Have you just tried to call someone, but they didn’t pick up? You may want to email them to say “I called you, but you didn’t answer.” However, is it the most polite phrase?
This article will explore the most polite way of saying “I called you, but you didn’t answer.” We’ve compiled plenty of useful synonyms to help you.
Is It Polite to Say “I Called You, But You Didn’t Answer”?
It is not polite to say “I called you, but you didn’t answer.” It’s generally considered rude because it assumes that someone ignored your call. They may have simply been busy rather than choosing to ignore you.
We don’t recommend using it in business emails because it is not professional, either. There are better alternatives out there, as “I called you, but you didn’t answer” is a little too informal.
Check out this example to help you:
I called you, but you didn’t answer me. Is everything OK?
- It’s direct and clear.
- It shows you attempted to call someone.
- It blames the other party for ignoring your call (even if they simply missed it).
- It’s not polite or professional.
“I called you, but you didn’t answer” is certainly not the best phrase to use in most situations. So, it’s wise to have a few synonyms ready to help you stay polite and professional.
Keep reading to learn the best alternatives to show you what to say when someone is not picking up calls. We’ve provided examples for each one to help you as well.
Polite Ways of Saying “I Called You, But You Didn’t Answer”
- I tried to call you but couldn’t get through
- I tried to contact you by phone but failed
- I must have missed you on the phone
- I called you without success
- You must have missed my call
- I’m afraid you missed my call
- I tried calling, but you were busy
- You were busy when I tried to contact you
- I could not reach you over the phone
- I failed to call you earlier
1. I Tried to Call You but Couldn’t Get Through
One of the best phrases to take away the blame from “I called you, but you didn’t answer” is “I tried to call you but couldn’t get through.” It shows that you do not blame the other party for missing your phone call.
After all, they could have been too busy to answer you. Or maybe they just didn’t receive the call in the first place.
You should never make assumptions when you want to be polite. It’s better to let them know that you “couldn’t get through” and set up a new time to discuss matters with them instead.
You should refer to this email example if you’re still unsure:
I tried to call you but couldn’t get through. Is there anything specific you would like to discuss with me?
2. I Tried to Contact You By Phone But Failed
A polite way to say “I called you, but you didn’t answer,” is “I tried to contact you by phone but failed.” It works well because it shows that neither of you is to blame for the missed phone call.
Instead, it allows you to show that you tried to call a colleague. They may have missed you, but you can always email them to set up a new time for the phone call. Then, you can find a more suitable time they have confirmed they’ll be free.
This email sample will also help you with it:
I tried to contact you by phone but failed. I hope you don’t mind me emailing you to discuss matters further.
3. I Must Have Missed You on the Phone
A good formal alternative is “I must have missed you on the phone.” It shows you how to tell someone you called them, even if you didn’t get to speak to them on the phone.
We highly recommend this one when emailing customers. It shows you tried to reach out (especially if they need your help), but you couldn’t get through.
It’s a good excuse if you’re trying to explain why you didn’t manage to call someone.
Check out this email example to see how it works:
I must have missed you on the phone when I tried to call. Do you have any new updates that might help me?
Thank you very much,
4. I Called You Without Success
You can try writing “I called you without success” after you missed a phone call with someone. It’s a great alternative to “I called you, but you didn’t answer” because it shows that the call failed without shifting blame.
You should use it when emailing employees. It shows that you tried to reach out to them but could not get through. That way, you can email them to pass on the information that they would have otherwise missed.
We recommend referring to the following email example if you’re still stuck:
I called you without success yesterday. So, I have decided to email you the main points to get them across quickly.
5. You Must Have Missed My Call
“You must have missed my call” is a more direct alternative to “I called you, but you didn’t answer.” “Must” shows that you attempted to call someone, but they missed it.
Don’t worry; this phrase doesn’t blame the other party. Instead, it shows that you couldn’t catch them at an appropriate time. We recommend it when emailing clients. It shows you missed them but would like to call them again when they’re ready for you.
You should also check out this sample email:
Dear Mr. Arlott,
You must have missed my call about this issue. I will happily call you again if you provide me with a suitable time.
6. I’m Afraid You Missed My Call
Using “I’m afraid” at the start of a phrase often makes it more polite and professional. So, you could try “I’m afraid you missed my call” in more formal emails to show that someone didn’t answer you when you called them.
It’s good to include it in an email to an employee. It shows you tried to contact them about a work-related issue. In the email, you can ask if there’s a better time to call them again that will ensure you get through.
Here’s a useful email sample to help you:
I’m afraid you missed my call last night. Can I call you again today to find out more about the situation?
7. I Tried Calling, But You Were Busy
There are plenty of reasons why someone might be too busy to answer you. There’s also nothing wrong with saying “you were busy” when letting them know that you couldn’t get through.
So, “I tried calling, but you were busy” is a great alternative to “I called you, but you didn’t answer.” It shows that you did your best but couldn’t get through when you needed to speak to someone.
Perhaps this example will help you understand it better:
I tried calling, but you were busy. I hope you are free for another call today, as I’d like to talk more about this issue.
8. You Were Busy When I Tried to Contact You
Another great formal alternative is, “you were busy when I tried to contact you.” It suggests that you called someone but may have gone straight to voicemail because they were speaking to someone else already.
It works well in an email to a client, showing that you’ve tried to get in touch. Most clients will understand that you did your best, even if they were too busy to answer.
You can also refer to this email example:
Dear Ms. Kirk,
You were busy when I tried to contact you last night. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve decided to email you instead.
All the best,
9. I Could Not Reach You Over the Phone
We recommend trying “I could not reach you over the phone” to sound polite and professional in an email. It shows that you tried to get in touch with someone but did not get through.
It’s quite self-explanatory, making it a useful choice if you want simplicity!
Here’s a useful example to show you how it works:
I could not reach you over the phone yesterday. So, I’ve reached out via email to explain the next stages.
All the best,
10. I Failed to Call You Earlier
Generally, a missed phone call isn’t deliberate. Therefore, you should try to avoid either party. We recommend using “I failed to call you earlier” when you might have reached out to someone, but they didn’t pick up your call.
It’s good when emailing colleagues. It shows you made a call attempt, but you could not get through to them. From there, you can set up a more suitable time that works for both of you.
If you’re unsure, you can also refer to this example:
I failed to call you earlier today. Is there any time that works best to contact you during the day?