Introduction

Please note that this article is for US clients only.

CNAM stands for Caller ID Name and refers to the calling party's name that gets presented on some phone calls.

There are 2 principle ways that CNAM will appear on a phone call.

  • The called party can look up the Caller ID Number that they receive and try and match it to a name, either from a locally stored contact or a communal database.
  • The calling party can send a Caller ID Name along with the Caller ID Number and this is presented to the callee.

Requesting CNAM for a tenant

If a residential tenant requires a specific name to be presented on their outbound calls then you will need to add a Caller ID Name service to their account on Connect.

This will raise a case for our support team who will contact you to confirm the details on what name the tenant would like to present. Once we have all the details we update our voice platform to send the required name and raise an order with our call carrier to update their database with the correct name. Once our carrier's database is up to date other third party providers will start to update their databases with that information and once the dialed party's carrier have done a lookup to correct their records the correct name will start to show up when dialing out.

Limitations

There are a number of limitations on CNAM transmission due to the fact that the final lookup of a number is done by the callee. Under ideal circumstances limitations are as follows:

  • Caller ID Name can only be 15 characters and is typically in all capital letters.
  • Caller ID Name can only be delivered if you present your number, without the number the callee cannot look up a name.
  • Caller ID Name will be looked up on the number you present, i.e. if you present your own direct number then that is what the callee will present the name for.
  • Some carriers will only present the Caller ID Name to customers that pay for the service, if the caller is not paying for the service they may not see your name.
  • Most carriers will not preserve the caller ID sent by our voice platform, due to the complicated nature of intermediary carriers and network technologies any name we send will typically be removed before it reaches the destination network.
  • Updates can take a long time to propagate as the callee's provider must actively chose to update their information. As there will often be a cost associated with doing so there can be a period of weeks or even months before some carriers update their information.

Troubleshooting

The easiest way to see if your Caller ID Name is set up correctly is to call a number outside of our network, such as your cell phone, and confirm the correct name is presented. It is important to make sure you are calling a number that is outside of our network as otherwise the caller ID will just appear as whatever we send and may not reflect what is publicly seen by other carriers. Please also be aware that if you have the number stored in your phone as a contact the contact name may appear instead of the carrier based name.

If you do not pay for a inbound caller ID on your cell phone or want additional assurances as to what is set up then there are a number of providers of free tools that can be used to look up your Caller ID Name such as Open CNAM, Caller ID Test and Twilio

If the name is correct in some cases but not others then normally that means that the change has not properly propagated to their network yet and should be updated within a few weeks. If no services are reporting the correct name then that might indicate an issue with the request and you should raise a case with our support team to investigate.

Ultimately the responsibility is with the callee's carrier performing the lookup and we will typically have no business relationship or formal agreement that can be used to guarantee a resolution of any issues in a timely manner. As such this service is provided on a best-effort basis and we cannot guarantee propagation times or resolution times in the event of any issues.

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