How Do You Say ‘I Couldn’t Receive Your Call?’

To a large extent, receiving someone’s call is at the disposal of the person who is to receive it. Meaning, it is their choice whether to pick up or not to.

However, some people deliberately choose not to answer specific phone calls for reasons best known to them.

It is possible that the person calling also gives them a task to work on, or they don’t get value for their time after speaking to certain people whose calls they avoid.

On the other hand, there is another set of people who do not deliberately avoid calls but do so unintentionally. Maybe their phones are not nearby, or they are not disposed to respond to the call at the moment.

Such people almost always call back to give reasons for their actions, and most of the time they are genuine. In this article, you will learn how to say ‘I couldn’t receive your call’ in diverse ways.

15 ‘I Couldn’t Receive Your Call?’ Responses

It is not tedious to give a suitable response when you couldn’t receive someone’s call. You should simply not hide the truth from them especially if they do not always say something valuable over the phone.

Below are 15 ‘ I couldn’t receive your call’ responses:

  1. ‘I tender my apologies; I couldn’t answer when you called.’
  2. ‘I wasn’t available to pick up.’
  3. ‘I couldn’t attend to your call.’
  4. ‘Forgive me, I was quite occupied.’
  5. ‘When you called, I couldn’t speak at that moment.’
  6. ‘I say Sorry. I couldn’t take your call because I was busy.’
  7. ‘I wasn’t able to speak when you called.’/
  8. ‘ I was asleep, so I couldn’t take your call.’
  9. I don’t respond to every call at work, except official ones.’
  10. ‘My call volume was low; that was why your call went unanswered.’
  11. ‘Sorry I couldn’t receive your call; my phone was stolen weeks ago.’
  12. ‘My attention was provided so I couldn’t receive your calls.’
  13. ‘Before I  would pick up your call, it ended.’
  14. ‘I wasn’t expecting any phone calls, so I put my phone away since morning’
  15. ‘I didn’t notice your incoming call.’

‘I Tender My Apologies; I Couldn’t Answer When You Called’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

When you can’t receive someone’s call, it could be deliberate or unintentional. However, it could be that you simply choose not to pick up calls at a certain time, not necessarily because you are occupied with something.

But maybe because you had a pretty busy day and don’t want to receive a phone call, you may intentionally miss someone’s call.

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It is possible that you forgot to put off your phone for that period, and from all indications, the incoming calls will further add more responsibilities to you that you may not be able to handle at that moment.

At that point, your words to the person whose call you couldn’t receive could be, ‘I tender my apologies; I couldn’t answer when you called.’

He or she may deduce that since you apologize, it wasn’t a willing action and that you are polite about it.

‘I Wasn’t Available To Pick Up’

The truth is that not everyone is without responsibility, a job, or a duty. Most times, people are pretty busy, and this could be a reason for an unanswered call.

If you couldn’t pick up someone’s call because you were unavailable at that moment, you should come out and explain to them that you were occupied at the time that they called.

Normally, this is a reasonable response to or excuse to give for not receiving someone’s call. This response could also mean that you weren’t close to your phone; maybe you were engaged with something else, or you were in a conversation, meeting, or formal gathering that required that you stay away from phone calls until the meeting or conversation was over.

If the caller gets upset that you didn’t pick up their calls, you can simply say to them that it wasn’t an intentional act but you were unavailable; otherwise, it wouldn’t have been a missed call.

‘I Couldn’t Attend To Your Call’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

People who are extremely busy can say this to someone whose call they couldn’t receive. Although ‘I couldn’t attend to your call’ is not a complete justification for not receiving someone’s call, you can continue the explaining if you want to, but if you choose not to, it’s still fine since everyone has personal reasons as to why they do the things they do.

So, if you feel you don’t owe an explanation to someone whose call you missed, maybe because they bug you a lot or enjoy wasting your time, you can simply give them this short response as a justification for your action.

However, not just people who are busy can use this response, but anyone who feels it is appropriate.

‘Forgive Me; I Was Quite Occupied’

Most times, you may not receive someone’s call because there is a lot on your hands to work on. At that point, you can add some politeness and say, ‘Forgive me; I was quite occupied.’

This shows courtesy and can somehow calm the mind of someone who wants to vent their anger on you because they are upset that you didn’t refuse their call for any legitimate reason.

Also, you can choose not to receive calls when you are occupied with something very important. All you need to do is call back afterward and explain the state you were in, or at least show concern to know why they called or how you can be of help to them.

If not picking up is deliberate, then you’ll have to ask for forgiveness unfailingly since you never knew if your attention was urgently needed or not.

‘When You Called, I Couldn’t Speak At That Moment’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

It is not always bad to go straight to the point, especially when you missed someone’s call. It is normal to be with your phone but not receive calls in some circumstances, places, or with certain people.

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This could be a result of the place you were in, the people in the place where you were when the call came in, the nature of the discussion you were having, and the age of the person you were having a talk with.

However, there are quite a number of situations or environments that you may find yourself in that could restrict you from receiving calls.

Nevertheless, at the time when you see such a person or return the calls, you can say, ‘When you called, I couldn’t speak at that moment.’ On hearing this response, they may not ask you further questions and cease to get mad at you.

‘I Say Sorry. I Couldn’t Pick Up Your Call Because I Was Busy’

Everyone has their choice as to whether they want to receive calls or not and when they want to do so. In a situation where someone is busy and couldn’t receive a call and they want to be polite about it, they can say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I couldn’t pick up your call because I was busy.

Giving a reason for not responding to someone’s call after tendering an apology is heartwarming and shows that you have their best interests at heart and didn’t intentionally refuse to receive their calls.

Almost everyone who hears this should respect your schedule and understand why you couldn’t pick up their call(s) at the time they called.

‘I Wasn’t Able To Speak When You Called’

It is possible to hold your phone closely and not pick up a call for certain reasons. This could be because you were caught up in an engagement.

Also, if the place you were at when you were called was noisy or it was not convenient to receive a call at that moment, you can use the reply ‘I wasn’t able to speak when you called’ as well.

‘I Was Asleep, So I Couldn’t Pick Up Your Call’

Someone who is asleep isn’t expected to receive a phone call. If the reason you did not receive someone’s call is that you were asleep, then this is a suitable response.

It is expected that you put your phone away when you want to rest after a busy day. And this could be a valid reason why you couldn’t receive someone’s call. This response can also calm someone who feels upset that you didn’t receive their calls.

‘I Don’t Respond To Every Call At Work Except Official Ones’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

Every working environment has rules that govern it. So, it is possible that certain work environments shun receiving calls that are not official ones in the office.

If that is the case, then you can let them know that the reason you don’t pick up their calls is that you are not permitted to do so when you are in the office.

Your response will bring awareness to their minds that you didn’t take the wrong decision, except if they want you to get into trouble with your boss or even get sacked.

‘My Call Volume Was Low; That’s Why Your Call Went Unanswered’

When your call volume is reduced to the barest minimum, it is normal that you may not be aware that your phone is ringing when someone puts a call across to you.

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So, when you encounter a moment like this, simply unravel the fact as it happens and say, ‘Your call volume wasn’t loud,’ and that was why you left the call unanswered. This indicates that it wasn’t an intentional action to not receive the call.

‘Sorry, I Couldn’t Receive Your Call; My Phone Was Stolen Weeks Ago’

It is possible to get comments from people that you habitually avoid calling. However, on your end, you either misplaced your phone or it got stolen.

In that case, not for sympathy’s sake but to let them know the reason why and correct their perspective towards you, you can tell them that your phone is no longer in your possession.

‘My Attention Was Divided, So I Couldn’t Receive Your Calls’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

A lack of focus can distract someone from receiving calls. Activities that are interesting or distracting can overwhelm someone and cause them not to respond well.

If that is the case, then you can make the response simple by going straight to the point that your attention was divided at that time. So, receiving calls was not possible at the time that they called.

This response works so well if you are a busy person or work in a place with a tight schedule. When you give your reasons, the other party tends to at least consider them.

‘Before I Could Pick Up Your Call, It Ended’

You can watch your phone ring out loud, and before you get close to it, the call ends. In that situation, you made efforts to receive the call, but unfortunately, it wasn’t possible. If that is the case, then you shouldn’t hide the fact that you had intentions to receive the call but it couldn’t work out.

Several other reasons could be responsible for your not returning the call. But, however it is, you can tell the person whose call you couldn’t receive that the reason for what happened is that the call ended before you could pick it up.

‘I Wasn’t Expecting Any Phone Calls, So I Put My Phone Away Since Morning’

How Do You Say 'I Couldn't Receive Your Call

There are times when receiving calls becomes a distraction, especially when you want to stay away from your phone for a while or you feel stressed out and want to put away anything that will take away your relief.

In that scene, putting away your phone is important. And when you do, you may miss someone’s call.

While telling them your reason for not receiving their call, you can add that your phone has not been at your disposal since the morning or for the period of time you were away from your phone.

‘I Didn’t Notice Your Incoming Call’

Someone who is absentminded may forget the way their phone rings or better still their ringtone.

Also, they may be looking in the direction where their phone is, but since their attention is far from where their body lies, they may not realize that they need to respond to an incoming call.

In this scene, the act of not responding may not have been deliberate but rather the result of ignorance.


There are quite a number of reasons why someone may not respond to an incoming call. Most importantly, someone who doesn’t have their phone at the moment isn’t expected to receive calls.

Same with someone who keeps their phone away so that they can have a time of less stress or, if possible, a time to relax and meditate.

Anyways, you can say to someone whose call you couldn’t receive that your phone’s volume was so low at the time when they called and that was the reason why you couldn’t pick up.

You can also say that you were so engaged in a lot of activities or that you were absent-minded and that was the reason why you couldn’t receive calls.

However it happens, ensure that they are clear that it wasn’t a deliberate act if it wasn’t intended to be one.

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