Archive for telephone equipment

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.

New lower Cost Phone Systems from JHB

 

Review: Polycom VVX 600IP Touchscreen speaker display phone

Touchscreen business phones are starting to proliferate, and that’s technology that can make your company very happy.

But, as with anything, there’s those that can be highly recommended, and those that…well…let’s just say don’t fall into that category.

I can highly recommend the Polycom VVX 600IP Touchscreen speaker display phone.

Polycom 600

What to like…Pretty much everything: Thumbs-Up

  • Except for the key pad and a few ancillary buttons  the phone is totally  touch screen, making it easy to add any combination of 20 incoming call appearances
  • 1 touch speed dial numbers & 1 touch intercoms or busy lamp fields (so you can see when a given person is on their phone)
  • Phones are Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to take the same cordless earpiece you use on your mobile phone and use it on/with your office  phone
  • The speakerphone is excellent (a big change for Polycom, since for years they made only high quality conference room phones); it’s so good in fact that for 80% of my calls I don’t need to use my headset and people don’t know I am on a speakerphone.

What to dislike:THUMBS-DOWN

The only downside if this is your first touchscreen phone is the learning curve.  Like any new phone it takes a little time to learn how to program items on the phone but even then most of it is just common sense. After a little one-time guidance a person should easily be able to pick up how to make changes and additions to their phone.  Also on future software releases I would love to see Polycom add a Wi-Fi programming feature that would allow one to program their VVX 600 phones from their PC, laptop or tablet.

Overall Rating: Five  stars...I find this VVX 600 to  be the single best office phone from any manufacturer I ever seen!  I expect that anyone who puts one on their desk will love it!

Now Frontier Wants Your Phone System Business too

cowboys

IMPORTANT ALERT TO ALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND MANAGERS: You won’t believe who is now trying to get your company to trust them with your phones!

That’s right folks! The same people that brought  Tampa Bay the worst service and support  ever from a phone/Internet carrier that to my knowledge anyone in this area  has ever seen, now incredulously is sending out invoices to businesses  asking them to also trust them with their phone systems !!

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Tips on Making The Most of Your Voice Mail

man with phoneAs a Telecom professional for over 30 years, the communications technology I have seen most often misused is voice mail.

To help JHB Telephone customers make the most of this tool, here are some guidelines for the best use of voice mail – one of the best friends a company and business professional can have.

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