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SteveR0151
Beginner
502 Views
Message 1 of 7

"Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

I'm trying to call a large company which uses a call routing service to get you through to the right dept. I call the number with my BT supplied landline and phone, successfully, but when I'm requested to speak what my call is about or key in say 1 for Sales, 2 for Accts etc., my voice responses and phone tones are not accepted by the called system.

I've tried a different phone on my landline and it still doesn't work; I have tried my phone on a neighbours landline and it works successfully for both voice responses and tones.

My conclusion is that my phone  instrument is working fine and there is something wrong with my landline...?

Is there a setting or condition that needs to be set or added to my landline to enable me to use a call routing system..? (This sounds a bizarre question but I'm at a loss of what to do next) I'm not sure the Fault Helpdesk would understand this issue.

Can anyone help..?

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6 REPLIES 6
iniltous
Guru
491 Views
Message 2 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

Unusual problem, if the phone were faulty and the ‘tones’ generated were corrupted or missing , the exchange DTMF receiver in the exchange wouldn’t recognise the keypad info and your call wouldn’t be routed to the company/organisation wanted, the fact it does suggests ( along with the other thing’s tried) the phone is OK , but also ‘proves’ the exchange as OK, similarly the company you called  phone system also gets an ‘OK’, by virtue of a successful call using the same phone from a different  phone line.
AFAIK, the phone system called responds directly to your input ( that’s why you can also speak , for example ‘ billing’ as well as keying 1 for billing ) so the exchange isn’t repeating any tones you generate , they are directly from your apparently working phone.
It’s difficult to envisage a line fault that is not service affecting when ‘signaling’ the exchange with the phone number you require, but is service affecting when signalling the far end company’s phone system ( selecting the  option you want on their call platform).
Usually , if you key nothing , after a few ‘ sorry I didn’t get that’ , you connect you to an agent who should deal with the enquiry or transfer you to someone who can, so in the short term you can do that.
Have you tried another company to see if you can navigate their call platform , if the same issue applies with a different company it would point at something at your end, if another company’s call platform responds correctly l then that adds to the mystery.

Firefox1701
Contributor
440 Views
Message 3 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

Before beginning this,  I must emphasise as I always do that this observation is based entirely on personal experience and not on any technical expertise or inside knowledge.    Indeed,  I would welcome any observations from anyone on here who does have the technical expertise to comment.

Given the information available,  I would guess at the following.    It's my experience that systems such as the one you're trying to navigate through rely not only on receiving the information from the caller's phone,  but receiving it at a volume that allows it to be processed.    As an analogy  ( not a great one,  but still ),  think of it like this:  if you spoke to a human being on the other end  ( you should be so lucky )  but whispered the name or extension number you wanted,  they would be unable to hear you  ( or at least unable to hear you clearly )  and would therefore be unable to comply with your request.    If you gave the same information but spoke in a louder voice,  they would hear you and be able to comply with your request.

For whatever reason,  if the transmission volume on your line is quieter than the transmission volume on your neighbour's line,  it is conceivable that you might get the results you're getting.    This  -  if it is the case  -  is a line / exchange issue and not influenced by any telephone you might plug in to your landline socket  ( although the one piece of information you haven't provided is whether or not you've tried any other known working phone on your own landline,  and whether or not that has made any difference ).    Based on my own experience,  one factor which can sometimes influence both reception and transmission volume on your line is physical distance from the exchange to which you're connected;   although given that you've had successful results from your neighbour's line,  that doesn't seem likely in this case.    I don't have the technical knowledge to know what other factors might cause  'quieter transmission volume'  ( for want of a better term )  on your line;   I only know from personal experience that it can be a factor.    I regret to say that if,  perchance,  I'm right,  I also don't know what can be done about it;   in my own case,  the answer was  'nothing',  or at least nothing that six months of wrestling with BT could come up with.

I'm sorry it's not more cheering,  but at least,  possibly,  it might go some way to ascertaining the cause of the problem.

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SteveR0151
Beginner
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Message 4 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

Thanks for taking the time to respond with your thoughts.....

Basically, I have tried 2 different organisations who I know use the Voice/Keytone call routing system and the result is the same for both. Therefore, I think if all else fails and I need to call them again, I will simply wait for the "Sorry I didn't get that" announcements to expire and wait for an agent to answer. Failing that, I will use my mobile, which I ended up doing a day or so ago, which worked perfectly. If I get a workable solution, I will post on this thread on the off chance that somebody else experiences a similar issue....

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SteveR0151
Beginner
416 Views
Message 5 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

Thanks for taking the time to respond with your thoughts.....

My house is approximately 1 mile from the local telephone exchange and so I'm sure that my service should be more than adequate, which it has been up until this issue.

Also, I have tried another working telephone instrument on my landline and the result is the same. I understand the theory you suggest about the transmission volume being low and I guess that may well be the case. Now I simply need to convince BT to run some checks and see what they can find...If I do get a workable solution, I will post the results on this thread on the off chance that somebody else encounters a similar issue....

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Firefox1701
Contributor
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Message 6 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

If you've now tried another phone on the same landline and achieved the same result,  I would suggest that my theory is at least worthy of investigation  -  if you can get BT to investigate it.    The only other thing I would mention is that although it is often the case that these menus will put you through to a human being after three  'I didn't get that's,  there are also those who will simply cut you off altogether at that point.    Only trial and error will tell you which applies in this case.

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iniltous
Guru
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Message 7 of 7

Re: "Key Tones" won't work on automated call routing systems

If the problem is poor transmission, do you ever get told to ‘speak up’ when on a call because the called party struggle to hear you ?

Chances are you are connected in a quite old exchange ( the exchanges were upgraded to digital mid 1980’s to the mid 1990’s ) so can be getting on a bit, and although some ‘age related’ commons issues are widely known, it’s conceivable that your issue is age related, possibly not as common as some other issues .

If you  report the problem as ( for example ) poor transmission , there is a reasonable chance you will get an Openreach engineer , even if it’s suspected to be an ‘exchange’ problem , and they are limited in what they can do ( primarily concerned with the ‘wires’ between the exchange and your property not the switching network, ) but they can (usually) arrange to have your line ‘shifted’ onto a different line card  port in the exchange, it may be worth asking for that (if you get a fault raised and a visit or call from Openreach) , if nothing else , it eliminates  the exchange line card as a possible cause.

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