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How an Elevator Answering Service Works

In the event you get trapped in an elevator, you can rest assured when there is an elevator answering service in place to take your distress call that help will be on the scene ASAP.

Image of two elevators serviced by a company that uses an elevator answering service

Did you know that most elevators are connected to a live answering service? It’s true! How many times have you been riding in an elevator and you causally glance over to the side and you see that big red button that says “CALL” on it? Some elevators even have a small box with a telephone in it. When you pick up that phone or push that call button, what do you think happens? There is a live person on the other end waiting to help you! That is what an elevator answering service  is in place for.

Let’s face it, elevators occasionally malfunction, and in the event they do, an elevator answering service is ready to help. When elevator riders become stuck in a car, they have the option to press a call button for help, or, as I mentioned, pick up a telephone that automatically dials a number and seeks assistance. A professional elevator answering service is on standby 24 hours a day waiting for these kinds of calls. They are called “entrapment” calls.

Elevators can either connect the entrapped rider directly with a live operator or they can have the elevator send out a prerecorded message to the elevator answering service alerting the live operators that there is a stuck car and it identifies which building it’s in. The recorded message will relay the building’s address and the car number to the operator who then quickly dials a dispatch technician in the field to render assistance.

If the  entrapped caller is directly connected with the live answering service operator, the number that the call comes in on is associated with a property or address so that the agent doesn’t have to rely on the caller for that information in their time of distress. So the operator takes that information along with any other relevant details from the caller and delivers that message promptly to the elevator technician.

More than half of the calls answered by a telephone answering service from elevators are usually a result of people inadvertently pressing the “call” button or their kids got away from them for a few seconds and thought it would be fun to take the phone off the hook. This is why elevator technicians shouldn’t be bothered by every call that comes through. But when a real entrapment occurs, a live elevator answering service can be a life saver.

A while back, Sound Telecom received a particular entrapment call. The woman calling was stuck in an elevator that lost power, so it was pitch black inside the car. Not only that, it was a very dirty, unsanitary elevator in a parking garage and it smelled bad. Further, it was about 36 degrees out (very cold!). And to top it off, the young woman was about 8 and a half months pregnant and she thought she was going to go into labor. She picked up the phone in the elevator, the call was connected to one of our live operators and seconds later the woman heard the words, “Are you trapped in that elevator?” coming from one of our helpful elevator answering service agents. We had a dispatch technician on site in about 20 minutes, and everything turned out fine for that woman and her baby.

Next time you casually glance at that big red “CALL” button on your ride up or down, remember, there is a professional live elevator answering service standing by to help you at a moment’s notice.


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About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including and Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.