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I have a Motorola Moto E (2020) (model number XT2052-1) running Android 10 (build number QPGS30.82-141-17).

Recently, it started ending incoming calls as soon as I answer them: when the phone is called, it rings and displays the associated on-screen prompt to answer/decline the call, but when I answer it, the call immediately ends (i.e., the phone hangs up automatically). This has happened multiple times with multiple callers; at this point I'm unable to successfully answer any incoming calls. From the caller's side, it seems like the call is answered but then immediately disconnected (they're not put through to my voicemail).

I was able to answer an incoming call about a week ago and I haven't made any changes to my phone's configuration in months (I haven't installed any new apps, changed any settings, etc.).

I'm able to make outgoing calls with no issues.

I went through Motorola's troubleshooter for both Calls are dropping and Unable to make or receive calls (under the general Calls category) and also tried some potential solutions I found online.

At this point, I've tried:

  • Clearing the phone app's cache and storage.
  • Powering off the phone and then powering it on again.
  • Restarting the phone.
  • Force rebooting the phone.
  • Restarting the phone in safe mode. (This apparently rules out the possibility of another app interfering with phone calls.)
  • Checked for a software update (my phone is already running the latest version of Android available to it).
  • Testing the proximity sensor (this seems irrelevant but was listed in one of Motorola's troubleshooters).
  • Ensuring that the "Power button ends calls" option is disabled (again, seems irrelevant, but was in a troubleshooter).

I haven't tried a factory reset (yet).

I've found a lot of reports of this problem or similar ones occurring for phones running Android, but the cause is often a third-party app (which I seem to have ruled out by trying to answer an incoming call in safe mode).

I'd appreciate any suggestions of other things to try before performing a factory reset. I'm also concerned that, even if I'm able to fix this problem, it may "randomly" occur again in the future (which I'd only realize when I'm unable to answer an incoming call), so any thoughts as to what the root cause might be (software, hardware, an issue with my cell service provider) would be welcome.

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    Check your network settings for "Wifi calling" and disable it if it is active.Just to make sure the calls are really using the mobile network. Additionally check if the call behavior changes while the phone is connected to a charger. Sometimes old bad batteries have short voltage drops which can crash system parts or the whole OS. When connected to a charger this should not happen if it is the battery.
    – Robert
    Jan 19 at 8:01
  • Thank you for the suggestions; in my case, this turned out to be a problem on the cell service provider's end (see my answer for details), but good to have other potential causes documented in case this happens to someone else and isn't a provider issue. Jan 24 at 3:03

1 Answer 1

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This problem was caused by an outage my cell service provider was experiencing.

After posting this question, I tried my SIM card in an old iPhone and the same issue occurred; I then called my provider and they said the issue was a problem on their end that they were working to fix. After a few days the issue was resolved with no action on my side.

Doesn't inspire confidence in the provider, but at least I didn't have to perform a factory reset.

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