Caller ID not showing what it should

If you're not seeing what you think you should on your Caller ID screen, there could be a few things going on. 

Troubleshooting Caller ID messages

In most cases, when you look at your Caller ID, you'll see the incoming caller's name and number. Depending on the type of Caller ID unit you're using, you may also see the current date and time.

Occasionally, you may see a message instead of a phone number. This is normal, and usually means there was a problem with the way the phone number was transmitted.

Display Message

Explanation

OUT OF AREA, UNKNOWN, or UNAVAILABLE

The incoming call doesn't include the necessary data and/or the call is being sent via equipment that doesn't support Caller ID. Examples include:

  • Calls from cell phone networks
  • Calls from large businesses (call centers)
  • Operator-assisted calls (collect, pay phone, credit card billed, certain international calls)

ANONYMOUS or PRIVATE

The caller has blocked his/her name and number from displaying on your Caller ID unit. You can stop these calls from ringing through to your home by using Anonymous Call Rejection.

ERROR or CODE 1

Caller ID display units are sensitive. A power surge, static or trouble on the line when the data is being sent can cause an ERROR message. If it happens on every call, refer to your unit's owner manual.

NO DATA SENT

Caller information shows up within the first couple of rings. If you pick up the phone too quickly, no data can be captured. If you see a "No Data Sent" message, the phone was picked up before the second ring.

8888 or 0000

The display contrast on your Caller ID unit needs to be adjusted. Refer to your unit's owner manual for how-to information.

English or Spanish Content

Refer to your Caller ID unit's owner manual for how to change the language preference.

Troubleshooting Caller ID equipment

Caller ID equipment comes in a lot of varieties, from standalone units to phones with built-in screens. If you're having problems getting your equipment to work, try these fixes and/or refer to your owner's manual.

Display showing wrong data

  • If you glance at your caller ID and pick up the phone thinking you're talking to a friend or neighbor only to find a telemarketer, you could be experiencing "spoofing." Spoofing is a way companies conceal their identity by changing how their name and/or number appear on your caller ID. They do this to get you to answer the phone. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself and control who's calling your home.
  • If names/numbers are being lopped off in your display, it's probably because they are too long to fit on the screen. Most Caller ID equipment displays a maximum of 15 characters of data.
  • If the business' name isn't showing up, it could because they're a big company with a main number and multiple "secondary" numbers. For instance, if someone calls you from a call center, you may see XYZ Telemarketing Services (main number), Customer Service (secondary number) or UNAVAILABLE/UNKNOWN.
  • If old numbers are showing up, your Caller ID unit might be full. Caller ID units can only store so many numbers. When they reach their maximum, they may no longer show the most current phone number. Try deleting old numbers to make room for new ones.
  • If you're wondering why you don't see multiple numbers from people who have called many times, it's because your equipment is trying to save space. Some Caller ID units only show a number once -- no matter how many times the caller has called. In those cases, you'll see the phone number with parentheses after it -- indicating the number of times the person has called (e.g., 303-000-0000 (4)).

Display not showing anything

  • Confirm your Caller ID unit's batteries are fresh and properly installed. Or, if your unit uses a power cord, double check the cord is firmly plugged into the back of the unit and the wall.
  • If you have a lot of things using your phone line -- phones, modems, faxes, alarm systems, satellite receivers -- it might be too big a load for the line. Try unplugging a few things and see if that solves the problem.
  • When all else fails, reset your Caller ID unit:
    1. Unplug the unit and/or remove the batteries.
    2. Press all Caller ID unit button 5 times.
    3. Reinstall batteries and plug the unit back into the wall.
    4. Your unit should now display a system test and be reset.

    Note: Since this procedure may erase your saved phone numbers, be sure you've written down any important numbers before resetting your device. Ideally, refer to your owner's manual for specific how-to instructions.

Troubleshooting your Caller ID service

If you've recently set up your Caller ID service, you might have called someone and had them tell you that your name showed up wrong on their display.

If it's been less than 4 business days since your account was activated, give it a little more time. The paperwork probably just hasn't wound its way through the system. However, if it's been more than 4 days, contact us to verify the calling feature has been setup correctly.

For printer-friendly instructions, download the Caller ID user guide. To add or change the calling features on your account, chat with us. We're here to help!