I am creating a website for an apartment building. There will be a phone number listed for users to contact the landlord. The landlord, however, only wants to receive phone calls during the day.

Would it bad practice to not display the phone number to the users during those nighttime hours where the landlord doesn't want to be contacted or would it be best to put a label under the phone number with the hours?

  • 4
    This isn't something easily fixed by UX, the landlord should use Google Voice or one of they many other providers that will let him configure the hours his phone will right, with calls going to voicemail at other hours. Otherwise, tenants are going to call him at all hours regardless of what it says on the website, especially when they leave a note on the refrigerator with the Landlord's number but didn't also copy over his on-call hours. Hopefully the landlord has provided an after-hours emergency contact that the tenant can call when a burst pipe is flooding the building.
    – Johnny
    Feb 26, 2015 at 2:03
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not an issue the user has, hence not user experience.
    – DA01
    Feb 26, 2015 at 6:56
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    But to fix the problem, introduce your client to the wonders of voicemail.
    – DA01
    Feb 26, 2015 at 6:57
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    @DA01 It's an issue of how to convey certain information or achieve a given goal on an interface. UX includes the non-user stakeholders to me - although I will conceded that UX isn't universally viewed this way.
    – JohnGB
    Feb 26, 2015 at 9:13
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    You think not displaying the number during off hours will stop off hours calls. What would stop someone from using pen and paper to write down the number?
    – paparazzo
    Feb 26, 2015 at 17:58

3 Answers 3


In my opinion (which might not be representative of the other tenants), I would get really frustrated looking for the number. Showing basic contact info. is one of the primary purposes of a website like that, and so I would keep poking around the website trying to find it.

Instead, try doing what other companies do- show the different ways of contacting the landlord in order of the landlord's preference. For example, show their email address in large font and make it clickable to encourage users to use that first, and then show the phone number in small font with a message to only use the number in emergencies.

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    if i was a tenant, and there was an emergency i'd be seriously f*ed off if there was no number to call! Landlords have responsibilities to their tenants
    – Toni Leigh
    Feb 27, 2015 at 22:24

Or another way is

If you are interested in this apartment, Contact Mr. XYZ on 123-123-1234 only between 9 AM to 5 PM during weekdays.


Selectively hiding information is not a good idea, especially online. Consider someone who works until late and can't look on the site for accommodation during their lunch break, but can late at night.

Users will either look for an archived version of the page, find the point of contact on social media, or do something worse you would have never thought of.

I suggest you hide the number behind a button with "This user does not want to be contacted outside of [hours], please do not call them now." on it.

Alternatively, if you hide numbers behind captchas, inform the user that they should not contact the renter immediately somewhere in that interface. Specifying why they should not contact them at this time of night is also very important, as it attaches real consequences to doing so.

  • +1 Welcome to UXSE, good to see that you have considered some issues and provided a useful solution with an alternative as well. It would be good to provide some references to similar solutions if possible, but otherwise keep answering questions!
    – Michael Lai
    May 24, 2017 at 6:22

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