iPhone weirdness, ATT & wrong numbers

I’m throwing this out there hoping someone has a solution.

Since I got my new iPhone several months ago it’ll go through periods where it gets a lot of wrong number calls.  After several weeks of this I started asking people the number they were calling, and that’s where the weirdness comes in.

(For illustration, this isn’t my number, don’t call).  My number is (817) 555-1234’ all the wrong number calls are for (555) 123-4xxx.  For some reason the Bell system forgets my area code and drops in the middle three as my area code.

After about 10 calls from one person we figured out a fix, having the wrong number dialer enter a 1 before they dialed, and they’d get the number they were dialing.  I suppose the good news is there’s only about 1,000 wrong number combinations I could get…

I have asked AT&T to look into it (to his credit the tech I spoke with realized it’s not something amenable to the first-level tech script, and spared me that), but I haven’t seen a change and haven’t heard back from them.

Other than getting a new number from AT&T, any ideas?


  1. Wait a few months.

    Buy a Palm Pre smartphone when it becomes available.

    Sell the iPhone to some sucka on ebay.

    disclaimer: I own a 100 shares of Palm stock.

  2. My AllTel phone does the same thing, and it is a blackberry. I will have to check into it.

  3. Sir-

    Not sure if this is your fix or not, but here is a tidbit from my experience. I have a phone number for my cell from one area code and live in another. all of my local (to where i am living) calls require me to dial 10 digits. However, if i dial number local to my cell phone number but am out of that area code/calling area, i get wrong number errors. I think what your seeing is the flip side to this. The phone routing system is truncating off the 817 area code, thinking that the caller is local to the calling area. the problem is that the prefix (the 555) is both a prefix (as in your phone number) and an area code that the caller is trying to reach. Thats why dialing a 1 (which the phone system recognizes as the signal for “the next three digits are an area code”) fixed the problem. it routed the call to the (555) and continued listening for the rest of the phone number digits after it had reached 555-1234.

    Hope this helps


  4. Nurse 1961 says:

    At least you have a person on the end of the line. For some reason I get a fax machine. Try getting that fixed when there is no return number to call. Have tried putting it up to the fax when it is going off so it gets the right tones, no luck.

    The best part is the fax number is unlisted so the phone company won’t give me a number to call to tell them they have the wrong number.

    Right now, I just let it go to voicemail and have to delete fax tones about two to three times a week.

  5. Perhaps this is some universal force pushing towards a post-medical careeer in telemarketing?

    A suggested response for a person who calls several times in a row. “I am sorry, I have strong religious feeling opposed to telephones. I do not have one, or know how to use one.”

  6. Try this: Ask the repeat callers if, in the telephone setup, they have programed in an area code. This can affect how incoming numbers are stored in the phone. It becomes a problem from when you they trigger the phone to dial a number stored with the wrong (phone default) or no area code.

    This usually results in a number that can’t be connected, but it seems to me it may also cause your problem


  7. What’s weird is it’s intermittent. The callers are baffled, as they’ve dialed the number many times before and gotten the right number.

    My theory is the AT&T server that routes things is overloaded, freaks out and just starts doing its best to match some numbers to make a connection.

  8. I just received my iphone yesterday, and still have the same phone number as before. I haven’t gotten a wrong number incoming call in about 6 months, and the wrong numbers are ALWAYS for the man who had the phone number before me, who’s name was Tom.

    Well I get 3 wrong numbers today, for Jim, Beth, and Olivia. So I did a search and found this page. Since the first three numbers of my 7 digit number is (705), I can understand that as an Ontario area code this might be dialed if someone is visiting here from that area and tries to dial a number without the proper prefix.

    But I’ve gotten 3 wrong numbers, in the first 24 hours of owning the iPhone. It’s so weird that it hasn’t happened before yesterday as often. There has to be something else wrong with their calling system.