Archive for Business phone technical support

Dropped calls: Causes and Solutions

dropped callsIn my 30 + years in the telecommunication industry, one problem I have seen consistently are issues where the end of a phone call might be interpreted not as a drop, but as a deliberate act with one party becoming offended.

So let’s take a look at the causes and some solutions.

By and large the most common cause of dropped calls that my company has seen are due to problems with older phone systems that still are using copper  phone lines or similar. Such problems existed  in 1919 and still do in  2019.  In recent years problems with calls originating to or coming from cell phones have increasingly been contributing to problems with dropped calls.
One of the ironies of the dramatic improvement in cell phone service quality is that since one can rarely tell when another party is on cell phone or a  landline or VOIP line resulting landline or VOIP carriers getting the  blame for dropped calls that are in fact caused by cell phones.  The slight upside to this is that folks these days are less likely to assume  an abrupt end to a call is a deliberate act on the part of the caller.

Other causes of dropped calls include:

a) electrical power problems.

b) internet carrier or related IT problems.

c) user error, in which case it becomes an “accidental or deliberate disconnect” and not a dropped call.

d) on older non VOIP systems component issues.

e) user issues often related to persons new to the phone system.

On  VOIP systems however.., the problems most times are not due to phone carrier carrier  or issues or the equipment but  one of 4 things;

  1. inadequate internet bandwidth – in which case a simple upgrade in speed will often solve the problem.
  2. Issues related the your internet service provider. These issues can usually be corrected pretty easily by contacting the customer or technical support department of your internet service provider. When contacting them include asking them to make sure everything in your carrier provided modem is set to allow, give priority to and/or not bloc SIP signals. In the rare times we have seen such calls not completely solve the problem we have found that insisting the carrier replace their modem has solved the issue.
  3. Make sure your ethernet switch or ( if you have a private router) is upgraded to the latest gigabyte technology and speeds.
  4. Talk to an  IT professional about providing a thorough check of your IT system for viruses. Viruses can infect a computer and/or computer network at any time. Many virus can take up massive amounts of bandwidth on even the fastest of internet circuits and by doing so play havoc with your IP phones!

The best way to avoid dropped calls is through the use of the modern business telephone system.

On older phone systems, if a component is about to go bad  dropped calls would be one of the problems one could experience.  If it is not a problem with the systems components  things that will cause a call to drop on a modern “land-line” system include a loss of electrical power and carrier issues. Switching to a VOIP system improves greatly the chances of this not occurring – but does not eliminate completely the potential for this problem to occur

So, what to do when you experience a dropped call:

  • Immediately make a note of the phone number dropped, and the time of the dropped call
  • Call the dropped party back, apologize for the interruption and inform them that the drop was a technical problem, not a deliberate act.
  • If you have internet based (VOIP) phone service contact your  local internet  service carrier and create a service ticket.  In most cases your Internet provider can help  especially if provided the above information. As noted in this article earlier  in some cases you may need to insist they replace your/their modem.

If over  a period of several months you continue to experience dropped calls on a regular basis, consider changing local phone or internet service carriers.  Most often  however today’s carriers are very good at identifying  and fixing these issues.  As bothersome as these things are be  patient with your phone or internet carrier since it may take several reported incidents before they can clearly identify  and get a handle why this is happening.

If  ongoing  issues with dropped call  is getting especially frustrating – hang in there!  A solution can almost always be found! In the meantime consider taking a break and firing up a Jimmy Buffett tune on your computer or smartphone  until things finally get resolved!

Problems with dropped calls have been around the since the days of Alexander Bell. As good as our modern communications infrastructure is, I don’t expect them to go away anytime soon.  Take the advice I’ve given you here, and you’ll find the problem to be less pervasive, and frustrating.

Tips for Fixing VOIP Voice Quality Problems

While the majority of folks we speak to love the high quality, low cost and technological benefits of VOIP phone service,  we do run across folks that have some issues with the voice quality of it (although admittedly it happens rarely).
For those very few folks, here are some tips on how to address those issues:VOIP solutions

  1. Call your VOIP Service provider
    Less than 10% of sound quality issues we have seen with VOIP phone service are due to issues with the VOIP carrier itself, and we have found these carriers often have excellent tools to help you figure out where to look for the cause or causes of your sound quality issues;
  2. Try increasing your internet speed
    Because there are cases when either the listed internet speed in practice is not what you are getting or because you are using more bandwidth than you realize, trying  1 month at a higher internet speed might turn out to be a quick and easy fix.
  3. Make sure your office is set up to give internet priority to your VOIP
    The technical term for this is QOS. It simply means that any incoming or outgoing VOIP signals are given top priority over all other types of  emails, video etc. you might be sharing with your VOIP signal.  Start by checking with your Internet Service Provider to see if they can help you with this;
  4. Check your IP phones and computers cablescables
    If the building you are in is 5 or more years old, the cables may simply not be able to handle the higher amounts of traffic going over them (this is something JHB can help with);
  5. Have your Internet Service Provider replace your modem
    Older modems or ones with minor technical flaws in them can cause real problems with VOIP phone service. In most cases the carrier will  swap out your modem at no charge;
  6. Consider switching internet carriers
    Now and again for some reason a given internet service provider in spite of their best efforts simply can’t get the job done right at a specific location. Don’t fight it. Make the change and move on;IT tech
  7. Involve an IT Professional
    They can make sure all of the VOIP signals coming to and from the carrier are flowing as cleanly as possible. They can also give you good advice as to when its time to “give up the ghost” and switch internet service providers.

Finally VOIP technology is arguably the best thing to happen to business phone service since the advent of the multi-line business phone back in the 1930’s and 40’s.
Give it a clean and effective internet platform to work from and it will serve you well now, and for many years to come.

Business Phones Systems Should be Maintained just like Computers

Last week my company’s IT person informed me that security and maintenance upgrades were needed on our main office computer. Like just about all business owners these days without hesitation I authorized him to move forward with it!

Yet when I speak to business owners and managers about taking the same approach with their telephone system most times I get a very different response! This  in spite of the fact that the need and sense of urgency are  very much the same!  The reason I think is first of foremost due to the fact that;

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Hosted VOIP Phone Systems – Emancipating Businesses from the PBX.

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Hosted VOIP Phone Systems – Emancipating Businesses from the PBX.

I’m an old school phone guy. From my first days working in the telecom industry  in the 1980’s a truly dependable phone system consisted of a main PBX control unit and phones. Any other model of phone system I thought was a risk to my customers that I believed was not worth taking.

To say the least, things have now changed! Today for a company of any size whether it has  1 employee or a staff of 500 if it is not in their plans to  switch to a hosted VOIP phone system they are doing their company, their customers and their prospects a great disservice! Hosted VOIP Phone Systems I believe are the single most dependable choice for businesses today. Here are some key reasons why:

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Reducing Phone Bill Costs for Non profits

If you have a favorite non-profit – whether you work, volunteer, provide financial support, or even if you do business with one, keep reading, because you can help them save money!

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