Can't Receive Calls: Fixed Phone Troubleshooting

If you have dial tone and can make calls, but not receive them on your Home / Office Phone, the following troubleshooting steps should help to eliminate the most common causes of these types of problems.

If you (also) don't have dial tone, see this troubleshooting article instead.


Step 1: Is there a known issue with our network?

Check if there is a known problem with the Optus Network in your area. You can check our network status by clicking here.

If we've posted a problem and it relates to the issue you're experiencing, continue to monitor the page for a resolution or further updates.

If you suspect that your issue is only partially caused by a listed outage/problem or that it extends beyond the estimated time for rectification, we recommend following the steps, below.


Step 2: Are your bills up to date?

Double check that your accounts / bills are not overdue.


Step 3: Check for and cancel any diversions

Check that your phone is not diverting to another number. Active network diversions can be removed by dialling #78 from your Home / Office Phone.

If your Home/Office Phone has an in-built diversion (non-Optus based) setting, check that it's also not active.


Step 4: If your phone line connects via an Optus eMTA / modem (NBN & some Cable services)

  1. Reboot or reset the modem/eMTA that your phone line runs through.
  2. Wait for the modem to re-establish a stable connection / lights are showing a consistent pattern. (Up to 3 min)
  3. Check if the issue has been resolved

Step 5: Double check your connections

Check your handsets & sockets

Ensure all of your handsets/cradles are securely plugged into their respective wall sockets and that all of your handsets are properly hung up or on standby.

If you have cordless handset(s)

Check that your cordless handsets are holding charge and your batteries are not flat. Make sure each handset is securely inserted in its base station cradle and that the handset has 'registered' with the base station correctly.

Make sure your handsets are within range of the base station/cradle as specified by your manufacturer. Walls, floors, ceilings and other electrical equipment can interfere with or weaken their range.

Make sure there is at least 30 cm separation between the base station / handset and any other wireless broadcasting or high power equipment in your home. eg. wireless doorbells, Wi-Fi routers, repeaters, Bluetooth devices, computers, microwaves, etc.


Step 6: Double check your connections

Is it only happening with some numbers?

If the issue only occurs with a few people trying to contact you, we'll need some details before we can fix it up.

  • Prior to calling us try to get the phone numbers of the people who are unable to contact you, the name of their carrier and an estimate of the date and time of their attempted call(s).

Once you have this info contact our Service Difficulties & Faults Team on 13 13 44 (Open 24/7). Calls to this number from an Optus Mobile Phone are not timed.


Step 7: Unplug your equipment and test

Conduct an 'isolation test' to determine if the problem is caused by one piece or a combination of your equipment. Unplug/disconnect all phones and any other equipment that is currently connected to your phone sockets. This can include DSL internet filters, double adaptors, answering machines, DSL modems/routers extension cords, fax machines / printers, smart appliances, eftPOS terminals, Pay TV boxes, extension cords, double adaptors, answering machines, etc.

Then plug only 1 handset (preferably a corded phone) back into the line.

If your service starts receiving calls again:

You've established that some of or a combination of your equipment is causing the problem. To identify the specific piece equipment or combination that's causing the issue:

  • Reconnect each piece of equipment, one piece at a time.
  • Check if the problem has been resolved
  • Continue to reconnect your equipment and check if the issue recurs

If you're unable to receive calls after connecting a specific piece of equipment - you have identified the source of the issue.

If your service is still not working as it should:

Please leave everything unplugged, except for one handset and contact Service Difficulties & Faults on 13 13 44 (Open 24/7). Calls to this number from an Optus Mobile Phone service are not timed.

Please note: We may ask you to repeat some of these troubleshooting steps while we check for any network related issues/responses to these steps.