Crackle on phone.

Aug 24, 2018
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We've just moved into our "new" 1985 bungalow. The phone was still live when we moved in ... perfect reception. After a couple of days, we contacted BT, told them we were new, asked for broadband. They promply pulled the plug.

Two weeks later, the phone was live again. Perfect reception.

The following morning, i went through the procedures to get my PC onto broad band. Not a problem. WRONG! The next time we used the phone there was a dreadful crackle ... bad enough to prevent our bank's voice recognition system from being able to recognise my wife's voice.

Contact BT, who checked the lines. No problem they said. They would send an engineer, but it would cost £130 if the fault was due to our equipment. We booked a visit, but cancelled it when the phone suddenly improved. WRONG again! The crackle returned, comes and goes, to varying degrees.

The wires are underground, no telegraph posts. The main (and only) socket is single, so probably probably been there since 1985. I have unhooked all the new broadband gubbins, and plugged in a different phone. That crackles too.

A couple of days ago, BT contacted us, said our broadband speed was slower than it should be, asked us to perform various tests that were beyond our octogenarian abilities. The connection was broken, and they did not get back to us, and we do not know how to get back to the department that called us.

Any comments or suggestions before we make ourselves vunerable to a £130 penalty?




Jan 7, 2009
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United Kingdom
The only thing I can think of would be that there is a missing microfilter on the phone line, which is sometimes required if you have broadband. There's a bit more information on BT's website:

Normally, if you have an unfiltered master socket, you need to use microfilters on all your sockets around the house.

However, if you get the crackle without any broadband stuff in (as you've checked), then I can only think it's a problem that BT may need to fix. You could try plugging a phone in to the master test socket (behind the faceplate there is usually a test socket) and see if it crackles there, if it does, it's almost certainly a problem upstream.

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