Call From Unallocated Phone Number

Here’s how you get a call from an unallocated phone number:

You can get a call from an unallocated number when it’s spoofed.

Or, the owner of the number didn’t pay. Or, the telephone provider has network problems.

Or, the number is no longer assigned. If you want to learn all about dealing with calls from an unallocated phone number, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s jump right in!

Why Did I Get a Call From an Unallocated Phone Number?

Young upset woman on a bus holding a cell phone looking out the window worried.

Have you ever tried to call a number you see in your missed calls only to have a recording “The number you have called is unallocated” interrupt your message?

Or have people who called you told you that they got the same “The number you have called is unallocated” message when they tried to reach you?

Trying to call a number you’ve frequently been calling but suddenly get the “the number you have dialed is unallocated” call intercept message?

There are at least two reasons you may be getting this message.

And there are at least two things you can do about it.

In this article, we will suggest fixes for getting the “The number you have dialed is unallocated” message whether you are the sender or the recipient of the call.

What Is an Unallocated Number?

Pensive woman using smart phone in a park.

The technical reason anyone gets a message that a phone number is unallocated is that one, the number has not yet been provided by the number administrator to the telephone company.

Or two, the number has not yet been assigned to a telephone customer by the service provider.

This can happen for a very simple reason: From time to time, all of us dial the wrong number. 

If you happen to dial a number that doesn’t belong to any telephone or that hasn’t been assigned to any particular customer, you will get the unallocated number message.

What Are Spoof Phone Numbers and Why Do They Become Unallocated Numbers?

Serious handsome man talking on his mobile phone outdoors on a snowy day.

But getting the unallocated number message can also happen for a more sinister reason.

Nearly all of us get occasional calls from spoofed phone numbers. 

Sometimes your caller ID may even show your phone number!

Spoofed phone numbers are generated by a piece of software.

They give spammers, scammers, telemarketers, and senders of robocalls a way to show a number in your caller ID without giving their real phone number away.

Spammers, telemarketers, push calling agencies, and stalkers know that you are more likely to answer your phone if you see a 10-digit number instead of a message that says “Private” or “Unavailable.” 

They know that if you see a phone number, you are more likely to engage with the caller. 

These are people who want your attention but don’t want to be held accountable for their call.

Or at least that’s usually what is going on. There is another possibility.

Does Unpaid Billing Result in a Number Become an Unallocated Number?

Puzzled woman checking out phone bill.

If you haven’t paid your phone bill and your network provider has canceled your service, you may get a “The number you have called is not allocated” message when you attempt to dial out. 

This is a message you would get every time you attempt to use your phone. 

If sometimes you get the message, but your calls go through other times, the problem isn’t that you didn’t pay your bill.

However, the message that the number is unallocated may also pay when the person you are attempting to call hasn’t paid their bill. 

This message means that the recipient of the call has lost their number.  The next time you dial their old phone number, it may have been assigned to someone else.

Can You Run in an Unallocated Number if the Telephone Service Provider Has Network Problems?

Technician on telecommunication antenna tower

We said there are two reasons you may get the message “The number you have dialed is unallocated.” 

Still, there are occasions there is a third reason: The telephone service provider is experiencing network issues.

This can happen when you are trying to dial someone with whom you have spoken just a few minutes before. 

Usually, if you wait a few minutes and redial the number, your call will go through without any problems. 

However, massive damage to phone lines from, say, a hurricane can delay the resolution of problems with the telephone network.

What to Do When You Get the “Unallocated Number” Message?

Worried and confused lady using mobile phone, looking at screen.

If you know, you have paid your bill, and you have reason to believe you are calling someone who has paid their bill, the simplest way to handle the “unallocated number” message may be to take some time out and let the network reset itself. 

You may have to wait a minute or two, but this resolution is relatively hassle-free.

If you try twice and you still can’t get through and, as we mentioned before, you are sure you have paid your phone bill, contact your network provider. 

Tell them your problem and let them fix any glitches in their system.

This also usually resolves any issues with making your call in just a few minutes.

Still can’t get through? Try this: Double-check the number you want to call.  Write it down, and then delete it from your phone. 

Dial the number from your search. Then, if your call goes through, save the number on your phone.

Many numbers look alike. Many names look alike, too. 

You may have simply got an older, non-working number associated with the name of someone you were trying to call.

Finally, there is a special procedure for dealing with “The number you have dialed is unallocated” messages when you are using Google Voice. 

Go to your Google Voice Settings page. Make sure that the Google Voice phone number is at the top of the list of your settings.

Enter your phone number and make sure that Google reports the right carrier. 

You may need to go to the recovery page for your Google Voice account and check for messages about your account from Google.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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