Answers to Teleconference FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Questions, answered below:
- How can we increase the privacy of our call?
- What do we do if there is unwanted noise on the call?
- How do we know who is on the call?
- What do we do if we cannot get on the call at the time we schedule?
- How can we provide a toll-free call for our guests?
- How does Telebridge work for callers outside the U.S.?
1) How can we increase the privacy of our call?
On full-time Telebridges, the host may request individual security PINs to be assigned to authorized callers. The number of security PINs assigned match the bridge capacity.
When callers enter the call, they will be asked for both a Host or Guest PIN and a security PIN. When all expected callers have arrived on the call, the host can secure the conference and prevent the entry of additional guests by pressing *7. To unlock the conference and deactivate the security feature, the host may press *7 again.
2) What do we do if there is unwanted noise on the call?
You may place the guests on mute by pressing *5. This provides control over background noise. Un-mute the call to allow the guests to speak by again pressing *5.
Noises on the bridge are usually caused by one of the guests’ phone lines or equipment. Situations that create noise include cordless phones, speaker phones, wireless head sets. Some cell phones may produce an echo effect.
Hanging up and calling in again will give you a different circuit and may eliminate the problem.
If you hear a noise while facilitating a conference call, ask the guests if anyone is on one of the phones or headsets mentioned above. If so, ask them to switch to wired earbuds/headset or hang up and call back on a different device or mute themselves by pressing *6. This is likely to resolve the problem.
Noticing when the noise starts and asking who just joined the call can help identify the source of the noise.
If you are hearing beeps every few seconds, as the host, it is important that you begin by stating that you hear the beeps and ask the callers if someone hears a beeping sound in the room where they are located. If so, ask them to mute their phone. If not, ask if anyone has a low-battery on his or her cell or cordless phone or if they are recording the call. If no one identifies his or her phone as being the source of the beep, ask everyone to hang up and call back in. These beeps would be different than the entry and exit tones that are heard when callers join or leave the call.
3) How do we know who is on the call?
Full-time Telebridge accounts may request the name record/playback feature which allows each guest to record their name before entering the conference so that (by pressing *8) a roster of guests that are currently in conference may be played back. This feature may also be used for entry and exit announcements so you will hear the name of the guests who are entering or exiting the call.
Full-time Telebridge accounts all use Advanced Telebridges, which include a web-based Live Conference Viewer. The Viewer displays a real-time list of all phone numbers currently accessing the Telebridge and enables web-based management of many call features.
4) What do we do if we cannot get on the Telebridge at the time we schedule?
Circuits are Busy
If you dial in and get a message that says, “all circuits are busy, please try your call again later” or a fast busy signal, this is a universal long distance signal. It means that the local or long distance switch is too full to get callers through. Because telephone companies are sometimes unable to meet the demands of call volume, we can’t guarantee full capacity on your Telebridge.
If you receive a recording that says, “you have entered an invalid PIN”. Check your PIN and try your call again. Be sure you are following these steps to help assure you are connected.
- Wait to enter your PIN until the end of the recording asking you to enter the PIN.
- Wait for a beep before you enter the PIN (not all bridges will have a beep).
- Enter the # sign after the PIN.
Some VoIP phones have Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) tones the bridge does not understand. Using a VoIP phone may result in dialing into an incorrect bridge PIN or not being able to access the call with a PIN, because the teleconference system cannot interpret the PIN.
Another reason you may get an invalid PIN message is if your phone system is not programmed correctly. In this case, you will need to talk with your telephone service to have them re-program the phone.
A slow busy signal means the Telebridge line has shut down, it is likely because it is full. It is best to check the number and dial again. If you still receive a busy signal, you are likely to get a busy signal for the duration of the teleconference. Call Telebridge at 503-888-5796 or email us at email@example.com.
Guests or hosts may individually experience the conference call being terminated unexpectedly. This is usually due to the use of a wireless mobile phone that has moved out of reach of the wireless network, has experienced network interference or has lost battery power. If this happens, hang up and try your call again.
If everyone on the call is dropped at the same time, this may be due to a feature called “auto hang up” which is activated on all of our bridges. This feature may be eliminated on full-time Telebridge accounts, at your request. This is how it works: When anyone on the host PIN hangs up, the call is terminated for everyone on the call at the same time.
If the dropped call is not due to a cell phone or auto hang up, it could be a bridge software problem. In this case, notify Telebridge at 503-888-5796 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, identifying the bridge, time and date of your call.
5) How can we provide a toll-free call for our guests?
Open a full-time Telebridge account. Contract with a separate toll-free service and ask them to direct your 800 number to your Telebridge dial-in number. Give the toll-free number to your guests, along with the PIN.
6) How does Telebridge work for callers outside the U.S.?
You may call into Telebridge as a Host or a Guest from anywhere in the world. Consider time zone differences when scheduling your call. Callers will need to add a country code to the Telebridge number.
One thing to keep in mind is that long-distance calls using standard carriers are usually more expensive. Consequently, callers outside the US are more likely to rely on methods to reduce their long-distance expenses, including calling cards, cell phone, and VoIP. These technologies may create problems with the quality of the call as well as the ability to decipher tones when entering PINs.