What to Do if You Hear Hold Music on a Conference Call

You’re 10 minutes into an important conference call with employees, board members, and important guests. Suddenly you hear the familiar jazzy beat of generic hold music blaring over your call and drowning the current speaker out. You don’t know which caller it’s coming from or how to stop it.

Sound familiar? The dreaded hold music is just one form of loud interruption to a conference call that can really derail a phone conference, and it happens to the best of us. The good news is that this kind of disturbance can be easily avoided and fixed in a number of ways by both the host and the individual participants.

Follow these 6 tips from Conference Calls Unlimited (CCU)’s phone conferencing services to prevent hold music from ever ruining another call.
 

1. Give your guests the procedures

The easiest way to avoid hold music interruptions is simply to remind your guests at the beginning of the phone conference that whatever they do on their line is broadcast to everyone on the call. A guest might put the conference call on hold to take another call or talk to someone in the room without being overheard, but they’ve likely forgotten that their office phone system has built-in music on hold.

With CCU, you can let your guests know that pressing *6 on their phone’s keypad will automatically mute their line. They should press this before any occasion for which they need to use their phone’s hold function. This is the best procedure for any time they want to make sure no noise on their end, including hold music, can be heard by everyone on the call.

Additionally, guests can always press *0 on their phones to reach an operator, who will assist in muting their line or any other issues, without interrupting the call.
 

2. Use lecture mode

At CCU and with many other conference calling services, you are provided with a simple feature called Lecture Mode. As a host, you can activate this feature to mute all guests, eliminating any background noise and allowing only you and any other hosts to speak.

Use this feature when hold music or other loud disruptions occur from a participant on the conference call, but:

  • you don’t want to or can’t take the time to determine what line the disruption is coming from; and/or
  • you are at a point in your call at which the host(s) is the only one who needs to be speaking for the time being.
     

3. Dial the operator

Another simple way to address hold music or other loud sounds coming from a line on your conference call is for the host to press *0 on his or her phone to reach a live operator. Tell the operator your issue and he or she will identify the offending line and mute it, allowing you to quickly get back to business without the noise. Learn more about how you can get assistance from an operator on your calls.

Use this method when hold music or other loud background noise is already disrupting the call, and you want to address only the offending line so that other guests can still speak and the call will proceed as normal.
 

4. Use online participant features

Depending on your exact conference calling service features, you may have the ability to view an online web portal that shows all of the participants and which of them are speaking. If a participant has loud hold music or other sounds, they will show up as speaking, allowing you to identify the offending line. You can then select that line and mute it through the portal.

Use this method if you have this feature and want to quickly detect the line that is the source of loud music or sounds and mute it yourself, allowing other guests to speak and the call to proceed as normal.


At Conference Calls Unlimited, we strive to make the experience of conference calling as easy and problem-free as possible. Our phone conferencing services provide all of these features to stop hold music and other disruptions from occurring, leaving you to carry on with every call seamlessly.