We’ve all been there – you know you have the right number, but your calls never get answered and your texts are ignored. It’s possible that they could be busy, their phone could be dead, they could be on vacation, have no signal or something else. Just because you can’t reach someone doesn’t necessarily mean they have blocked you.
Sad to say, we have to face the reality that the person might have blocked you. Call blocking is a feature of landlines and cellphones and works on Android and on an iPhone. It is also very easy to set up call blocking so sometimes people are very quick to use this feature.
Is there a way that you can tell if someone blocked your number? Unfortunately, there are no directly specific warnings or messages to tell you the person has blocked your number. However, with some detective work, it’s possible to figure out if someone has blocked your number, preventing your calls or texts from reaching them.
The first thing to consider is how your last couple of conversations with this person went. Did you argue? Disagree? Fall out? Did everything go okay? Was it a first date or meeting? Did it go okay? Would the person you are trying to contact have a good reason to block you? If you answered yes to any of those questions, it may be worth looking further.
When you use call blocking, there is a specific process that is initiated. Your phone, landline or cell informs the network that calls from a specific number are to be blocked. On a landline, this block is performed at the closest telephone exchange to your property. So the caller will make their call, it will traverse the network, get to the exchange that will deliver the call to your property and be stopped there.
On a cellphone, the block is placed on the handset. The call transits the network and is delivered to your phone but the phone doesn’t answer it. The caller is transferred directly to voicemail. This is all done behind the scenes so you as the user will not be aware that a call was connected and refused. Because the call is transferred to voicemail, it’s difficult to tell you’ve been blocked. There are no direct indications that indicate you’ve been blocked.
Has someone blocked your number?
Just because someone doesn’t answer your call, does not mean they have blocked you. If you suspect they have blocked your number, there are a few things you can do to try to find out. These methods are far from perfect but there’s not really a way to get a definitive answer.
Call from a different number
Cell phone call blocking is done based on the source number. The Operating System (e.g., iOS) recognizes the calling number, checks the block list and will either allow or block according to whether it finds your number on the block list. The simplest way to find out whether someone blocked your number is to use a different number.
Don’t use a number that they know or will recognize. Perhaps use a friend’s phone, a payphone if you can find one or phone somewhere else. If the person you think has blocked you answers the call, you can always say your battery died as the reason you’re using another phone to call.
Withhold your number
If you type *67 on your US phone the number is blocked from caller ID. The number transits across the network as usual but at the final cell tower, it is held back. This allows billing but stops your number being presented to the called party. As the block is on the cellphone itself and not the network, it will be delivered as normal. You can try to test whether your phone number has been blocked by withholding your number from the caller id system.
There are call blocking apps that can work around this but for an OS block (i.e. the call blocking app that is set up using Android or iPhone iOS) the call should be delivered as usual. Some people automatically ignore withheld or private numbers so bear that in mind when using this approach.
Get the message
Different networks handle calls in different ways. If you call and are blocked, some carriers will provide a message like ‘this person is not accepting calls right now’ or ‘sorry, the person you are calling isn’t available right now’. Sometimes your call will just go straight to voicemail.
You can test this by checking what happens when you block a number yourself. Call it and see what you experience as the caller. If you hear the same message you hear when calling the person you suspect has blocked you then you have your answer. Just bear in mind that different carriers handle blocked calls in different ways to it isn’t definitive. You might be on different carriers from the person you think has blocked you!
Send an iMessage
If you’re an Apple user you can find out whether your number is blocked by sending a message. Send an SMS to the person and watch the notifications. If that someone blocked your number the SMS will never change the status of the message to “Read.” If it stays in Delivered status, it is possible that they blocked your number. As far as I know, Android does not track SMS in this way so this method only works with the iPhone.
There is no definitive way that I know of to tell if someone blocked your number, but by examining the way calls are handled and the messages you get, you can get an idea of what’s going on. Of course, you can always ask them directly in person whether they blocked you or not.
Know of any ways to determine if someone has blocked your number? Tell us about them below if you do!