Does Your Phone Say "Call Failed" When You Contact Someone? Folks Have Had This Issue for Years

Still making phone calls in 2024? Still getting responses saying "Call Failed"? Here are some reasons why.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

May 14 2024, Published 12:09 p.m. ET

Confused woman holding smartphone
Source: Getty Images

These days, we use our phones for just about everything except ... making actual phone calls. Texting has become the norm between loved ones, as has the infrequent video call for special occasions or even online gaming sessions with friends. We even have food delivery apps in which we can tailor our experiences to the point where we never have to interact with a delivery driver ever again. Despite this, there are still a few shared experiences we have with making or receiving phone calls.

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Practically all of us are friends with "Scam Likely," considering they give us calls at least once or twice a week. We're also more likely to make medical appointments over the phone too. For some, there's also the frequent yet unwanted response they get when their attempts to make a phone call is met with a message stating "Call Failed."

People have had this issue for years and it even transcends service providers and different brands. So what's the deal? Here's what we know.

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Here are a few potential explanation for why your phone is saying "Call Failed."

No facet of technology is safe from the occasional glitch or nigh-inexplicable hiccup in service. Whether it's a popular social app that suddenly can't be accessed or a streaming service that flashes an error screen as if to imply that it's your fault that it won't buffer, some of these functionality snafus tend to be universal. The same goes for "Call Failed."

Between phone users on Apple, Verizon, and AT&T, people have been having their calls fail to connect for years.

An iPhone 13 Pro user posted in 2022 that their phone calls wouldn't connect despite doing all the troubleshooting in the world. An AT&T user experienced something similar in 2023, claiming on the r/ATT subreddit that they have a "20 percent success rate of calling anybody at all." These issues come despite the fact that texting and other forms of communication work just fine.

These issues even date back to 2012, when one Verizon user claimed that they kept getting "Call Failed" despite having full reception.

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Like any common glitch on a smart device, it's difficult to pinpoint what exactly is wrong with it whenever it isn't working. However, people have shared a few time-honored solutions that everyone can do to at least try to address the issue.

Business Insider suggests things like:

  • Toggling airplane mode
  • Moving to a different location
  • Checking whether a number is blocked
  • Restarting your phone
  • Resetting your SIM card
  • Checking your network settings
Smartphone on couch
Source: Getty Images

After checking off any or all of these boxes, the only thing left to do is try your phone call again. Best case scenario, it suddenly works and whatever potential solution you tried somehow resolved the issue. If not, it might be time to visit your local provider (which is a last resort for anyone using their phone to avoid face-to-face contact as much as possible).

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