Let’s get straight to the point:
What does it mean when a phone number is unreachable?
When you see messages like “Call not reachable” or “The number you are trying to reach is not reachable”, it usually just means the number you dialed didn’t go through at that time.
This can happen either because of a poor network connection, or because the number was switched off or disconnected at that time.
It could also be the case that your call is not connecting because there is temporary network congestion.
If any of the above reasons are the cause of your problem, this will usually only be a temporary situation, and your call should be able to go through when the number comes back online.
Below we will detail the different possible causes behind why a phone number might not be reachable, as well as show you various different methods for contacting the person you need to speak with ASAP!
Why Can’t You Reach A Certain Phone Number?
There are various reasons as to why you may not be able to reach a certain number via a voice or data call.
Usually, however, the culprit will be a poor network connection as this is the primary reason these issues occur.
Here are the main reasons why a dialed number may not go through immediately:
Poor Network Coverage
If you or your contact just moved to an area with poor network coverage, expect to experience some difficulty while attempting to make phone calls.
This is because the call bounce rate will likely be higher due to the poor network connectivity.
Although this may just be a temporary issue, it will still be challenging to get a text or call through to the other line during these periods, so you may need to wait a while before retrying the number.
Often when you dial the mobile number in these situations, all you’ll hear is silence with no ring at all! Shortly after that, you will lose whatever connection you had been able to establish.
If this is the reason for your call failure, the affected contact or number will also find it difficult to return your call. You can, however, still try to message the number and leave them a text or a WhatsApp message.
The Phone Is Switched Off
Another reason why you may not be able to get through to a number is that the owner has switched off their phone!
When this happens, you will find that your network provider will inform you that the number is currently unavailable.
Alternatively, you may get a “number not reachable” error message from your cell carrier.
If you have an urgent message to deliver, it may still be a good idea to leave a text message as the network will deliver it to your contact the moment their mobile phone is back online.
You Are on the Contact’s Block List
If you’ve been calling a specific number for days and it isn’t connecting, then there is the possibility that the contact may have blocked you for incoming calls.
If that’s the case, there is no way for you to make your calls or messages go through to that line.
You can easily confirm if you have been blocked by calling the contact with a different number.
If the new number connects or goes through, it will confirm that you are on the contact’s block list.
You can also try hiding your caller ID if you don’t want to call the contact from a different number.
Using the ‘hide my number‘ feature, you may be able to get past the contact’s network provider block and have your calls connect successfully.
Phone Line Congestion
Certain area codes can become congested at a particular times during the day.
Calling a number during a peak congestion period may not be the best idea if you want to be sure that you will get through.
Thankfully, dropped calls during this peak period are only a temporary issue. You will be able to speak with your contact again after waiting for a few hours, after the network congestion has died down.
The Number Is Out Of Service
The familiar ‘not reachable’ or ‘no longer in service’ message is one that you will receive whenever a number is disconnected or out of service.
Even if you try to call using different numbers, you will still get the same message from the network provider.
This issue usually occurs whenever a customer neglects to pay phone bills for a long time. As a result, the network provider will cut their service and block the line so that all phone calls will be prevented from connecting.
It may also be worth taking a look into whether the number that you are calling is on a do-not-reply network.
Large commercial companies and hospitals frequently use these phone lines for outgoing, one-way communication only.
These numbers will only support outgoing calls. Therefore, if you attempt to call one of these numbers you’ll get the “not reachable” message.
If you suspect that this is the case, it’s best to double-check/Google the number to see if it is coming from a business or hospital number.
Additionally, check to see if the company or contact has a public line that you can call if it is important to reply to a message or contact them about a pressing issue.
It is also possible that either you or your contact have accidentally messed around with one or two phone settings that have now disrupted your ability to make or receive calls.
For example, your calls won’t go through if you have enabled functions such as Airplane Mode!
Additionally, if they have accidentally enabled the “Do Not Disturb” setting, the contact may miss a call that you make from your end.
To make sure you have not mistakenly altered your phone settings, double-check your phone and make any adjustments you find you need to.
What To Do If A Number You’re Trying To Call Isn’t Reachable
If you’ve been calling a number for a while and still can’t seem to get a hold of the person, there are potential solutions that you can implement.
Here are our top three tips for trying to reach an unreachable contact:
Wait A While
This one’s pretty simple.
If you or your contact are currently in an area with a bad network connection, you can expect to get the usual “the number you have called is unavailable at the moment” message from your network provider.
In this scenario, you really have no option but to wait it out as there is nothing you can do to fix this network issue! Wait until you see that you are in an area with better coverage, and then try to make your call again.
If you often experience this difficulty when making phone calls, try resetting the network settings on your smartphone to see if this improves the connectivity.
Use A Social Media App
If you have an urgent message to deliver, contacting the person through a social media app is your next best option.
There’s a high chance that your friend or family member will go online at some point to check their social media messages.
You may also find that you can easily contact and chat with the person online! Regardless of how bad the network connection is, your social media messages will be sure to go through to them at some point.
Check Your Block List
There is also a possibility that the call isn’t going through because of your own call settings.
Check through your phone settings to see if you accidently blocked the number by mistake.
This is a fairly easy process; all you need to do is:
- Open the Call or Phone app and tap on the ‘more’ icon (the one with the three dots.)
- Go to Settings and click on the Blocked Numbers option to see if the contact is on this list.
- If you blocked the number by mistake, select the number and click on the ‘Unblock’ option. That’s it!
Do not panic if you are finding it difficult to reach someone on the phone!
When a call does not go through, you will find it is usually due to a weak network connection or coverage.
Your calls may not be going through because either you or your contact are currently in an area with a poor network connection.
However, if you find that this happens only with a specific number, it could mean that either the line has been disconnected, or that the contact has blocked you!
You should also make sure to check your phone settings to see if you’ve enabled any settings that may be preventing you from making outgoing calls (such as Airplane Mode).
Such issues are usually temporary. There are plenty of online alternative options like social media apps that you can use to get in contact with someone.
However, if you find or suspect that the fault is with your device or SIM card, it would be best to take it to a qualified repair technician for help.
Again, there’s really no need to panic when you cannot reach someone via phone call. Instead, try exploring the options we have discussed in the article above.
The next time one of your friends asks, “What does it mean when a phone number is unreachable?”, you’ll now know why this may be happening and will be able to offer several helpful workarounds!