Does this sound familiar?
phone service was recently upgraded from old style analogue lines for a new, state-of-the-art digital technology. All your calls are now crystal clear. You can get connected to the Internet 100X faster and e-mail your full in the blink of an eye.
Phone companies are switching their systems to the latest technology in order to better serve its customers. Out with the old, in with the new.
But, what happened to the credit card terminal? It suddenly does not work as well as it use to, or maybe not. Business is suddenly at a stand-still.
ringing a bell yet?
There certainly is for me. I hear it almost every day. In recent years this has become a common occurrence. In fact, if I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard of this problem that I could buy a tropical island and build a five-star resort, complete with an18-hole mini-golf.
Here’s the problem. Credit card terminals are equipped with “analogue” telephone modem. The modems are built to work with analogue lines that were just replaced with new digital service. This probably does not mean much to you. You may be wondering why this should make any difference at all. A phone line is the line, right? Well, not exactly …. let me explain.
analogue modems operate within the frequency band between 300 to 3400 Hertz. In order for it to function properly, it requires a phone line that also work within this band. Digital line speaks an entirely different language. It operates on a frequency between 25khz (kilohertz) and 1.1mhz (megahertz), which is considerably faster than analogue lines.
These conflicting frequency create “echoes” or “line noise” when the terminal tries to call out the process. Since modem terminal does not have the ability to properly integrate and filter out these sounds, communication breaks down and fail. In rare cases, digital signals can actually overwhelm the modem to the terminal, causing it to burn out.
So the question becomes, what can you do to solve this?
There are devices that can be purchased from your local electronics store for about $ 15 – $ 20. It is called DSL Filter. This handy little gadget will filter out the digital information coming from the telephone line and send it to the terminal at a lower frequency, the actual risk to the line noise. 98% of the time filter resolves the problem and the merchants of us are able to get back to business. It is unfortunately the case where it does not. For those traders who fall into that 2%, we offer the following solutions:
- Contact your phone company and ask counterparts phone line be installed. This line will be used only for credit card terminal
- If you fax in place, connect the phone line splitter to the wall jack, connect the terminal to the side and fax to another. In most cases we have found that fax machines are connected to a dedicated analog telephone lines and are not in place when digital is installed.
- Updating the terminal that supports IP / Ethernet connection
- Switching to a web based or PC based processing program.
Until next time … Thanks for reading.