Modem Settings - Outbound Calls

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Each Workstation is required to handle three different types of call processing.


Out-bound dialing of respondent phone numbers


Transferring qualified respondents to the Fileserver to take the song test


Access to ComQuest Technical Support's 1-800-SKY-PAGER number


The Fileserver, although it has a modem for software updating and diagnosing technical problems, is specifically configured to not handle any of the above procedures.


You can either select Modem Settings from the Utilities menu, or click on this icon to go directly to the modem settings:




The modem settings for each of these procedures are located on three different tabs in the Modem Settings procedure.



Modem Settings tab options


Outbound Calls



Modem Settings - Outbound Calls screen


Modem protocol settings include Initialization string, prefix and suffix digits, and any parameters required to access outline phone lines at your station (dial 9 first, etc.)   You must also enter the Area Code from which calls will be placed.  This is particularly important if your market is one with multiple Area Codes.  This tells the system whether to dial a "1" first, or the respondent's Area Code first, etc.


The Init String almost always should be set as ATZ^M. Other settings should remain as is, unless for some reason hardware changes (new modem or Workstation, etc.) requires changes be made.  You're advised to contact ComQuest Technical Support before making any changes which might result in the system not handling call processing properly.  At the very least, be sure to note the initial settings entered into the system, before changing them.


Be sure the area code from which you're placing the actual calls is entered in the Area Code box.  This tells the system whether the number you're about to dial is in a different area code, and thus must handle the number as a long distance call.  This is particularly helpful if you're in a multi-area code market, where some calls placed are actually to a different area code.


Most cities now offer direct dialing for all numbers within your area code.  That is, even if the number is long distance, as long as it's in the area code, nothing more than dialing the number is required.  If your market requires that the area code be dialed for calls within the area code, be sure to select Type 2 in the spin box.


Configuring Additional Area Codes


ComQuest will automatically dial any calls that are not in your home area code in the following manner: 1 + Area Code + Phone Number.  For example, if your Home Area Code is 210, and a phone number comes up on an interviewer's Workstation that is 512-555-1234, ComQuest will by default dial that number as 1-512-555-1234.  Generally, this is acceptable. However, in some multi-Area Code cities, there are one or more Area Codes that must be dialed differently.  For example, the entire 10-digit number (Area Code + Phone Number) is dialed, however without a preceding 1.


This functionality is easy to customize with ComQuest. Simply enter each of these Area Codes in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th Area Code fields, and select the Type of dialing that should be applied to all calls in this Area Code.  Keep in mind, only those Area Codes that require special dialing should be entered here; if any Area Code(s) would be dialed in the default manner, 1 + Area Code + Phone Number, they should not be entered here!


If there are some phone numbers in a particular Area Code that should be dialed in one manner, and others that should be dialed in the default manner, your decision on whether to enter that Area Code for special dialing treatment on the screen should hinge on one factor: how the majority of those calls should be dialed.  Keep in mind, interviewers can access special re-dialing instructions from within Make Calls (dial with/without a 1 first; with/without Area Code, etc.), so you should only enter an Area Code on this screen for special dialing treatment if you are sure a majority of calls into that Area Code should be handled in this manner.


The Com Port for each Workstation should be the same, although you can override the Com Port setting for each Workstation by setting these values on each Workstation individually, rather than on the Fileserver. Generally, your system will be set up to use Com Port 2 for the modem (and Com Port 1 for the Mouse Driver, if it uses a serial mouse).


The Init String should not be blank.  The default initialization string is ATZ^M which resets the modem to the factory defaults before the first call you make.


The Dialing Prefix should always begin with ATDT, and should be followed by any command or sequence necessary to seize an outside line.  Sometimes this might be 9, or 8, etc. If you want to disable Caller ID for each out bound call, the general sequence to do this is *67.


HandIf you use *67 to disable Caller ID, you may reach many respondents who refuse to accept anonymous calls.


Dialing Suffix is generally blank, although ATH can be entered here if you want to force the modem on-hook after dialing (or ATZ to force the modem to reset after each call).


Wait During Dial should be set to around 10 seconds.  This is the time that the modem continues to hold the call; the interviewer will have this much time to seize the call (pick up the phone or turn headset on) before the modem releases the call.  If your interviewers want more time to pick up the phone, you can change this setting accordingly.  Once they have turned on the headset they can always manually release the modem's hold on the call by clicking the Talk button on their screen.


Once all settings have been modified, be sure to click the OK button to save your changes.


See also

Modem Settings - Fileserver Transfers