What happens when you want to call someone, and you’ve misplaced their number or never had their number?

Now that you’re ready to go, uh oh, your cell service is bad. That’s OK, I can help there, too.

And what happens when you make the call but no one picks up? You won’t get any official notice if someone blocks your calls — but you can make an educated guess by looking for these signs. 

The sound of silence 

When you block a number, you no longer receive calls or text messages from that person. This step helps stop unwanted spam calls, but it’s also great for personal reasons. 

The first indication that something’s up is the most obvious: You call and send text messages, but you get no response. There are many reasons this might be happening, of course, but a blocked number is one possibility. 

For most cases, texts you send will appear to go through usually, but the person you’re sending them to won’t receive them. That silence is your first hint something is wrong. 

Count the rings before voicemail 

It’s a normal call when you call a person and hear the usual number of rings before getting voicemail. But if the person has blocked you, here’s the big indicator. You only hear a single ring before being diverted to voicemail. 

There are a few caveats. An unusual ring pattern doesn’t necessarily mean your number is blocked. It may just mean the person is talking to someone else at the same time you’re calling, has the phone off or sent the call directly to voicemail.  

Try again later. If the one-ring and straight-to-voicemail pattern persists, it likely may be a case of a blocked number. 

A sign you have been blocked is if your call only rings once and then is sent directly to voicemail.
A sign you have been blocked is if your call only rings once and then is sent directly to voicemail.

Automated responses 

If you make a call and receive an automated message along the lines of “the customer is unavailable,” that person’s wireless carrier may have blocked you. The messages can vary, but the result is the same. Your call won’t go through. 

Again, a blocked number isn’t the only reason for a message like this. But it’s a strong indication you’ve been blocked. 

It could be something else 

Don’t jump to conclusions even if you suspect your number is blocked. There may be a simple reason why your calls aren’t going through. There could be a network problem, the person may have their phone turned off, the battery is dead, or they didn’t pay their bill on time. It happens. 

You could try to disguise your phone number. There are ways to hide your number from caller ID, either by changing your call settings or by downloading an app that will handle it for you. 

Don’t be a jerk. Use this power wisely. Respect that person’s decision if someone doesn’t want to hear from you.