You can’t easily find out for certain whether you’ve been blocked, but if you check for the telltale signs you can get a good idea of what’s going on. We blocked one of our spare phones to find out the number of times a call will ring before being declined or sent to voicemail, the response when sending a text and so on, all of which will help us work out when we’ve been the victims of this feature in the future.
(If you’d rather watch our experiment than read about it, by the way, have a look at the video at the top of the article. We first show how to block someone, and then demonstrate what effect that has on the other person’s phone, so you can learn the clues.)
We rang the iPhone that had blocked us. The phone rang exactly once, and then we were told that the number called wasn’t available, diverted to voicemail and invited to leave a message. Note that the iPhone never received any notification that this message had been left.
(As an aside, even though the recipient gets no notification that a message has been received, they do get the message and can listen to it if they choose. If a blocked caller has left a voicemail on your phone, you can access it by going into your voicemail and scrolling down to find the ‘blocked messages’ folder, which will sit below the ‘deleted messages’ folder. Note that if you’ve not had any such messages the folder itself won’t be visible. And there will be a delay between the person leaving the message and it appearing in the folder.)
A single ring and then being diverted to voicemail is the giveaway behaviour you’re looking for – but bear in mind that this can also result from the phone being switched off or set to auto divert. So we’ll rule those out next.