Saturday, May 20, 2017

Message Waiting Indicator (MWI) Light: How to Fix If It Stops Working

[Prefatory Note: While this involved Cox Communications, it's applicable to all ISPs]

Something went wrong with my Cox voice mail so that I could not access it nor could anyone calling in. Cox Level 1 tech support did something where the voice mail box got re-activated. After that, the MWI light did not come on when a message was left. I talked to Level 2 who said this had nothing to do with any Cox signal or setting. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he said he was a supervisor and refused to help any further. I phoned back to Level 1 and got a very nice rep who tried some things but they did not work. I did further research and confirmed that the problem is NOT with my phone and is the result of Cox not sending out some signal or setting. In fact, on Cox’s own webpage, it states that MWI is a Cox feature along with the stutter tone. I phoned back in to Cox and was again told there was nothing Cox could do. The next day I phoned Cox again, and got another Level 1 rep who was very nice, and acknowledged that MWI is a notification that Cox says is part of its phone offering. She asked for time to research the problem. I then got a call from Level 2, which had been referred to by the Level 1 rep. He indeed said the problem was at the Cox end. And he fixed it. For your future reference, if this happens to you, here's what to say to Cox:

1. Tell them MWI is a feature on the Cox phone support webpage.

2. Tell them, if you have an AASTRA 470 or similar phone, that, according to the manufacturer, this phone only responds to CLASS message Waiting (FSK) signal from the phone company, and if the phone has been shut down or turned off (change of service with phone company or new set up), then the phone company needs to restore the Class message.

2. Tell them to clear your number.

3. Tell them to remove the message waiting cue and then put it back on.

4. Tell them to reboot the modem (twice if it doesn't reboot the first time).

5.  Write an email to or leave a voice mail message for their supervisor giving praise to the last two reps as being credits to Cox and excoriating the first 6 reps and noting that the issue should be included in Cox documentation for all the reps to easily access.

6. Feel free to ignore an email from Cox alerting you to an appointment for service at your home that you did not ask for and never was told was going to happen.

7. Write an email to Cox telling them to alert the phone support group about the issue. You should get back a response that says: "I apologize you received the run around regarding this issue, but yes, that is a Cox issue." 

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