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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Qwest Rant: Stop Ringing My Phone After Midnight

Do any other Qwest customers get the phantom half-ring between midnight and 1 a.m.? We have had this problem here at Lake Herman for several years. Last night, we were up late chatting when our phone gave one crisp half-ring. No further ring, no one on the line, just a single truncated ring, happening on our old phone and new phone alike.

Now the sound of a phone ringing in the middle of the night is fraught with doom. A midnight call means either disaster or prankster; either way, we are conditioned to respond with a surge of fight-or-flee adrenaline.

In our case, we've learned our choice is to fight or flee Qwest. We have called numerous times to ask them to fix the problem. The closest thing to a logical explanation Qwest's operators have offered is that the half-ring is a side effect of the scheduled line tests they automatically conduct in the middle of the night to make sure our phone is working. Evidently the voltage the phone company uses is enough to set off the ringer.

We've asked Qwest to fix it. Their reps have told us they'd fix it. They never have. I've told the Qwest rep they are welcome to not check whether our phone is working, vowing that, really, if our phone isn't working, we'll run over to the neighbors' and let Qwest know we have a problem... in the morning.

We found this noise particularly exasperating when our Divine Miss K was a little baby learning to sleep through the night. Any little midnight noise could rouse her for a gloomy session of crying and rocking. Thank you, Qwest, for testing our parenting ability.

Our little one sleeps more soundly now (last night's thunderstorm didn't even rouse her!). Yet the phantom ring remains a mild annoyance. But even more annoying than the unwanted noise intruding on our house in the middle of the night is the runaround we get from Qwest "customer service" in the morning.

One more time, Qwest: our phone works. You don't need to test it. Hit the little button on your computer that will fix this problem.


  1. Cory... Get a cell phone and ditch the land line. At least if someone calls, you can set the phone to "vibrate" and not wake anyone else trying to sleep. :)

  2. 10:10 p.m. That's when our phone does usual ring thing only it does 2 short rings. Last night I noticed it later like you did. I've called and they never gave an explanation. The only reason we keep landline is when electricity goes out we can call someone (our old telephone with cord to phone receiver part). Usually the cell goes dead with no electricity - anyway here it does.

    Grandma again

  3. Black helicopters flying close to the ground induce magnetic fields which surge through the phone lines.

    Put a tinfoil hat over your phone.

  4. It is the ghosts of South Dakota's conservative pioneers trying to communicate from the beyond.. I think their message is they didn't need someone holding their hand to make this nation the strongest in history... :-D

  5. Those ghosts need marketing advice, Stace—calling me after midnight is a sure way to get me to reject their message... or call on the PUC and state government to help kick some Qwest keester for poor service!

  6. Cory,

    The PUC has contacted Qwest and had your number removed from phantom testing. Hope all is well.

    Dusty Johnson

  7. Remove ours from testing too!


  8. Commissioner Johnson! All will be really well if Qwest follows through on your request better than it did on mine. Thanks!

    (By the way, Dusty, "Grandma" above is fellow Qwest customer Ruth Heidelberger. I'll encourage her to call your office. :-) )


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