Calling FAQs

Calling FAQs

How do I call out? It looks like I'm dialing my Burner!

Don't worry, that is normal behavior!  

Your Account Number will be your main cell phone number. That is also where your Burner will forward your calls. We act as the middle man, so when someone calls your Burner, the Burner forwards the call to your main cell number. It will look like your Burner is calling you. Likewise, when you call someone else, your Account Number calls your Burner, and your Burner calls the other contact.

Among other security measures, this background process is how we protect your number.

You'll need your cellular data to be turned on, but Wi-Fi works too. Burner forwards to your main cell by default, so if you're not on Wi-Fi and cellular data is off, your main line won't run and you won't get any calls.

To call out from inside the app: 
  1. Tap the phone icon at the bottom of the main screen to bring up the dialer.
  2. Select which burner line you'd like to call from if you have multiple Burners.
  3. Type in the contact number, or add a contact from your contacts list by tapping the + icon.
  4. Tap the phone icon in the dialer to initiate the call.
If you see any error message or it doesn't connect, be sure you have a ten digit US/CA number inputted properly (we don't currently support international calls) and be sure your Burner number is not blocked on your device. 

How do I answer calls, and why is my Burner calling me?

The way Burner works is that Burner forwards your calls to your main cell number. That's why your Account Number is your main cell phone number. Similarly, when you call someone else, your Account Number calls your Burner, and your Burner calls the other contact. Among other security measures, this process is how we protect your number.

You can set the Caller ID of an inbound call to be shown as either your Burner number or the Caller ID of the inbound caller. If you set the Caller ID as your Burner number, it'll look like your Burner is calling you. 

You'll need your cellular data to be turned on, but Wi-Fi works too. Burner forwards to your main cell by default, so if you're not on Wi-Fi and cellular data is off, your main line won't run and you won't get those calls.

To answer using the default call flow:
  1. Answer the call from your device as if it's a normal call.
  2. Listen for the recording that states "Press 1 to answer or 2 to decline." You'll need to press 1 in order to connect the call. 
  3. Wait for the tone that notifies you of the call being connected.
If you cannot hear the "Press 1" option, try pressing 1 anyways and see if it connects. If it doesn't connect or you have other issues, you can message us here.

If you are on a platform that supports in-app calling, you'll receive a notification of the call and you can answer it from the notification without having to press 1. 

How do I know who is calling?

When you receive a call to your Burner, it is routed through your actual phone number and will show up as your Burner number calling you. However, you can receive a notification that tells you when a number is calling and who it is before the Burner number is shown as calling you.

On the Burner app: Tap the gear icon to open your Burner's Settings page > Toggle your Rings and Notifications so they are turned “On.”
On your device: Open your device's Settings page > Scroll down until you see the Burner app > Make sure all Notifications for Burner are allowed.

Why does it say my number is disconnected?

If you receive a "disconnected" message on an outbound call when using Burner, it's because your cell phone line is showing up as "Restricted/Anonymous." We have several service providers and recently a policy was changed regarding blocked calls. Unfortunately, your Burners won't activate unless your caller ID block is lifted. 

Though you should still be able to receive/send texts and receive inbound calls, you'll need to adjust your settings for this before making a call. 

iOS: Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID > On
Android: varies with each device

If adjusting the settings on your phone is ineffective, you'll need to contact your carrier to lift the block on your caller ID so that Burner can work.

If someone who is making an inbound call to your Burner receives a "disconnected" message, it may be an issue with that person's carrier, or you may have run out of minutes on your burner. Please message us here with your account number so we can investigate for you.

What is this restricted or anonymous number calling me?

Burners are real numbers, so it's always possible someone owned the number before you. If you're receiving calls from Restricted or Anonymous numbers that you don't know, you can always block them.

To block a number, follow the steps below: 
  1. From the main inbox go to Contacts
  2. Select the Burner the person is calling
  3. Select the contact for the person calling, then click Edit
  4. At the bottom of the edit page, you'll see Block—select that
  5. After selecting the block feature, it will prompt you to make sure that you really want to block them.
We also have our Nomorobo Connection which automatically filters out spam calls and robocallers. To learn more about that, check out our Support article on this Connection. 

Not to worry though, if you can't live with just blocking the numbers because there are so many, we'll always replace it for you. Just message us at support@burnerapp.com with your account number and the affected Burner number.

How does Burner activity look on a phone bill, and does it use Wi-Fi or data?

All inbound and outbound calls from and to your Burner will appear as your Burner number on your phone bill.

For instance, if your Burner number is (333) 333-3333 and you get a call to that number from from (444) 555-1234, your phone bill will show an inbound call from (333) 333-3333 (not (444) 555-1234.)  Likewise, if you make an outbound call from Burner to (555) 555-5555 your bill will show an outbound call to your Burner number, not the (555) number.

As for the person you call/who calls you, their phone bill will show your Burner number too.

In both cases, your Burner line bridges you to the caller and vice versa, so the number showing up on both phone bills will be the Burner number.

Your text messages are different, in that they do not forward or bounce between your main cell and your Burner. SMS are sent and received directly through the app and will not be on your carrier's bill. 

Burner uses your phone's data but it can also run on Wi-Fi. Below are some instances in which you might use Wi-Fi vs. cellular data: 

Cellular Data
- Running the app, SMS, MMS, and calling

Wi-Fi
- Running the app, VoIP calls, SMS, MMS

In order to use the default call flow, your cellular data needs to be turned on so your Burner calls can forward to your main cell number. If it is not, your calls can't go anywhere. The exception to this is when you have Wi-Fi calling turned on for your main cell number, in which case it can receive Burner calls when you are on Wi-Fi only and have no cellular data.

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