Click on any of the following questions to jump to the answer:
- I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID but my phone never rings.
- I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID and my phone rings but it doesn’t accept my 6 digit code.
- I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID but I see “Twilio Error: Account not allowed to call…” my number.
- Can I have my name show up to people I call rather than the Caller ID number?
- People I call see a strange name on their phone’s display – why?
Questions & Answers
I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID but my phone never rings.
To add a number as a Caller ID that number must ring to a phone directly when it is dialed. It cannot be handled by any type of automatic answer, such as an auto-attendant. If your desired Caller ID number is answered automatically then you must temporarily configure it to ring directly to a phone you can answer while you are validating it as a Caller ID. Once you have it validated you can change it back to the original configuration.
Some phone numbers require a different approach – you must instruct Twilio to wait for a long pause before asking for the 6 digit code. To do that you enter the phone number followed by a space and then a fake extension, like this
This technique is adding a fake phone extension of ‘1’ that needs dialed after the call is answered, and each ‘w’ is a 1/2 second wait before the unnecessary ‘1’ is dialed at the end. There are 21 w’s so it has the effect of telling Twilio to wait about 10 seconds before proceeding to ask you for the 6 digit code.
I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID and my phone rings but it doesn’t accept my 6 digit code.
I’m entering a number to validate as a Caller ID and my phone rings but I see “Twilio Error: Account not allowed to call…” my number.
This typically happens because you did not include your country code when you typed your number. For example, for numbers in the U.S. you must enter the number starting with +1.
Can I have my name show up to people I call rather than the Caller ID number?
There are two cases to consider.
First, for a number you own and obtained from another carrier such as your mobile phone carrier or your company’s local phone service provider, your name or company name can show up when you use that number as a Caller ID. If that is not happening then you should consult with the carrier from whom you obtained the number.
However, for numbers you acquire for turboDial (that is, Twilio numbers) you must use the Twilio system for registering your business and your phone numbers for CNAM. This capability in Twilio is found here. Before you can use the Twilio CNAM features your turboDial account must be modified to operate in your primary Twilio console. For most turboDial customers the turboDial account is operating in a Twilio sub-account that you cannot access. Please consult turboDial support to learn how your turboDial account is configured and to determine if your account needs to be moved so you can proceed with the Twilio CNAM features.
People I call see a strange name on their phone’s display – why?
This can happen when you acquire a number in turboDial and then use it as a Caller ID. The name displayed on a phone when a call arrives is called the “Caller Name” display. That data is displayed by the phone provider for the person receiving the call, and that phone provider retrieves it from a nationwide “Caller Name Database” which is called the CNAM Database.
The CNAM Databases are not always accurate. For example, when someone gives up their phone number the name associated with that phone number may not be immediately deleted from the CNAM Database.
So, if you acquire a number in turboDial, if that number had been recently assigned to someone, the CNAM Database may still contain the data associated with the previous user. It may take a few weeks for the old data to be removed.
If you are having this problem you may decide to give up the phone number and acquire another one.
Here is Twilio’s comment on this problem:
Determining the calling name (in the United States) is the responsibility of the called party’s (callee) terminating carrier e.g: AT&T / Sprint etc. For each call, they will do a look-up to a CNAM database to determine the name that is currently registered to the caller’s number. Not all carriers reference the same database — there are several CNAM database providers, and the terminating carrier will typically contract with one of these providers for CNAM service. The caller ID or CNAM database entries are displayed on recipients phones based on the query that the recipients network does to their own version of the CNAM database it is because there is no central CNAM database you can have scenarios where when you call an AT&T number it displays caller ID X but when you call a Sprint number it displays caller ID Y as they both may use two different databases. Getting them updated can sometimes be a long and intricate process, there are services that can do CNAM updates on your behalf but they can be expensive.