Telephone Problem

debodunAugust 10, 2009

I'm having an intermittent problem receiving incoming calls. Last week I couldn't even make calls - when I tried, the line was either dead, had a loud crackling noise, or I heard a recorded message saying "If you wish to make a call, please hand up and try again." I called Verizon and since then I have had a dial tone, but still have a problem receiving. When I call the phone company, they just tell me to check my "box". I can't see a "box" like they describe anywhere in the system. The telephone line comes from the pole and goes into a hole drilled in the cellar window. I traced it from there to where it disappears through a hole in the sub-floor. Upstairs, the line goes into the bottom of a very small box (2 x 2") on the wall and the wire to the phone comes out the top. This small box has a screw in the center. I took the cover off and there are four more screws in the corners of this box to which a green and red wire are attached with a spade connectors to diagonal screws. A black and yellow wire are not connected. My house is 100+ years old and the wiring was probably installed in the 1940's when everyone had rotary phones. However, this worked fine up until about 2 weeks ago even when What could be the problem? Should I have the telephone line re-wired? Will it affect the rotary phone? Who should do it - the phone company, a private contractor, or who?

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jimisham

The box they're talking about is called a NID (Network Interface Device) installed on the outside of your house.
You take one of your telephones outside and plug it into the NID. If the phone works, the problem is inside your house. If it doesn't work (assuming the phone itself is good) the problem is in the line going back towards the telephone company's central office, and the phone company should be called.
However in old installations, there may not be an NID. We don't have one and our installation was done in 1973.
If you're not paying for the "Protection Plan", and the problem is inside your house, the phone company is going to charge you for repairs.

Here is a link that might be useful: NID

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 8:26AM
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kensnh

I thougnt ATT&T/Bell Atlantic/VZ whoever they are.... got all their Network interfaces in a LONG TIME ago, and I mean a LONG, LONG time ago.

If they have not, which it seems they have not, then I would say, they owe you an NID, which you apparently do not have, unless you have not looked around enough. If you incredibly do not have one, they will put one on your house. It's a residential version of a DeMarc, a demarcation point that determines, who owns what wires.
I would look around very carefully, if you don not have one, I THINK they have to install one for free.

Then you can test further.

The other way is to trace the telco back to the nearsest point where it enters, disconnect everything, but their wires, buy an RJ11 jack, wired it in and check for static, etc. It'sd a PITA to do it thst way. But VZ will chatge you for a tech.

So I'd look for a NID...and then call. Without the NID, neither you or VZ can prove who is at fault...why do you think they have spent all the money installing them>

KEN

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 7:41PM
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jimisham

"Without the NID, neither you or VZ can prove who is at fault...".
Isn't that the truth.
I know we don't have a NID. We had our service installed in 1973 and I was here the day the service was installed.
I can tell you from personal experience that ATT won't make any effort to fix a problem until you can prove it's THEIR problem and not yours. Unless you pay the $7.50 a month for the Inside Wiring Protection Plan or agree to pay whatever their fee is now for repair inside the house.
We were without service, twice, for a total of ten days several years ago when a cable was cut during a road rebuild. It took several phone calls before they finally fixed it, even after I told them the neighbor's phones were working the day after the cable had been cut.
Repair Service has really gone downhill since the government broke up ATT in the 80's.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:30AM
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