What does cancelled call mean? 3 examples why you would cancel a call

Have you ever been working and found that your call has been cancelled? When this happens, it can be rather frustrating. However, “cancelled call” does not mean what you might think it does.

What does cancelled call mean?

When your phone says “cancelled call”, it’s saying that the call was cancelled by none other than you! It does not mean there was a problem with the connection, or they didn’t pick up the phone. It just means you hung up before they had the chance to pick up the phone.

In this article, we’ll be looking at why you might cancel a call, what will happen in different situations, and other types of calls you may want to become familiar with.

Why people might not be able to get to the phone, causing you to cancel the call

Let’s start off by looking at a few of the reasons why people might not be able to get to their phones on time.

The most common reason is simply that they’re busy. If someone has a ton of housework to do, kids to look after, and a job to make money from, you can’t expect them to have access to their phone 24/7.

They also might be somewhere far away from their phone; this will require them to make a bit of journey before they can pick up the phone to talk to you.

And sometimes, they might not want to talk to you, so they let the phone ring. When this happens, you may think they’re just not in and end up hanging up the phone.

What happens if the recipient rejects your call?

There will be some situations where people will see that you’re calling, but instead of not answering, they simply hang up on you before you can speak a word to them.

When this happens, you will hear one or two rings before being directed straight to voicemail. If there are no rings, and you go right to voicemail, this usually means their phone is off.

What happens if the recipient doesn’t have voice mail

If their phone does not have voicemail. You will hear nothing more than a ring. There shall be no “please leave a message”.

However, these days, it’s very rare for phones not to have some kind of voicemail system, so I can’t think of any situations where you would call someone who won’t let you leave a message.

Of course, when you cancel a call, you will not be able to leave a voicemail as you will have left the call by choice.

Why you might have to have a cancelled call

Now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might cancel a call.

#1 You’re too busy to wait

Often, when we make a phone call, that phone call will be one of many things on a long to-do list. We all have stuff to do, and if we need to talk to someone, we don’t have time to wait around for people to pick up their phone.

There is no point in leaving a message either, as you will then need to wait for them to call you back. If they don’t have time to pick up the phone, why should you try and find the time to talk to them?

#2 You don’t want to talk to that person

There will be some people who you don’t really want to call, but you feel obligated to. This could be because they’re related to you or because someone is pressuring you to contact them.

Instead of calling them, you can wait for the phone to ring a couple of times and then hang up. This is when you get asked, “did you manage to ring up X”, you can just say, “well, I did try but they never picked up the phone”.

In a way, you did call them. You just also hung up on them before they could get to the phone. So technically, it wouldn’t be a lie.

#3 you called the wrong number

There will be times when you ring up a number, but as it rings, you look at the number, and suddenly, you realise it’s the wrong number!

Don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all done it. Myself included.

Most of us don’t want to go through the awkwardness of talking to a stranger and saying, “sorry, wrong number”. So, to avoid that awkwardness, we instead just hang up before either of us has to say anything to the other one.

Unless you like meeting new people that way. I’m not one to judge.

Another definition of “cancelled call”

When people talk about a “cancelled call”, there could be something else they’re talking about.

Sometimes, we book a time in which we will call someone, but for one reason or another, something else pops up, and we are no longer able to make the phone call.

When this happens, we will usually send a text or email to the person we were going to call to let them know we are no longer able to make it. Even though your phone will never know about it, this could be referred to as a “cancelled call”.

What are some other types of call?

As well as a cancelled call, here are a few other types of call you should be aware of.

  • Cold Call: When the caller is unknown to the receiver. Usually to try to sell you something.
  • Missed Call: When you don’t pick up your phone. You will receive a “missed call” notification to let you know that somebody has tried to call you.
  • Conference call: Someone calls, not just one person, but a whole table of them. This can be done through the phone, but it’s more common to do it through software such as zoom.
  • Robo Call: When you are called by an automatic machine rather than a human being.


A cancelled call is a call that you have cancelled yourself. It does not mean the person you’re trying to call hasn’t picked up.

Knowing about this sort of lingo can help you understand your phone better, and hopefully, not get so confused at what your phone is telling you.

We hope this article is going to be of great value to you. And hopefully, now, you won’t be looking at your phone like it’s talking to you in Ancient Klingon.