Home phone problems and how to fix them

This article's about Plusnet home phone. To find out about Plusnet Mobile, see our Plusnet Mobile help section.

Something wrong with your phone?

There’s a few simple checks you can do before getting in touch with us.

Watch our video or follow the steps below.

Firstly, rule out the most common problems by checking that:

  • your phone’s fully charged (if it’s cordless)
  • all the right wires are plugged into the back of the phone and the phone socket
It’s really important to check these things before you ask us to send an engineer to fix the problem. If we arrange for an engineer to come to your home and the problem’s with your equipment, rather than the phone line, you’ll need to pay for the visit.

If that doesn’t help, follow the steps below for the problem you’re having.

  1. Unplug everything that’s plugged into your phone sockets, including Sky boxes and other equipment.
  2. Plug a corded phone into the master socket (the master socket’s the first socket where the phone line comes into your home).
  3. Try to make a call.

If you then hear a dial tone, there’s no problem with the line itself. The problem’s wiring, microfilters or your equipment. To find out which is the culprit, plug in one device, then check for a dial tone. Repeat this with every device, checking for a dial tone each time, until you find the one that’s causing the problem.

If you don’t hear a dial tone after you’ve done that, try using our phone troubleshooter to see if there’s a problem at the exchange.

If you’ve got a cordless phone, make sure it’s fully charged. Check your phone handset to make sure the volume’s turned up. If the problem only happens when you dial a certain number, it’s likely that their line’s at fault, not yours.

When you’ve checked that, try these steps.

  1. Unplug everything that’s plugged into your phone sockets, including Sky boxes and other equipment.
  2. Plug a corded phone into the master socket (the master socket’s the first socket where the phone line comes into your home).
  3. Make a call.

If that improves the sound quality, there’s no problem with the line itself. The problem’s your wiring, microfilters or equipment. To find out which is the culprit, plug in one device, then check the sound quality. Repeat this with every device, checking the sound quality each time, until you find the one that’s causing the problem.

If the sound quality doesn’t improve after following the steps above, try using our phone troubleshooter to see if there’s a problem at the exchange.

  1. Unplug everything that’s plugged into your phone sockets, including Sky boxes and other equipment.
  2. Plug a corded phone into the master socket (the master socket’s the first socket where the phone line comes into your home).
  3. Try to make a call.

If you can then make a call, there’s no problem with the line itself. The problem’s wiring, microfilters or your equipment. To find out which is the culprit, plug in one device, then try to make a call. Repeat this with every device, checking if you can still make a call each time, until you find the one that’s causing the problem.

If you still can’t make calls after following the steps above, try using our phone troubleshooter to see if there’s a problem at the exchange.

Firstly, check that the ringer on your phone’s handset is switched on and the volume’s turned up. Then test it by calling your number from another phone.

Make sure you haven’t switched on call divert. Have a look at our call features guide to see how to check that and how to turn it off if it’s on.

When you’ve done that, try these steps.

  1. Unplug everything that’s plugged into your phone sockets, including Sky boxes and other equipment.
  2. Plug a corded phone into the master socket (the master socket’s the first socket where the phone line comes into your home).
  3. Try to call your phone from another phone.

If that fixes the problem, there’s no problem with the line itself. The problem’s wiring, microfilters or your equipment. To find out which is the culprit, plug in one device, then check for a dial tone. Repeat this with every device, checking everything’s working each time, until you find the one that’s causing the problem.

If you’re still having the same problem after following the steps above, try using our phone troubleshooter to see if there’s a problem at the exchange.

This is also known as Caller ID and does exactly as it says – shows you who’s calling. To use it, you’ll need a phone that has a screen to show the numbers that you’re calling or that are calling you. It won’t work if a phone number’s unavailable e.g. if it’s international or if the caller has withheld it.

You’ll also need to have caller display as part of your phone package. To check that, go to your Phone Control Panel and click Call Features. If you add it there, it’ll take 1-3 working days to activate.

If you’ve checked all that and it’s still not working, dial *#234# from the phone that you want to use for caller display. Listen to the message.

  • If it says ‘unavailable’, you don’t have caller display at the moment.
  • If it says ‘the service is disabled’, you can enable it by hanging up and dialling *234#.
  • If it says ‘identities will be displayed’, but your caller display isn’t working, you’ll either need to use a different phone, or try these steps.
    1. Plug a corded phone that’s compatible with caller display into the master socket (the master socket’s the first socket where the phone line comes into your home).
    2. Call your number from another phone.

If caller display’s now working, there’s no problem with the line itself, but your original phone isn’t working properly. So all you can do is get a replacement one.

If caller display still isn’t working after following these steps and trying it with a different phone, get in touch with us.

Firstly, check that the feature you’re having trouble with is part of your package. To do that, go to your Phone Control Panel and click Call Features. You can add features there, but it’ll take 1-3 working days for them to activate.

If you’re having trouble with a feature that’s already part of your package, take a look at our call features guide.