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April 6, 2022

What is Call Waiting? [Meaning, Tips, and Best Software]

What is Call Waiting? [Meaning, Tips, and Best Software]

As a business or busy professional, you want to know when you have calls waiting for you. Call waiting is a service that allows you to manage a large volume of incoming calls, even if you only have one phone line, easing the need for additional phone lines.

What Is Call Waiting?

Call waiting is a service you can enable on a mobile or landline phone that, when you’re on a phone call, notifies you if you have another phone call incoming and allows you to place your current call on hold to take the second one.

This feature can often be combined with other useful phone features like caller ID, call routing, and call forwarding to make for seamless transitions between conversations with multiple people. These features can give you additional information about callers and help you prioritize and easily navigate between calls.

How To Use Call Waiting

Call waiting is a standard service that comes on many modern phones, whether landline or mobile and your phone should have a simple way to toggle it on or off.

When you’re on a call and you have another caller waiting, you’ll hear two distinct tones, letting you know that another call is on the line. This can help you to be aware of each call so you don’t miss anything important.

It’s generally considered good practice to briefly switch to the second line when you have a call on the line and inform the caller that you’re on the phone with someone else at the moment. This will inform them that you’re available and they’ll wait on the line instead of hanging up.

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Benefits of Using Call Waiting

The primary benefit of using call waiting is that it lets you manage multiple incoming calls at the same time, without needing multiple phone lines. This is especially useful for businesses and busy professionals but can be valuable for personal use as well.

In addition, it can help you prioritize different calls, making sure you’re giving your attention to the caller who is most important. Call waiting is especially helpful in conjunction with caller ID software so you can make quick decisions about which call to prioritize.

How to Activate and Disable Call Waiting on a Landline

Activate - To activate call waiting on a landline depends on your phone and service provider, but often your phone will come with it enabled already. Call your cell phone service provider for more information if you’re not sure that call waiting is activated on your line.

  • Community Phone: Community Phone’s default setting is ON.
  • Spectrum: The default setting for is ON. Please visit your Customer User Portal and click on the calling features tab. Scroll down to call waiting and select your desired setting.
  • AT&T: Press *371# from your home phone.
  • Verizon: The standard features default setting is ON. If you had it turned off, the feature may have been removed from your account. You would need to add the feature back in through your online “My Verizon”.

Disable - Just like activating, disabling your call waiting software on a landline depends on the model of the phone and the service provider you have, so call them for specific instructions. Some service providers also let you temporarily disable call waiting when taking a call, so ask about this as well.

  • Community Phone: To temporarily disable it, press *70 before dialing your number. When finished, it will automatically turn on for succeeding calls.
  • Spectrum: To temporarily disable it, press *70 before placing your call. When you finish, it will automatically turn on for succeeding calls.
  • AT&T: To temporarily disable it, dial *70 when you pick up the phone and enter the number you wish to call. When you finish, call waiting will be automatically reactivated. To permanently disable it, press *370# from your home phone.
  • Verizon: Disable it temporarily by pressing *70 before calling a number.

How To Enable and Disable Call Waiting on iPhone

  • Activate - To activate call waiting on an iPhone, you’ll need to head to your settings app. In the app, scroll down and click the tab marked ‘Phone’, and then scroll down in that menu to the section titled ‘Calls’ and click the button that says ‘Call Waiting’. To make sure it is activated, turn the switch on the screen on, and it should be displayed in green.
  • Disable - Call waiting can be disabled on iPhone through the same menu you use to turn it on. Make sure the switch on the ‘Call Waiting’ page is flipped to the left and shows gray instead of green.

How To Enable and Disable Call Waiting on Android

  • Activate - Activating the feature on Android is done through the ‘Phone’ application directly, instead of through the settings app. Go to your phone application where you’d go to make a call, and click the three dots in the top right corner. Click ‘Settings’, and then in the ‘General’ section click ‘Calls’. Once in that menu, click ‘Additional settings’ and then toggle the ‘Call waiting’ option to the right.

  • Disable - Similar to the iPhone, the feature on Android is disabled through the same menu you use to enable it. In the ‘Additional settings’ menu of the calls settings on your phone app, toggle ‘Call waiting’ to the left, and it should show gray.

Best Call Waiting Software - Community Phone

Community Phone is a wireless landline phone service that operates on cell towers and does not require any internet connection or copper wires. Included in its service, is a range of features such as unlimited nationwide calling, simultaneous ringing, call routing, and call forwarding.

In addition to these smart functions, Community Phone has a call waiting feature that allows you to take another call when you're already talking on the phone. This allows you to have two lines on one phone.

It will notify you when another call is incoming, with the sound of a stutter tone. This gives you the option to either ignore the incoming call or put the person on hold while you finish off your currency conversation.

Community Phone include it with no extra charge and is one of the many available features within the service.

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Call Waiting FAQs

1. What happens if call waiting is activated?

When call waiting is activated and you’re on a phone call, if a second call comes in you’ll hear two tones alerting you that you have another caller on the line. You can briefly press the receiver button to connect to the second call and put the first on hold, or you can hang up on the first call to immediately connect to the second.

2. Can the callers hear each other when call waiting is on?

No, call waiting is a service that lets you make full use of the ‘hold’ function on your phone, so callers on hold aren’t able to hear you talking to whoever is on the active line.

3. Do I have to answer the second call?

You don’t have to answer any call you receive, you can simply ignore the second call or place the first call on hold while you reject the second. Using caller ID can help you know whether to answer the second call or not.

4. What will happen if call waiting is off?

When call waiting is off, your phone will function as usual, and you won’t be alerted through an audio cue when you receive a second call. This can result in calls being missed, so if you turn it off it’s important to check your missed calls after a conversation to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

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