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HELP! Can't receive faxes with Verizon Phone Service

HELP! Can't receive faxes with Verizon Phone Service

Contributor KF3CD
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-01-2010
Message 1 of 16

I'm totally frustrated and between me and my pop, we have spent many hours on the phone with Verizon yesterday and today. My dad just switched to Verizon's digital phone service and was assured that "nothing" would change with this ew service. As soon as he switched, calls started going to the Verizon voice mail service...and of course, just like they did to me last year, they gave him no instructions about how to pick up messages, no password etc. He didn't want this service and after a few calls and being on hold for what seemed like forever, they turned off the voice mail service. He then discovered that he couldn't receive faxes and he runs a business from home so he was pretty upset when he started getting calls from customers that couldn't fax in their orders. He can send faxes fine but can't receive them. He has a phone number for the fax with distictive ring that the fax machine always answered with no problem until the switch and after add'l calls, Verizon made sure that the distinctive ring was on, I think they had turned it off during the switch. We have both read the manual for the Panasonic fax machine and everything looks to be set up and on correctly...there's not much to it, it just has to be on auto receive. He has called customer service many times and nobody has any idea why it stopped working and why he can send faxes fine but not receive. I have been up and down the internet and boards looking for the answer and can't find it. Does anyone have any idea what is wrong? Is there more than one type of distinctive ring? Could they have put the wrong type of ring on the line? Thanks for reading and have a great 4th! God bless America!   

Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
Message 2 of 16

I just had VZ digital phone service installed a few weeks ago and I was wondering the same thing about my fax machine. The good news for me is that it still works fine.


You might try to check the following setup items. I know this might seem obvious to you, but I will list some here just in case...


Make sure the machine is set to automatically receive faxes, not in manual receive mode. But you already knew that.


Do you have an answering machine attached? Some fax machines can support them. Just make sure the fax machine setup is set to "TAD" or something similar. Also make sure the answer on ring count is equal to or more than the answering machine setup count. For example if the answering  machine is set to answer after 4 rings, make sure the fax machine is set at least to 4. That way the fax machine will "listen in" on the incoming call, and when it detects fax tones it will take over reception. This all assumes that your fax machine supports this function.


Just in case you want to test the fax machine without involving his customers, there is a toll-free service run by HP that will receive your fax and then send you one back in 5 minutes or less. It is at  1-888-473-2963.


Silver Contributor III
Silver Contributor III
Posts: 402
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
Message 3 of 16

You can probably disregard my previous post. Those suggestions will probably not help you.


It sounds like you now have a different distinctive ring pattern than before. You will have to check you user manual to determine which pattern your fax machine is set to use. Listen to the incoming fax ring and compare it with the one described in the fax machine manual. If it does not match, you can either call Verizon to request the one set on your machine or reset your machine to match the new ring pattern. As I understand, the most popular fax/distinctive ring pattern is "two short" rings. Others are "one short-one long-one short" and "two short-one long". A normal non-distincive ring is called "one long". All patterns are separated by the next repetition of the pattern by a pause.

Contributor RockinRobyn
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-24-2010
Message 4 of 16

I thought I was the only one having trouble with my one-point Voice Mail system.  We have a HP copier/faxer and want to set up the fax feature using the distinctive ring option:  single ring = phone call with voice mail, double ring for the fax to pick up.


We followed the fax machine instructions and set the ring patter to double.  We can now send and receive faxes, BUT when a phone call comes in the fax machine picks up.  No one at Hewlett Packard or Verizon have the answer. 


Did you ever find a Solution?  (short of going to an answering machine and being present to receive faxes)

Bronze Contributor III
Bronze Contributor III
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎09-11-2009
Message 5 of 16

For setting up distinctive ring on Digital Voice you need to access your voice features online at http://www.verizon.com/fiosvoice



Select Calling Features > Distinctive Ring and set the ring tone from there for the selected phone number.  Not all fax machines are compatible with Digital Voice.

~~ "It's not a bug. It's an undocumented feature."
Contributor vintod
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-12-2010
Message 6 of 16

I had the same or a similar problem.  I couldn't receive faxes - VZ voicemail was getting the message and my HP Officejet Pro 8500 wasn't hearing the signal for auto-answer to work to receive faxes.  I was still able to send them fine, however.  After spending an hour on hold waiting for a representative (who was very helpful, by the way), we changed the number of rings it takes for VZ's VM to pick up.  We changed it from 4 to 6 rings.  After that I was able to receive faxes.  I think this feature (number of rings) can be changed online.

Contributor JVC527
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-11-2010
Message 7 of 16


Contributor MaxxReps
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-06-2011
Message 8 of 16

I have followed these steps , (. www.verizon.com/fiosvoice , entered my account , selected " Call Features ) and for the life of me I cannot locate " Distinctive Ring " as an option . Has anyone actually seen and selected this option ? If yes , would you plz help me get to it . Thx in advance .  However , I am still able to use my fax without distinctive ring . When phone ring and I answer , if i hear a fax tone , I can either hit 123 on my phone and hangup , or hit start on my fax , and I do successfully receive . Also no problems sending . I use a HP Officejet 6500A .

Contributor jamsnd
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-16-2012
Message 9 of 16
I too can send a fax but fax does not recognize distinctive ring anymore. I think it is due to now phone line is digital and Fax is many years old. Verizon has not been able to help. Thinking of trying an newer fax maching to test. jamsnd
Contributor lily458
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-25-2012
Message 10 of 16

Best advice is drop Verizon.  They do not fix problems and do not care.  I have been a customer for many years.  I want one simple change.  I have 2 land lines.  Want to drop phone number in bundle and replace it with my other phone.  OHHHHHHHHHHH what a problem.  After trying 4 times to reach someone, she had no idea what I was talking about.  First she said it couldn't be done.  I told her then I would go to Comcast.  Then she said it would be done and someone would call me the next day and clicked the phone in my ear.  No one called.

I have read many complaints and it seems to me that no one gets their problems fixed and Verizon could care less about keeping a customer.  Comcast, here I come.

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