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The battery in the handset could be bad . First I would test that the base unit is recieving dial tone by pressing speaker button on base unit. If there is dial tone then problem is in handset or in base unit communication to handset. Try resetting power to base unit. Check manual for any re-initialization procedure. If the base unit is not receiving dial tone then I would test that the phone line is delivering dial tone to the base unit by connecting a known good phone to the line cord. If the dial tone is not present , problem could be in line cord from outlet, outlet, building wiring, or service provider.
Here's what the manual says:
Changing the Dial Mode (Tone or Pulse Dialing)
Your phone can communicate with the telephone network in two different
ways: tone dialing or pulse dialing. These days, most phone networks use a
method called tone dialing, so your phone comes programmed for tone dialing.
If your phone company uses pulse dialing, you need to change your phone's
dial mode. If you don't get a dial tone or can't connect to the telephone
network, follow the steps below to modify your phone?s settings:
With the phone in standby, press and hold [cid/menu].
Press [vol/ / ] to move the pointer to select DIAL.
Press [select/channel] to set the phone to pulse dialing.
Return the handset to the base. The handset communicates the new
setting to the base, and the base activates the setting on any other
Hope this helps out.