Have you tried plugging and then plugging the phone back in. This should discharge all static electricity. I had the same trouble once. If you are using a service such as Comcast Digital Voice, then restart all equipment (this apply's to VOIP services also). if it still persist then try a different phone. If it still persist then contact your phone company and explain all the solutions that you have tried.
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Check the phone line were it comes into the house there is usually a point where the phone connection from the the TELCO outside wires connects to the inside wiring.
Remove the inside wiring and test the wiring that is on the TELCO side. If you get dialtone the trouble is in the inside wire. If you don't get dialtone call TELCO
It's stutter dialtone and indicates you have voicemail. Once you clear your voicemail the stutter tone will go away. You may also have a visual indicator that you have voicemail like a light or icon on the display.
The only thing I can think of is you may be in the wrong dial mode. If you do not have touch tone service you will hear the tones but it will not connect. Try setting it to pulse and see if you can call out. Check you volume or see if the mute has been set. Have you tried a different phone? you might want to borrow a phone from a neighbor to see if it is a service problem or just your phone.