Home » The Person You are Calling Cannot Accept Calls at this Time. What Does it Mean?

The Person You are Calling Cannot Accept Calls at this Time. What Does it Mean?

Like everyone else, I have been using mobile phones for a long period now, and since I have always liked to learn about new techs, I have become cautious about certain things. For quite a few days, I have been trying to call one of my friends with whom I had some misunderstandings, and we stopped talking to each other. But, I thought to start the conversation again with the old friend, and that is why I have been trying to call, and I always hear this automated voice “The person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time“.

As I said, I am a tech enthusiast, I started to find out why this particular voice I hear when I call. My findings say,  Under the most ideal conditions, He might have blocked my number or, he might have stopped accepting any calls from anyone due to some personal or professional issues.

What do you think? I think he must have blocked me as far as I know him. Anyway, let’s talk about my issues later, and let’s check out a bit more information on this topic. So, you should know everything about it. So, I will answer the question “what does it mean when it says the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time” in this article to clear your doubts regarding this particular issue.

(Photo: pxhere)

Let’s Find a Few More Reasons for Getting this Automated Voice When You Call.

I went deep down to learn about such automated voices as how they come, what they are called, etc., etc., and I learned that these types of messages are called Intercept messages which we will cover later in this post. These messages are delivered when a phone call fails to complete and can be a result of a wide range of reasons. These messages are generated by the telecom providers to let the caller know what could be the reason the calls are not being made or taken. 

Let me tell you a few reasons that might be the cause of this Automated Call Message:

Reason 1: The Recipient is Blocking the caller

Some users set up their phones to selectively accept or reject your calls. In such cases, calls from only a few people are accepted, and any other call from any other user not configured to receive the calls is blocked automatically. 

When the user has configured such selective call reception, he will set it up only to receive calls from only a few select callers. When that happens, you will get the message that “The person you are calling cannot accept the call at this time”. 

Reason 2: Recipient is not accepting any calls

The recipient has perhaps decided not to accept any calls. Sometimes, a recipient may decide not to accept any calls from any subscriber. A recipient may decide to do this at certain times, especially when he is busy with any pre-decided program such as a meeting.  Most of the time when someone is busy they just cut calls and send a quick SMS saying “can’t take your call right now“. But some people rather like to use the block call feature.

A person you are trying to call may have blocked all calls simply because he is taking a rest, on a vacation, or in a class or meeting. If you call the person at such times, you will end up getting the message that the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time. 

Reason 3 – The Lines are Disconnected or Facing any Interconnection Issues

The recipient you are calling may have defaulted on payment, and this can result in calls failing to connect. The telephone company may decide to use this message to avoid embarrassment to the subscribers. 

The message may also be a result of a technical error where the lines are disconnected, or there are any issues in the servers that connect the two subscribers. When this happens, you will get the message that the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time on any calls made to any number on the affected network or affected region.

Have I Been Blocked?

When I heard this, the first thing that came to my mind was, that my friend had blocked me. And, I am sure that the first question that comes to your mind is the same. When you get the message indicating that the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time, it is time to check if you have been blocked by the recipient. While that may be one of the prime reasons for the message, it should not necessarily mean you are blocked.  One of my friends was asking a similar question “is line busy means blocked?“, and this kept me thinking as well. Because when you are blocked by someone, at times you always hear the line busy voice. 

It can even be a technical block. It may also be an indication that the phone line may be busy or the recipient may not be available or using call barring service. If you find the phone rings before you receive the message, it could be an indication of a different problem. If you are facing the issues frequently, it may indicate your number has been blocked. 

So, when you hear the message “The person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time” or. “line busy”, that doesn’t always mean you are blocked. There may be different issues as well.

What is an Intercept Message?

An Intercept Message or Intercept Recording is a short and recorded message that is delivered to the caller when a phone call fails to get delivered to the intended destination. While these messages have been in place for many decades, a few of these messages have been standardized in the 1980s and have been continued to this day.

In sharp contrast to a belief that intercept messages are sent when the phone call is intercepted by a phone carrier, they are ideally triggered by the conditions wherein a given line is not available, or the call is disconnected due to any of the reasons outlined by the above conditions.

Final Words

The message that the person you are calling cannot accept calls at this time can be quite confusing as this doesn’t give you a direct indication as to why the call is not connected. However, based on my learning and experience, I have tried to make it a bit easier for you to understand what may be the reasons for such a message.

So, if you ever get this particular message, don’t be judgemental and conclude that your friend has blocked you. It could be other reasons as well as I have explained earlier in this article. However, blocking is one of those reasons as well. So, think more about it, do your research, and then only conclude as I did when I got this particular intercept message while calling an older friend.

I hope you don’t mess up when you get this, take this lightly and be confirmed about the actual problem in other ways!

About the author

Timmappa Kamat

Timmappa Kamat is interested in technology and allied subjects and loves sharing the knowledge through the tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. He has been involved in providing content for a host of technology-based sites on day to day topics in the tech arena. Fond of gadgets and gizmos, he loves working with different apps, tools and software and sharing the knowledge with the world at large.


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  • I get a similar message if I call my daughter and she doesn’t pick up and her voicemail inbox is full. I want her to get a separate line for her business, but she refuses. I tried to get her to get a number from Google, but she dosen’t trust them.

  • Hi Timmappa,

    Yes, I generally get this message most of the times while calling. I now know the reasons. Thanks for sharing the good info about it.

  • Hi Timmappa,

    The person. you are calling cannot accept calls this time is what I hear thousands of times while calling, and I never understood exact reasons. Now, I know the exact reasons. Thanks for sharing the information about it. Appreciate it.

  • Not sure if there is a way to test to see which of the above reasons applies but for the last month a friend in Texas that is all I get when I try his number. His would do that off and on for the last 6 months. Tmobile line.

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