing, then call BT and tell them the steps you've taken. The master socket and line into it are their responsibility so they won't charge you. If they threaten to, then just threaten to leave for a competitor.

No, they don't have any broadband in the house. My mum is calling back later - apparently, when she picks up the phone it stops ringing and she can dial me, however, when the phone is replaced, the ringing starts up again. I did not realise that there is a test socket under the cover of the master socket. What would it mean then if when placed in to the test socket, the phone stops ringing - would that mean it is a fault with the line or perhaps the set of phones she bought? Thank you.
#3
Sophiasky
joshm
If they have broadband down the line, make sure they are using microfilters. If possible try a different new microfilter. Unliekly to be the issue but you never know.

Get hold of a wired handset.
Unplug any extension cables you might have, leaving just the handset and the master socket (and a microfilter if applicable).
If it is still ringing, then unscrew the front of the master socket and plug the phone (and microfilter, if applicable) into the test socket (you'll see it when you remove the front of the master socket).
If it's still ringing, then call BT and tell them the steps you've taken. The master socket and line into it are their responsibility so they won't charge you. If they threaten to, then just threaten to leave for a competitor.

No, they don't have any broadband in the house. My mum is calling back later - apparently, when she picks up the phone it stops ringing and she can dial me, however, when the phone is replaced, the ringing starts up again. I did not realise that there is a test socket under the cover of the master socket. What would it mean then if when placed in to the test socket, the phone stops ringing - would that mean it is a fault with the line or perhaps the set of phones she bought? Thank you.

This should explain things: http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13567/~/testing-for-faults-with-a-line-box-or-bt-infinity-socket

Edited By: joshm on Sep 26, 2014 12:27: .
#4
Hello, I've just had a look at this link. However, a bit confused about what they mean by the extension socket - is this the main socket on the wall with the test socket underneath? If so, if the test socket works, it says that you would have to pay for the engineer. My parents had these sockets put in by BT only a couple of months ago, wouldn't they be covered by a warranty or something seeing that BT put them in and they are only a couple of months old? Thank you.
#5
If BT fitted the extension sockets and if it was, as you say, only a few months ago then you'll be covered.

But your first port of call should be to try a different handset.

Edited By: joshm on Sep 26, 2014 14:05
#6
joshm
If BT fitted the extension sockets and if it was, as you say, only a few months ago then you'll be covered.

But your first port of call should be to try a different handset.
I agree, a friend of mines modem caused the phones to ring in his flat after lightning struck the lamp post outside. Fried the spark gap in the modem and fused it on. If something is shorted in either phone it can cause the line to ring. Also what are the phones, are they cordless or wired. If cordless try swapping the batteries if possible.
#7
The extension wiring will be covered for one year from installation. This type of fault is nearly always caused by the extension wiring. It's a short circuit between termination 2 and 3 on the internal cable or socket. Either a socket has gotten wet or the cable damaged in some way. Used to see this with cats and dogs peeing on the sockets, a cable being damaged by running under carpets (especially under door ways), cable having a cleat hammered through it etc etc and once a socket jammed full of ants. If the cable is damaged or a socket damp they will be charged for this so test first as described above and then have a good look at the cable run and sockets.

One other failure that can cause this is for the terminations being done incorrectly, with the wire which should be on termination 2 being put on termination 3 and the one on 3 being put on 2. But if they haven't been messing about with the sockets or cabling this wouldn't happen after two months of being ok.


Edited By: Argoj on Sep 26, 2014 14:57
#8
kester76
joshm
If BT fitted the extension sockets and if it was, as you say, only a few months ago then you'll be covered.

But your first port of call should be to try a different handset.
I agree, a friend of mines modem caused the phones to ring in his flat after lightning struck the lamp post outside. Fried the spark gap in the modem and fused it on. If something is shorted in either phone it can cause the line to ring. Also what are the phones, are they cordless or wired. If cordless try swapping the batteries if possible.

They are wired phones. No chance of pets causing as problem as they don't have any. Thank you.
#9
My son is in a dispute with BT at the moment he couldn't make calls out from his phone and his broadband was slow reported it engineer came out found falt in main socket said his broadband was connected up incorrect so he sorted it out then he cancel his Bt broadband he knew he would have to pay a cancelation charge but when he got bill he couldn't believe it his cancelation charge his calls are £45 pounds his cancelation charge is 130pounds the bill is 300pounds when he as challenge it they have told him because the fault was in the garage it his problem not their that is where the main line comes in to house because it internal so becareful if you go taking sockets apart.
#10
Go back to BT and speak to a Customer Service manager and explain how long your parents have been a customer and the fact they've never had reason to be concerned and that you are not happy that your parents were told it would cost £120 to get it fixed. Then tell them to please send somebody around asap to tested and/or fixed free of charge otherwise you'll have to look at giving the service to another more competent and understanding provider and pass on your issues to Ofcom

enough said

Edited By: philphil61 on Sep 26, 2014 16:56
#11
BT customer service is the worst. Once I had a problem with the line and this lady "had a feeling" that if I unscrew the faceplate of the phone, it would magically work. The call was answered in the UK (just to be clear so we don't start blaming others for our problems). When I started doubting her nonsense she said it would cost £120 for an engineer to come take a look. I didn't want to argue any further so I moved everything out of the way to dissembled the faceplate and, of course, it didn't make anything better. She was then finally satisfied and she agreed to scheduled someone to fix the problem.

I've been with them twice and both times its a big mess.
banned#12
Simple really - do as josh has said and test with a different, wired phone at the master socket.

BT will only charge you if the fault lies past where their responsibility for the line ends. That'll be at that point where the master/test socket is. If the fault is before that then it's their problem and they'll fix it for free. If it's a problem after that point then it's (of course) nothing to do with BT, and so they will charge you for an engineer having looked at it (and rightly so).

It's not clear what you're talking about with an extension socket, whether an extension/spur has been fitted, when, or if it was fitted by an actual BT engineer? Still, doing what's been noted above by josh is the very first, and most important, step.

Good luck! It really shouldn't be difficult. Grab a spare, wired phone that you know works and it should be a 5 minute process of elimination. Phone wiring is very, very simple - so if it really came down to it then at the absolute most a multimeter to check continuity would be all that's needed for what you're doing.

BT have every right to charge you for an engineer (arranging, call out fee, time, fault finding, repair - all for £120) if the fault is in the equipment or spurs that are not their responsibility, so just eliminate the possibilities until you find the fault or are sure it is their responsibility before you call an engineer out from them. :)
#13
what area you in mate I can come have a look (BT Engineer)
#14
Mum got back to me a little while ago. She unplugged both phones (one in hallway and one in sitting room) for a few hours and then plugged back in the one in the hallway, that one was fine (no ringing). She unplugged it and then tried plugging the one in the sitting room back in - it started ringing again. I told her to swap the phones around and try again (to see if the phone or line is faulty), however, she can't move an item of furniture out of the way properly (phone lead and socket is behind it), so I won't be able to check that out for her until Monday - I'll let you know what I find out. Thank you all for help and advice.

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