Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

When you’re tying to call someone, getting your eardrum blown out by the mechanical-sounding “the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time” is infuriating at best, phone slinging across the room at worst.

It’s not usually that you’re mad at the person you’re calling, just that the message is so aggravating. We live in a day and age where this kind of message should only exist in the dustbin of history.

It sounds identical to the same message we used to get over a landline phone 25 years ago.

For the most part, It’s probably not the recipient’s fault, though that’s not always the case, as you’ll see below. Most people set up voicemail for when they are unavailable and that’s what you hear, rather than the screeching robot on the other end.

The Person You Are Calling Cannot Accept Calls At This Time: 5 Causes

Depositphotos_22647387_L Woman Using Cell Phone

1. No Voicemail

Most people set up voicemail services when they first power up their brand-new cell phone. However, even when they don’t, most carriers have a default voicemail service built-in. It’s another one of those heavily mechanical, robotic voices, but it’s nowhere near as irritating as the other one.

However, every once in a while, you’ll come across a phone number where the recipient may be using one of the cheaper, local carriers, and they offer no such default voicemail service on the phones they sell.

In this case, you’re likely to get the message that’s the topic of this article.

When that happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can never contact that person. It only means that they haven’t set up a voice mail service and, for whatever reason, they aren’t answering their phone at the moment.

You can’t fix this, of course, but you are more than welcome to send them a text or an email.

Just because you get the “the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time,” doesn’t mean their service is cut off. You should still be able to send texts, pics, videos, or emails to them, regardless.

2. You’re Blocked

There’s the distinct possibility that you have simply been blocked. It’s probably not the answer you want to hear but, hey, it happens.

If the recipient has blocked your number, there are a number of error messages you may receive when trying to call them, and this is just one of them.

It’s possible that you’ve been blocked on accident. The number of people that have accidentally blocked half of their contacts using their left or right butt cheek is significant.

It’s crazy what your phone is capable of when stuffed in your back pocket.

If you’ve been blocked purposefully, however, you’re not likely to resolve the situation by emailing them.

3. Recipient Has Airplane Mode On

When Airplane mode is turned on, a phone cannot make or take phone calls. It can’t send or receive texts messages, utilize Bluetooth, or connect with Wi-Fi. It’s basically a nice-looking brick sitting on the coffee table.

Of course, if the recipient is on an airplane, Airplane mode makes perfect sense. Regardless of the scenario, there’s nothing you can do if the person you are trying to call has Airplane mode turned on, at last not until they turn it off again.

However, you can send them a text message and, although it won’t deliver at the moment, they will receive it when they turn Airplane mode back off again.

An email is even more efficient. The only drawback there is if it’s a personal email account, people just don’t check those as frequently as they check their text messages. You can cover all your bases and send both.

4. Recipient’s Phone is Cut Off

Whether they failed to pay the bill, dropped their phone in the toilet, or ran it over with their car, if there’s no service or no phone, there are no incoming calls. Unfortunately, most of the answers to this question don’t involve things that you can do to fix it.

After all, if the person’s phone is off, it’s off, and there is very little you can do about it. If they haven’t paid their phone bill, their service provider will likely cut off their ability to make or take phone calls. Again, there’s no getting around this on your end.

The only thing you can really do is send an email and hope the recipient checks their emails better than they check their phone bills.

Depositphotos_59359443_L woman holding a phone with low battery showing on a screen on a bench in a park

5. Dead Battery or Stolen Phone

While a dead battery is sort of cut and dry (you can’t call a dead phone), stolen phones may give out this message if the recipient has reported it stolen.

When you report a stolen smartphone to your service provider, they will typically cut that phone off immediately.

For obvious reasons, too. We tend to keep all of our most important information on our phones these days and, shutting it off at least cuts potential thieves off from using the phone as a tap to pay device and cuts off its ability to connect to the internet.

If the phone is stolen and reported so, you’re likely to get the above message for your troubles. If the phone’s battery is dead, there should be a history of your incoming phone calls waiting for the recipient when they manage to get their phone on a charger again.

The same goes for text messages. If you text someone while their phone battery is dead, they should receive the text message once they turn their phone back on after charging it.

If nothing else, you can at least send them a message letting them know you are trying to contact them.

Final Thoughts

As we stated at the beginning, many of the troubleshooting tips on here are out of your control, and most are out of the control of the recipient as well. Its life.

We walk around with devices that are highly valuable within our own bubble and if the battery dies, the cellular connection is cut off, or the phone is stolen, it’s like suddenly being stuck on a desolate island.

Fortunately, “the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time” is generally not a permanent error message, and you should be able to contact them sooner, rather than later.