Phone Problems

If the services of a technician are required, your department should be charged directly for time and materials. Telephone Services does not repair phone instruments.

Jacks: Wall jacks have two access points-one for phone and one for data. Be sure to plug the phone cord into the voice portion of the wall jack is where the phone should be plugged in. It is either white or ivory. The black portion of the jack is for a computer/data connection.

Phone not ringing: Make sure your phone cords are securely plugged into the back of the phone and the jack. The phone cord should only be plugged into the white/ivory portion of the jack. Check to make sure the ringer is "on." Many times, the ringer will inadvertently get turned off. A faulty phone and/or phone cord may cause this problem, too. Replace your existing phone with one you know is working to test this. Be sure to plug the replacement phone and cord into the voice portion (white/ivory) of the wall jack.

Short (ping) ring on phone but unable to answer phone: This is usually caused because the call forwarding feature has been enabled. To cancel, dial "122," wait for the tone and hang up.

Unable to answer phone/calls going to another locations: This is usually caused the phone being forwarded. To cancel, dial "122," wait for the tone, and hang up.

Crosstalk: This may be caused by a malfunctioning phone, two buttons pressed down at the same time, or a conference button pressed down. See the steps below for dealing with phones that have no dial tone.

Static/noise on line: This is often caused by a malfunctioning phone or cord. Replace the problem phone and cord with one you know is working. Make sure the phone is plugged into the voice portion of the jack (white/ivory).

Unable to get into voicemail box: If there is a message that states that the box cannot be accessed, a passcode reset may be needed. Contact Telephone Services at 414-229-5800 to have your passcode reset.

No dial tone:  It is important to check the following on ALL phones with the same number because on malfunctioning phone can affect other phones with the same extension (e.g. phone numbers).  Telephone Services (414-229-5800) can provide a list of room and jack numbers of phones using the same extension.

Check the following for no dial tone situations:

  1. Make sure all cords are securely plugged into the phone itself and the voice portion of the wall jack (white or ivory). The black port in the jack is for data connections and should not be used for telephones.
  2. Check the phone buttons. If two or more are pressed down, this may be the cause.
  3. If there is a conference button on the phone, make sure it is not pressed down.
  4. Replace the malfunctioning phone by plugging the replacement phone and its cord into the wall jack; or try just replacing the phone cord.  New cards can be ordered from Telephone Services (414-229-5800). Phones must be ordered by your department from an outside vendor.
  5. There are several phones that include the problem phone number, unplug one phone, see if the problem is alleviated. If not, plug that phone back in and move on to the next phone until the malfunctioning phone and/or cord are found.

If you have completed the above steps and the problem is not resolved, contact Telephone Services at 414-229-5800 or email