Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My wife and I have the same problem with Siri. In our contacts database, each person has at least one associated phone number (usually associated with 'home', 'mobile' or 'iPhone'). However, even though these numbers are the typical 10 digits used in N. America, Siri frequently will be unable to dial the number despite finding the contact and the number in the database. Question: can this be fixed without re-entering the numbers to the contacts database? What causes some 10 digit numbers (and numbers with the +1 in front of them) to be unrecognizable for purposes of making Siri-initiated phone calls?

share|improve this question
I don't know if this is related, but for crying out loud, when a text rolls in that comes from a number in the contacts database how hard is it for iOS to swap in the name of that contact instead of the number? The incoming text should be prefaced by the senders name! – Rolnik Jan 30 '12 at 16:33
Do you have international assist enabled in the Settings -> Phone portion of the settings app? – bmike Jan 30 '12 at 17:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Believe it or not, this is often a minor activation issue–assuming the iPhone is on Sprint or Verizon. On Verizon, Dial *228 from the Phone app. On Sprint, dial ##UPDATE# (##873283#). Follow the voice prompts, if any. The process takes a minute or two. After you get a pop-up message indicating the update was successful, wait another minute. You should see your service indicator go away for a moment then come back.

Afterward, try Siri again. This will likely resolve your text message issues too, though a restart of the iPhone (hold sleep/wake button, swipe to shut off, wait, start back up) may be necessary there.

share|improve this answer
woah! Awesome information there - can you share some information on what happens under the hood in this case or a knowledge base article describing the symptoms of this. – bmike Jan 30 '12 at 17:32
I don't have a formal article to point to. On some occasions the iPhone does not properly load the activation profile, which causes it to format phone numbers incorrectly. This causes Siri, Phone, and the Messages app to be confused about which number goes to which contact. It appears the relevant article "iOS: Troubleshooting received calls or SMS messages not matching" has been pulled, but still shows in Google as TS2326. – Christian L Jan 30 '12 at 17:43
Perfect - that was the link I was looking for. - Just hit refresh when you get a 404 from Apple's web servers. They have some problems serving up the knowledge base for some months. :-( – bmike Jan 30 '12 at 18:30
I'm on Verizon. I dialed *228 and selected their option 2. After a minute the automated system stated the UPDATE was complete, and I hung up. I'll report back later whether lingering problems persist. – Rolnik Jan 31 '12 at 15:23
The problem seems to have resolved itself. Sorry to be so late with this post. I can only guess, that the above procedure solved the issue. – Rolnik Jul 30 '12 at 16:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.