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When you call someone nowadays, it’s almost always a smartphone to smartphone call. Everyone who works anywhere outside a receptionist or call center role typically only has a smartphone for long distance communications.

As such, we’re always coming across different messages when we call people that don’t answer. Whether it’s a hastily throw-together voicemail, or nothing more than an automated voicemail, we expect some kind of response when the recipient of our phone calls does not answer.

The last thing we expect is to get a “the service you are attempting to use is restricted” message, which almost seems as if it’s a problem on our end, rather than the person we’re calling. So, what exactly does that mean, and is there anything you can realistically do about it?

6 Fixes To The Service You Are Attempting To Use Is Restricted

Depositphotos_91188388_L Hand holding a mobile phonet trying to make a call. Blurred background

1. Their Number Has Changed

Once upon a time, this used to be a difficult thing to do. In the age of the smartphone, however, you can change your phone number on a dime.

You don’t even have to contact your cellular provider most cases. Simply log onto their webpage , select your phone, and start browsing phone numbers.

A lot of people change their phone numbers under the mistaken belief that it will relive them of spam calls. It only temporarily does so, but that’s one of many reasons people change their numbers.

The point is, changin a phone number is so easy and common enough that it’s entirely possible you’re calling a number that no longer exists, at least for now.

When the number finally does pop back up, it will be to a different person. There’s no real fix for this other than attempting to contact that person via email. Its probably nothing personal.

People often change their numbers then have a hard time getting all of their contacts switched over or letting everyone know they have a new number.

2. Network Quality is Bad

Whether its you or its them (probably them, assuming you’re able to make the phone call in the first place), poor network quality is enough to generate the error message in question.

If you notice that your signal bars are really low or non-existent, you’ll need to get to a place where you have better cellular service before you make the call again.

You can quickly turn on Airplane mode and turn it off again to reestablish signal when your phone is being slow to recognize you’re in a better service area. Turning on Airplane mode blocks your phone’s ability to make and take calls or texts, use Bluetooth, or use Wi-Fi.

When you turn it back on again, you’ve effectively reset your network, without losing all of your saved network applications, such as Wi-Fi passwords.You’re basically turning your phone off and back on again.

It’s one of the more effective tools in the toolbag when you’re phone is acting a bit out of wack, whether its an internet issue or a phone call issue.

3. The Person You’re Calling Has Airplane Mode On

Just like you can quickly and easily turn Airplane mode on and off, so can others. If you’re calling someone and consistently getting the “service you are attempting to use is restricted,” there’s a strong possibility that the recipient has Airplane mode on.

With Airplane mode on, you cannot receive or make phone calls. Since the feature is so simple to use, its not surprising that some people turn it on, for one reason or another, and forge that its on.

That’s especially true for those who don’t spend 59 minutes out of every hour with their face in their phones.

You can always send them an email but, until Airplane mode is turned off again, you won’t be able to make calls to that person.

4. Unpaid Bill

You might be surprised to know that a cellular service provider might cut off your phone if your bill is unpaid.

When you’re trying to make a phone call to someone that’s had their phone cut off for failure to pay the bill, there’s a good chance you will get the error message.

Of course, there’s no fix for this, other than the recipient of your phone call paying their bill or switching to another service. Again, you can email them and hope they have alternative access to the internet.

If you’re just calling to chat, however, shooting them an email is probably not high on your to-do list.

5. Issue with the Carrier

If the network is having issues, it could be something that the carrier is working on. Whether its a cell tower down or service issues, things happen, whether we are prepared for them or not.

This is especially common when the carrier is a generic, local carrier that’s new to the fold.

However, it does happen with the big three (Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T) occasionally, mostly because something goes wrong with one or more of their towers.

Whether its because of a lightning strike or something internal, its often enough to generate the error message that’s the subject of this article.

Depositphotos_33892279_L businessman holding a phone making a phone call on a wooden table

6. You Have the Wrong Number

Whether the recipient of your phone call gave you the wrong number purposefully or accidentally, a wrong number is a wrong number. You may have misdialed it, something which is fairly common.

If you mistype a single digit, that’s all it takes. You might be getting the area code wrong, especially if its a number you looked up online.

Regardless, the number you are calling may be the wrong one and the only way to fix it is to double check the number, make sure you type it in correctly, and try again.

Final Thoughts

A calling restriction is certainly irritating, especially if you are trying to make an important phone call. However, many things happen that are entirely out of your control, which most of the above list entails. You can’t control when cell towers go down or when the recipient has airplane mode on.

All you can do is ensure that everything on your end is up and up. Ensure you have a strong signal and your bill is paid.

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Uncover the reasons behind encountering the “Service You Are Attempting to Use Is Restricted” message and find solutions to overcome this restriction.