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Repair and disassembly information for AT&T landline telephones.

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Can't receive incoming landline calls. It gives caller a busy signal

My phone is hung up properly. I can make outgoing calls but cannot receive incoming. The caller receives a busy signal when calling.

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I simply get nothing when I disconnect the line.


Have tried disconnecting line and power in order for phone to reset. No luck.


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Hi @jillharrington1 ,

What signal do you get if you disconnect your landline phone from the phone socket and then call your number from another phone? (assuming that you have nothing else connected to the phone line - if so disconnect it as well e.g. another phone, adsl modem etc)

Can you hear any noise on the line when you pick up your phone and just dial a digit to break the dialing tone? A good line should be quiet, no static or noise.

If you still get a busy signal with everything disconnected from the phone line and your line is noisy (or even if it is not) contact your phone service provider and report the problem.

Tell them what you have tried.

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4 years later...

So I was having intermittent internet issues (which happens every 5-6 months or so) the techs say this is common (?!) but everyone else says "copper is dead". I would agree but I can't spend $200 on internet + landline and this is the least expensive way to go.

I get a dial tone when I pick up the landline (but it's oddly distant-sounding) and when I call another phone I get a fast-paced busy signal (very strange) since I'm calling mobile phones that all have call waiting and I know the phones that I'm calling are not in use.

I ordered a new landline so hopefully, that will address the phone issues but the intermittent internet is another story.

Tech is scheduled for this coming Tuesday but they were just out 2 weeks ago! And about 3 weeks before that, and 2 months before that, and 4 months before that (and so on). 😒



I don't hear static or anything other than the dial tone when picking up the landline. When I call another phone I get busy signals. I had tech support call the landline in question and he said it "timed out" but eventually turned into the fast-paced busy signal.



I'm assuming that the phone is connected to your internet modem and is not connected to a separate telephone line socket i.e. voice over internet connection (VOIP), is this correct?

If so, try resetting the modem by switching it off, waiting 5 minutes and then turning it back on again.

Allow it to initialise and then check if you can make/receive calls OK.

If still no good check the phone settings in the modem's setup page.

If you don't know what they should be or if they're OK or not contact your service provider and ask them

If they're OK, still contact your service provider to find out why outgoing/incoming calls aren't getting through, especially if your internet is working at the time


This worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing :)


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Hi @ndduncan

If you disconnect everything from your telephone line, what signal do you hear in another phone e.g. a mobile phone, that you are using to call your landline number, ringtone, engaged tone, voice announcement or nothing at all?

If you get the engaged signal, voice announcement or nothing at all contact your landline service provider about the problem

If you hear a ringtone signal, use a pair of scissors or a screwdriver to short out the two telephone wires in the phone socket in your premises when you hear the ringtone in the calling phone.

If the ringtone stops in the calling phone when you do this, this proves that the line is good to the premises and that there may be a problem with the base station or the cord to the base station, if it is a portable phone or the phone itself if it is a corded phone.

If the ringtone continues in the calling phone when you do this then there is a problem with the line or you're not doing it correctly. If you're sure that you're doing it right then call your landline service provider about the problem.

What is the make and model number of the phone?

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My sister's phone has not worked for over a month and century link has no plans of fixing the problem but still wants her to pay for services why?



If there's no service and she's still having to pay, escalate the problem with the service provider and ask to talk to the service manager about why it isn't being fixed.

This is assuming that the service includes repairing any faults external to your sister's premises.

If the problem is in her premises most service providers consider that it is up to the owner of the phone to fix the problem. They only fix up to where the telephone cable connects to the first phone socket in the premises

The procedure outlined in my answer above shows how to prove whether the problem is in the premises or outside


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Jill Harrington zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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