What Does It Mean When a Phone Says the Number You Have Reached Is Not Accepting Calls at This Time?

By Irene A. Blake

Not knowing why someone has stopped accepting calls can cause worry and frustration.
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No matter who you’re trying to reach on the phone or the reason for the call -- whether you’re trying to get help with an important homework assignment, schedule a meeting with a tutor or just chat with a friend -- it can be difficult to hear a recorded stranger's voice tell you that the person isn’t accepting calls at this time. Phone service providers have designed the message to play when very specific scenarios take place.

Recipient Is Blocking Caller

Some people can set up their phone services to selectively accept or reject calls. With selective acceptance, the call recipient permits calls from certain phone numbers and blocks all others. With selective rejection, the recipient blocks certain numbers and accepts the rest. All blocked callers hear the message.

Recipient Is Accepting No Calls

The message might also play when a telephone subscriber blocks everyone for a preset amount of time to prevent disruption. For example, the person you’re trying to reach might have blocked all calls because he's resting, in class or on vacation.

Line Is Disconnected

Some phone carriers use the message to prevent embarrassment to subscribers who have been disconnected because of lack of payment. Additionally, this message might play in error if the line is disconnected for any reason, such as when technical problems occur on the carrier’s end.