How to Report Telephone System Faults for Your Business

Reporting business telephone system faults

One of the advantages of virtual VoIP telephony is that cloud based communication almost eliminates the possibility of system faults, and because it's hosted, the service provider will provide the problem solving assistance needed.

However, for businesses with in-house telephone systems, disruptions to phone services can be costly and have a negative impact on customer services.

If you find you're experiencing a lot of problems and would like to upgrade to a more reliable system, we can help. Visit our free quote-finding tool and answer a few questions about what you need, and we'll match you up with the best phone system providers for you and your team. They'll then be in touch with answers to your questions and tailored, no-obligation quotes for you to compare. It's a quick and easy way to find and compare the right phone systems for your business, without hours of research.

Step 1: Be prepared

If you're using different providers for different services (i.e. line rental from BT; phone system bought from VoIPon Solutions, call package from Vonage), make sure you keep a clear record of what each supplier is responsible for. If you bought a telephone system, ensure that you know when the warranty runs out, or whether the supplier provides technical assistance or after sales support.

Once you have all the relevant information, as well as account numbers or circuit references, ensure that this information is readily available to key staff members who may need to report a fault in your absence.

Step 2: Troubleshooting

First try to get to the route of the problem yourself:

  • Unplug all equipment and re-boot all systems
  • Check to see if the manufacture or service provider has a FAQs page on their website.

There are usually many questions regarding troubleshooting coupled with step-by-step guides on how to fix it which are easy to follow.

Analogue Phones: Try using a known ‘working' phone handset from another extension and test if it works. This will help identify whether your problem is the phone or the socket/line. If your phone is still under warranty, you can return it to the manufacturer. If it's a faulty socket, take note of the socket number and contact your telephone services provider.

Digital Phones: Most suppliers have UK based customer support. Contact them for help or suggestions

Types of telephone faults include no dial tone; bell not ringing; permanent engaged tone; number unobtainable; exchange select service fault; cutting off; noisy.

Once you've determined what kind of problem you have find out whether the phone system supplier can send out a technician or Openreach engineer to fix it. If costs are a concern, or if you don't have a business phone plan that covers maintenance and support, then make sure to find out what the engineer call out fees are.

Step 3: Keep monitoring

Once the problem has been fixed, keep and eye on the phone system to ensure that the problem doesn't re-occur. If it does, your provider may have to modify your business telephone plan to find a solution.

Step 4: Arbitration

For any disputes that may arise with the services provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Association as all providers have to adhere to codes of conduct.

In addition, if you're in a contract and feel that your current service provider isn't holding up to their end of the bargain, the TIS can also provide arbitration services

Top tips

Before calling out for an engineer to test the telephone line service, try your best to first determine whether the fault is on their side (i.e. the telephone line service) or yours (i.e. your extension wiring).

If the fault is on your side, you will be liable to pay a visit charge (approx £130), and the Openreach engineer will leave your own extension wiring disconnected and leave.

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Aimee Bradshaw Writer and researcher

Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems and point of sale go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about dog walking on Dorset beaches.