cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Problem calling a number abroad

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,118
Thanks: 42
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Problem calling a number abroad

I am looking for advice concerning a number in France which I regualarly call from my Plusnet home phone, but have been unable to reach now for more than a week.  It is bizarre.

Whenever I call this number, there is silence followed eventually by a click and then the standard BT voice saying "The other person has hung up".

I can call any other telephone number in France without any difficulty.  However, the person with the problem number can find absolutely nothing the matter.  He is still receiving calls quite normally from other people, both in France and in the UK.  He can call me in the UK without any issue.  It is only me who cannot call him for some strange reason.

He cannot report a fault to his telephone supplier, because he is not experiencing a fault.  Only I am experiencing the fault when I call from the UK.  As I have said other people from the UK can call him without problem.

 

I have of course double checked the telephone digits which I regularly call and there is nothing wrong with them.

I do not know where to go with this and the suspicion is that there may be a Plusnet issue, but if so, why would it apply only to this particular number ?  I have a house in France and I use exactly the same service provider on my land line there as he does.  I am able to call my house (only a mile away from his house) from the UK without difficulty.

So I would appreciate any thoughts about this or a possible explanation.

 

27 REPLIES
198kHz
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 3,502
Thanks: 430
Fixes: 13
Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

Hmmm, now that is a very odd one. Huh

I have to say firstly that you've explained the issue in a very comprehensive and clear manner - if only it was always so.  Wink

It's a long time since I left BT, and I've virtually no experience of international call problems, but I'd hazard a guess from the symptoms that the call is not making it out of the UK.

Digital routing does funny things - when my exchange in Worcester went over to System X in 1989, I'd get no tone when calling a particular London number. After many weeks the fault was traced to a switching centre in Gloucester.

EDIT: A couple of thoughts -

Does this happen every time?

Do you know anyone on the same exchange - preferably in the same numbering range - whose line you could try?

Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,627
Thanks: 262
Fixes: 75
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

Hi Shermans, 

 

I can see we've been looking into a line fault for a while for you,  I just want to double check, did this start to happen after that issue was reported or is that one and the same problem?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,118
Thanks: 42
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

Thanks for the reply.  The answer is "No".  This is a new issue and I do not think it is necessarily connected.  However, Openreach have been up and down the poles in our lane like monkies for the past few weeks.  Our neighbours were without telephone for two weeks, and our other neighbours were without telephone yesterday.  When the Openreach engineer came last three weeks ago concerning the fault which you mention, it was during the two weeks when our neighbour was without telephone, but the engineer said the two issues were not connected because he is on cable while I am on fibre.

The issue with the French number is much more recent, only for the last week.  I have just tried the number once again, by the way, with the same result. I tried my own French number and it rang immediately.

198kHz
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 3,502
Thanks: 430
Fixes: 13
Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Problem calling a number abroad


@198kHz wrote:

 

Do you know anyone on the same exchange - preferably in the same numbering range - whose line you could try?


Sorry, I should have been clearer.

Do you know anyone on your exchange, preferably in the same numbering range, whose line you could try to call the French problem number?

Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,774
Thanks: 439
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

I think you're best off speaking to a neighbour and ask if you can test it from their phone.
Chances are it'll be the same exchange and number range.

That's just to rule your line out.

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,118
Thanks: 42
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

I can ask my neighbour.

The question going through my mind, however, is whether it makes any difference that I have fibre and they have copper.  I am not technical.  We are very rural with only a few houses around us.  We are not knowingly VOIP or anything like that, but the fibre was only laid across the fields less than a year ago, when we opted to uppgrade to the 20 mbps service via the new cabinet a mile away at the end of our lane, while our neighbours all around have stayed with the previous snail's pace copper service running over the fields overhead to the village exchange another mile in the other direction.

 

I do not know whether my telephone (voice) is routed through the old overhead copper from our village exchange or via the new  fibre from the cabinet at the end of our lane.    We only have the original copper cable coming into the house from the telephone pole in the lane, where I assume we are connected to the fibre.

 

Is it possible that the house cable is split into voice and data, and the voice is connected at the pole to the exchange down the old copper line while the data is connected at the pole to the new cabinet along the fibre  ?  Or would both voice and data now run together along the fibre to the cabinet ?  All I know is that the last 30 feet from the pole outside my house to the house itself is the original copper and I am not aware that it has ever been changed during the 42 years we have lived here. (When we arrived, everyone except us, had a party line; we bought from the doctor who had a separate line which we inherited, and we were the envy of all our neighbours, especially as we were newcomers !)

So in answer to your question, I can ask my neighbour; they are in the same number block as we are.  But they are connected with copper to the exchange while we are connected by fibre to a cabinet.  Would it therefore make any difference trying the French number on their line ?  I do not know of anyone else around us who has upgraded to fibre like us.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,896
Thanks: 941
Fixes: 57
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

If you're Fibre to the cabinet(FTTC) which it sounds like you are, then the voice path is no different to your neighbour.

With FTTC the data runs over the same copper as the voice, until it gets to the cabinet, at which point the data splits off into the fibre , whilst the voice continues exactly as before via the copper lines to the exchange

shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,118
Thanks: 42
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

Thanks for the information.  I do not really know what I am !  All I do know is that I used to be a standard broadband customer based on a 100% copper service.  Then Openreach dug a trench in a field from the cabinet at the end of the lane for about a mile alongside my house and on for about another 500 yards, where the trench terminates and the fibre presumably goes up a pole to connect to the houses it is designed to service.  There are several poles between my house and where the trench ends, which I assume carry the fibre service to the various houses (but I do not know of course) including my own.  I am not aware that any overhead cables between the poles were replaced.

Shortly after the fibre was laid, we were invited to upgrade to a 20 Mb broadband service instead of the previous 4 Mb.

There is definitely still a copper cable crossing the fields to the village exchange in another direction.  To my knowledge, the cable going directly to the exchange goes nowhere near the cabinet at the end of the lane.  However, when Openreach installed the cabinet at the end of the lane, they dug a trench in the road which I was told connected to the underground network serving the village and of course the exchange.  It is all a big mystery to me ! 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,877
Thanks: 1,240
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

This is rather off topic for your original query but might help understanding.

If you put your phone number into the BT dsl checker https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/ it should tell you which cabinet you are connected to and (on the left) what services are available. If it says VDSL this is FTTC.

Generally phone cabinets (PCPs) have a fibre cabinet nearby. Kitz's cabinet page https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/fttc-cabinets.htm has some helpful images. Also on that page is an image of an All in One phone and fibre cabinet which sometimes are used in remoter areas.

Do any of the images shown tie up with what is in your locality?

David
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,896
Thanks: 941
Fixes: 57
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

@shermans Plusnet only provide a full fibre to the home FTTH as a trial and it would have involved Openreach fitting a fibre termination box inside your house. So I'm sure you would know if that's the case!

Anyway it doesn't really matter, since with Plusnet, your phone service would continue to be provided over the copper line

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,932
Thanks: 4,231
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

To eliminate all possibilities - do you have a different telephone handset you could try dialling the number from? One presumes the handset is fine, but there is always a finite possibility that it could have a problem generating the tone for a given digit.

Do you have a mobile phone you can test dial from?

PlusNET do not at any level have any technical
Involvement in the operation of voice services - they simply buy bulk wholesale services provided by the BT network and sell them to end retail subscribers.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,774
Thanks: 439
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

That's a good point @Townman

I remember staying in a hotel where the phone had a dial tone, but the keypad didn't work at all. Nothing when you pressed any buttons. I remember making a call from the phone to another room using my mobile phone tones. Didn't think it would work, but I was amazed when it did Cheesy

What you could try I guess is:

  1. Try it from your neighbour. See if it works.
  2. Ask if they don't mind you borrowing their phone for an hour or two (saves you buying another phone if you don't already have one).
  3. Try it on your line, if it works. Then it'll be the handset needs replacing. Just say to yourself "Well I was always thinking of upgrading it anyway". Smiley
shermans
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,118
Thanks: 42
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎07-09-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

The links are very helpful and confirms that I am on VDSL / FTTC, although FTTP (I guess that is  Fibre To The Pole ?) is available.  The cabinet is just like the one at the end of the lane, a mile from the house.  And in answer to MisterW's question, No, Openreach has not fitted anything inside the house in respect of Broadband; I do not even remember them doing anything up my pole (except constantly check it for faults !)  I have tried several different handsets of course also to eliminate that possibility.  Mobile calls work to France without issue.

So from all the very helpful posts, it appears that I can safely try calling France from my neighbour's phone, as it is in the same range and see if it rings, and I will post back when I know.

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,774
Thanks: 439
Fixes: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Problem calling a number abroad

Sounds like you've done all the checks you can already.

I would assume you'd need to raise a landline fault and stress this number can be called from other phones within the UK so I think the problem is my side (otherwise you'll get told it is the other side).

Are there any other French numbers you can call? I would do a test call to some call centre to see if it works. If it doesn't then it'll support you even more.