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When conference calls fail

November 29, 2017

When conference calls fail

There’s no denying that video and telephone conferencing have come a long way. In fact, there’s never been a better time to get involved. Audio and video are higher quality, connections are more stable and new features help improve business outcomes. Still, there are bound to be occasional technical glitches and human error that can negatively—and often humorously—impact conference calls. For example:

"You have joined the conference"

Exit and entry tones that sound as people join and leave calls are common for many conference call systems. We’ve probably all had the experience of being mid-thought when a tone sounds. Did someone join the call? If so, who? Did someone drop off the call?

The following video is one of the worst cases of entry and exit tones we’ve ever heard. As the uploader states, “This is what happens when 800 people are logging on to the phone chat during a WebEx.”


(The comment below the video is correct: It’s possible to disable tones in the call admin settings to avoid this from happening.) 

Expect the unexpected when calling remotely

What about remote workers who have to make calls in less-than-ideal circumstances or locations? We’ve probably all heard barking dogs, airport terminal announcements or car horns in the background. It’s one thing for meeting attendees to hear things they shouldn’t, but what happens when they see things they shouldn’t? Check out this video that went viral when South Korean financial expert Professor Robert Kelly’s children barged into his home office and interrupted his live BBC on-air interview.


When everything goes wrong

Even the best solutions will occasionally have issues such as dropped calls, poor connections, attendees talking over each other, login issues and more. This humorous video skit covers pretty much every way a conference call can go wrong.


What humorous or embarrassing stories do you have concerning telephone or videoconferencing? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below.