Joon How Caller Id Works and Troubleshooting Tips

What is caller Id?

In 1976 Kazuo Hashimoto built one of the first caller id prototypes for a phone display set, allowing the call receiver to view incoming call information via the phone display. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that caller id began making its way into mainstream households. Fast forward to 2019, caller id is a common phone feature we all know and love.

At Joon we’d love to help you understand how communication systems work! After all, knowledge is power. So let’s explore this topic together in further detail.

How Caller Id Works

Caller id has a complex technical history. Although you and I may be engineers not all users are familiar with tech talk. As a result, we’ll focus on the general concept of how the caller id feature works.

The general process of the caller id feature is as follows:

  1. The caller makes a call to a callee
  2. The caller’s originating phone switch sends the caller’s number to the callee’s network
  3. The callee’s provider uses the number received to identify the caller’s information
  4. In some cases depending on the callee’s carrier or device; the caller’s information may be overridden based on device specifications

It’s important to note that while the caller id number is determined by the calling party’s network the name associated with that number is determined by either the callee’s network provider using CNAM queries or by the phone device the callee is using.

What is CNAM?

CNAM(Caller NAMe) is an external telecom services used by carriers to cross-reference caller data. CNAMs maintain their own internal databases. Note, there are 100s of CNAM services. Additionally, carriers are not required to use a specific or centralized service. Consequently, the decentralization of these databases makes the concept of ensuring accuracy across all networks more complex and certainly susceptible to errors.

How CNAM Works

When a callee receives a caller’s phone number, the caller’s number is sent by the callee’s carrier to a CNAM service provider. Sending of this data is commonly referred to as a query. The CNAM query will return the data stored in the CNAM’s database. Data received typically includes the name of the registrant and the phone number of the registrant. This data is then displayed on the callee’s device.

How to Update Your Business Number Caller Id Information

If you are currently a Joon client, support agents can check if your caller id information is accurate. You can request assistance in this area by simply sending an email to However, it’s important to keep in mind that although we keep this information updated based on best practices and your communication with us, the complex nature of caller id including variables like callee networks, CNAM databases, and callee phone devices means results may vary in certain circumstances. These circumstances are not within Joon’s control. As a result, we’re providing caller id troubleshooting information below.

How to Troubleshoot Caller Id Information

If you’ve already sent a support inquiry providing updated caller id information to Joon and one of our agents has confirmed data has been updated on our end but your company’s caller id information is still not updated, there are several other troubleshooting steps you should consider.

Device contact list

Review the contact list on the callee’s device. In some cases previous call history or callee device information may prevent caller id data from reflecting your updated information. In some cases, phone systems or devices are programmed to override incoming caller id information. To test if the call receiver’s device is the culprit for outdated caller id information follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the devices contact list
  2. Delete the existing contact from the phone
  3. Once the contact is deleted try to call the device again

Alternatively, try using someone else’s device from a different network to determine if the caller id information is different.

Outdated CNAM Databases

Caller CNAM directories may not update your caller id information. As a result, when the callee receives your call the caller id information may be either outdated or inaccurate. In order to remedy this issue get in touch with the callee’s service provider and ask the company if they can refresh or update their CNAM database.


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