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  #1  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:09 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Why Can't You Block Telephone Calls?

Why can't you "block" a phone number from calling your (cell phone or landline) phone? You can block email addresses you don't want. Surely the technology exists. Doesn't it?

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  #2  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:14 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is online now
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Phones aren't like email where the user has direct access to everything but the hardware. The onus to block numbers would be on the companies and they don't want to bother with it.

For cell phones, I believe the reason for not implementing call blocking is that more incoming calls use more minutes, which increases your chances of an overage = bling bling (for them, at least). I'd like my phone to operate on a whitelist-only basis, personally. As it is, I never answer it unless the caller is in my address book. But the phone companies won't support this because it reduces their income potential.

For landline phones, the argument against it might be because maintaining block lists for every single land line would substantially increase the workload on the phone company. But I'm less sure of this.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:19 PM
MinkyBinks735 MinkyBinks735 is offline
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For most cell phone companies, you actually can block numbers. Verizon gives each account about 3 free blocks. which means you can choose any 3 numbers and it will block all incoming calls and texts. I am unsure about landlines however. but check with you cell phone supplier and they might help you.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:27 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Landline:
Quote:
Selective Call Rejection
Selective Call Rejection prevents unwanted calls from disturbing you.
To Use:
• Pick up the handset and listen for dial tone. • Press *60. • Listen for an announcement telling you whether
the service is currently on or off. • The recorded instructions will then tell you how
many (there must be at least one) numbers are
currently stored on your rejection list. • Follow the recorded instructions and press 3 to turn the feature ON (if it is currently off), or
turn the feature OFF (if it is currently on).
To Add The Last Caller To Your Selective Call Rejection List: • Press #01# and follow the recorded
instructions. (Blocked calls will be listed as “PRIVATE” or “BLOCKED.”)
To Add A Number To Your List:
• Press # and follow the recorded instructions. You can store up to 12 telephone numbers on your Selective Call Rejection list at one time.
To Remove A Number From Your List:
It took some digging at the phone company's website to find this.
Try searching for your proviser and "selective call rejection".
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:17 PM
Cinebar Cinebar is offline
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I got tired of my asshole neighbor calling me with bogus complaints about my chickens being in his yard and his threats to "call the sheriff" and I called my phone company and they set me up with a block.

It costs me a couple bucks a month on my bill and, I think, I can block as many numbers as I want. So far, his is the only number I've blocked.

It is well worth the couple of bucks a month - not only not having him able to call me but the fact that I know it pisses him off that he can't.

Have you checked with your phone company?

I don't know if you can do it with cell phones. My neighbor doesn't have my cell phone number. Actually, I have an unlisted land line number but his wife works for the county and I think she used her employment to get my number.

Last edited by Cinebar; 11-24-2010 at 10:19 PM..
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:31 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
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I'm with the OP -- why can't I program my phone to reject as many numbers as I like? I can make it ring differently for different incoming numbers. I'd think it should be easy to, at the very least, not ring at all for certain numbers.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:57 PM
Nametag Nametag is online now
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I have about 60 numbers regularly used by people I don't want to talk to. They are all in my address book under the name "Asshole," or some variation thereon, and all are assigned "Mute" as the ringtone. When I had a phone that didn't have "Mute," I used the quietest, least annoying ringtone in the list. If you have the capability, you can "record" an mp3 of silence and use that as a ringtone.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2010, 11:53 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nametag View Post
If you have the capability, you can "record" an mp3 of silence and use that as a ringtone.
But then you have to pay royalties to John Cage.
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2010, 12:06 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaliminal View Post
I'm with the OP -- why can't I program my phone to reject as many numbers as I like? I can make it ring differently for different incoming numbers. I'd think it should be easy to, at the very least, not ring at all for certain numbers.
If you have a computer with a modem, you can, sort of. I have a caller ID program on my computer and I can set it so that certain numbers, while aren't blocked, will be hung up on after one ring. I can set it to play a message back (anything from a "this number has been disconnected" to a series of loud obnoxious noises), but testing it with my cell phone showed it wasn't playing anything. So, every time a telemarketer calls, I pull up the number in the log and block it. One ring makes it through and the program takes it from there. Personally, I don't mind messing with telemarketers, but I hate it when my employees have to spend a minute and a half on the phone listening to their initial spiel.

We get some repeat offenders (one local small business in particular) and I like the feeling when I get to say "Listen, I'm really not interested and I've asked you guys to put me on your DNC list three times now, I just want to let you know I just set up my Caller ID to block your number, so you might as well stop calling now."

ETA
Here it is
http://www.phonetray.com/ptfree_features.htm

Last edited by Joey P; 11-25-2010 at 12:07 AM..
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2010, 12:56 AM
Arrogance Ex Machina Arrogance Ex Machina is offline
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My cell phone (and its an old, basic model) has a function to "ignore" a given number, which means it doesn't ring or vibrate or flash when that number calls me. It just lists the call as missed. No idea what it would do to SMS messages if anything.

Had an out-of-country caller continuously calling me and when I googled the number, there was a long thread about how it was some sort of scammer calling various people in Finland. Used the ignore function and that was the end of that for me. It was buried kind of deep in the user interface though.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2010, 12:59 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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That program just needs one extra option: the ability to download a good online filter list. Then you could essentially have a similar service to spam blockers on email.

I've actually wanted a slightly more feature rich version that would ask the caller to leave a message, but would let them hit a number if it's an emergency. Since most annoying calls are robocalls, they wouldn't have a clue (and the number could change). And if anyone abused the feature, they could be permenently blocked as mentioned above.

that would be a lot better than the service you get from the phone service, which is either a blacklist you set up yourself, or a white list, which could mean missing out in an emergency.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2010, 01:03 AM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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I haven't had a landline for about 5 years but when I did, you could dial a special number (like *69 but obviously not that) and add up to 10 numbers to a block list. My cell provider also offers something similar, but the smartphones out these days can blacklist or whitelist callers too without having to set it up through the provider.

I suspect the reason you can't completely control callers through the phone company is that it's more work for them. It's simpler to do it on the user's end, but a single call blocking phone isn't very good because most homes have more than one phone. You need a whole system. It looks like those cordless phones that come in sets provide just that.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2010, 01:05 AM
dzero dzero is offline
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The VOIP company I use (ITP) has both black and white lists that can be scheduled to turn on and off at specified times.

I use only the blacklist. As soon as I identify a number as being a telemarketer or other vermin, I add the number to the blacklist. Sometimes they use more than one number so you have to add each one.

I've even had a few that use caller id spoofing and it appears as some ridiculous number like 1111111. You can block those too as long as they use the same one consistently.

The landline carriers could do this if they wanted to, but why provide it as a free service when they can charge for it? That's why I cut my landline service back to the absolute minimum. Basically my local call radius is a few blocks, but I only use it for the alarm and if the power or cable is out.

Last edited by dzero; 11-25-2010 at 01:05 AM..
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2010, 08:45 AM
ExcitedIdiot ExcitedIdiot is offline
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Google Voice can do this. You can specify a number, and their calls will go straight to voicemail. You can even whitelist if you're that particular.
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2010, 09:20 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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People who block people have a tendency to want to unblock them later on. This is why the technology isn't as popular as one thinks.

There are ways as others said, either selectively or paying for a service. Phone numbers are too easily disposable now-a-days to make a big deal out of it. With cell phones, people have gotten in the habit of just associating a number with a speed dial or a picture. They don't often don't remember the number at all.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2010, 09:40 AM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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My home phones are all Panasonic model KX-TGA740.
It has a base station and several remote units.
It has the ability to selectively block a number.
The phone rings once and then stops.
It displays "Call Blocked' and records the number.
This is a great solution for persistent telemarketers.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2010, 12:48 PM
Diver Diver is offline
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If I go to "My Verizon" it appears that I can block up to five phone numbers from my cell phone - incoming only.
It costs $4.99 per month.
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2010, 07:16 PM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
If you have a computer with a modem, you can, sort of. I have a caller ID program on my computer and I can set it so that certain numbers, while aren't blocked, will be hung up on after one ring. I can set it to play a message back (anything from a "this number has been disconnected" to a series of loud obnoxious noises), but testing it with my cell phone showed it wasn't playing anything. So, every time a telemarketer calls, I pull up the number in the log and block it. One ring makes it through and the program takes it from there. Personally, I don't mind messing with telemarketers, but I hate it when my employees have to spend a minute and a half on the phone listening to their initial spiel.

We get some repeat offenders (one local small business in particular) and I like the feeling when I get to say "Listen, I'm really not interested and I've asked you guys to put me on your DNC list three times now, I just want to let you know I just set up my Caller ID to block your number, so you might as well stop calling now."

ETA
Here it is
http://www.phonetray.com/ptfree_features.htm
I use this too. Works great and it's free. I can block as many numbers as I want. The version that I have (1.37) allows me to block even the first ring.

The app also display Caller ID info on my monitor.

Last edited by Mind's Eye, Watering; 11-25-2010 at 07:18 PM..
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