Mobile Phone not working with voicemail, etc?


q7 Do you have a mobile phone which doesn’t work with voicemail or any online phone systems where you have to manually key in numbers?  Most phones and handsets have no problem, but for a while now my Motorola wasn’t playing ball. 

It turns out that somehow the DTMF setting was set to off for some reason, and as a result, my phone wouldn’t work with any phone systems.

Here’s what I found on a help support forum:

Several of our phones offer the option of turning the DTMF Tones or Scratchpad Tones on and off.  These tones allow the phone to transmit signals via the keypad tones over the air.  The main purpose of this is to allow you to navigate phone menus or enter keypad selections on phone systems.  This feature is most commonly used when checking your voice mail.  By turning the DTMF or Scratchpad tones off, you will disable the phones ability to navigate these menus.  You will need to check the manual for specifics on turning them on, but most phones will have this option in the Tone Control, or Call Settings main menu.

For my phone, the setting was located under Settings\Phone\(Second Screen)\DTMF.  The options are: Short | Long | Off

Disabling DTMF causes the handset not to send the “tones” for when you interact with phone menus.  This can be an increasingly frustrating (and costly) little problem to run into.

Now, the interesting thing is that I still don’t hear any keypad tones when I key in numbers (whilst in a call), but the handset does send the correct signals over the air.  Funky.


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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