What to do if you can't hear the caller or they can't hear you

You make a call. But you can't hear the person's voice, or they can't hear you. What can you do?

To fix the problem, first you need to isolate the cause. Is your phone damaged, or is there something wrong with your phone service? Does the problem happen on ALL calls from ALL phones? Read on for more ways to figure out the source of the problem.

Check your equipment

Start by examining your phone equipment. Damaged phones, worn cords or faulty jacks can cause reception problems. Here are a few common issues you should check.


  • Most phones have adjustable volume controls. If you pick up the receiver and can't hear anyone talking, check the volume setting and try turning it up. Note: If people at a particular number keep commenting that they can't hear you, ask them to check their speaker volume.
  • If you have a cordless phone, the batteries might need to be charged. Swap them out with fresh ones and see if that solves the problem.
  • If the problem only seems to happen on one phone, try plugging a different phone into that same jack. Then make a call from the new phone to see if the issue is resolved; if not, there could be a problem with that jack.
  • How many things do you have plugged into your phone jacks? Each line can only support so much. Unplug all your equipment and then plug in each device one by one. When the problem shows up again, you know you've reached the maximum load capacity for your phone line.

Look for other sources of the problem

Does the problem happen on all calls from all phones? If not, pay attention to whether it is isolated to specific numbers or certain calls. For instance, does it only happen when you make long distance calls

If the problem impacts all calls, consider whether there's too much noise on your line. If so, there are steps you can take to get rid of annoying noise on your line.

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