•   about 8 years ago

The technology is already available. There's gotta be an app for that!

I have an old-fashioned Verizon flip-flone which includes the "Security" option to (1) Allow All Calls, (2) allow Contacts Only, or (3) Block All Calls. However, unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a single Smartphone that does the same.

With this Verizon cellphone, if the caller's phone number is NOT listen among the Contacts that you programmed into your phone, not only is the phone number recorded (if available), but the call is not allowed, and your phone doesn't even ring. You can find a list of the blocked calls in your Recent Calls, under Blocked. This way, if someone is blocked accidentally, you can add the person's/company's phone number to your Contacts, and it will automatically unblock.

In addition, Comcast offers a way to block out 12 landline callers. Logon to Comcast.net, click on Voicemail > Preferences (on the toolbar) > Choose Voice > Call Blocking. Limited to 12, but that's better than nothing.

Now, barring the manual options outlined above, since the technology IS available for both cellphones and landlines, there's gotta be an app for that, right?!

Verizon... Comcast... You listenin'?

  • 9 comments

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Every Android based phone I've seen has this capability. It's a weak response to the problem though.

    It relies on numbers being in your contact list for someone to contact you so someone that you may never have gotten a call from in the past would get filtered out more often than not.

    It's also not really a feasible solution for businesses. I want new customers to call my business. Since they are new, I don't have their number/contact info until after they call me. I can't block the robocalls and accept calls from unknown new customers at the same time using your idea.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    I too had an old Motorola flip phone that could effectively block unwanted calls and currently I use an Android phone that can do the same thing.

    I do not see having to flag a number as a handicap. In fact, there are privacy apps which can use a shared database wherein individually blocked numbers are stored and at after a certain number of users have blocked the (same) number, it is in the shared database and thus prevented from contacting anyone who has the app.

    As much as I'd like to collect 50g's, I don't see the point of this challenge because there are already working solutions.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Thanks, guys.

    JamesR, I understand those who use Smartphones and don't want calls blocked for business reasons. Actually, since this discussion thread is about those who want to eliminate robocalling, perhaps this is not the place for your comments... If you conduct business via phone, I guess it comes with the territory.

    HenryR, I don't see the point of the challenge either. I'm just trying to convince the companies who provide cellphones/landlines to use the current technology to abolish robocalling. I bet they're "all over" this challenge, trying to figure out ways to accommodate...for a PRICE!

    Obviously, I haven't investigated every Smartphone on the market. Please do tell: What Android phone(s) do you use? I'm in the market for a Smartphone in the near future (when my current 2-yr contract expires) but will stick with my old standby until the nuisance of robocalling is history...

    Thanks again! I'm sure my piddly little remedy won't win any award--or reward.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    I have been in the business for four years and this is a silly idea. Robo-calls have been the red headed step child because everyone agrees that they don’t like them unless they are a politician running for office. Political phone calls are legal, calls from non-profits are legal, Weather warnings, College panic calls, my car dealership, my pharmacy, my dentist, my doctor's office, my bank, Comcast to tell me the service man is late, any calls that I subscribe to are LEGAL for me to receive automated calls. This is all subjective as to what is a legal call as people can opt-in and opt-out daily to sources of calls by telling their church to put them on the list. I see another government program in the making to regulate something that is already over regulated. If the annoying robo-callers followed the current laws and provided opt-out options this would not be an issue. Maybe this is another plan by Obama to create jobs, like his brain storm of getting rid of ATM’s to hire more bank tellers so that all these automated calls are outsourced to China with people reading from a piece of paper. Being cost effective in keeping customers informed should not be a target for a FTC contest. This is the only way that small business can cost effectively reach their customer base outside of call center, buying TV or radio adds. Let’s not regulate efficentcy out of small business anymore.

    Enough with my rant, there is no way to tell if a person has opted-in for phone calls from one day to the next, or if the 12K calls going out are for a “Save the whales” fundraiser. Policies and procedures are already in place to hand illegal calls. Inadvertently blocking an important call from a service I use to tell me that my grandmother has fallen and can’t get up should not be blocked to stop a marketer who is already breaking an existing FTC law. The current FTC laws are fair and should be more than enough to stop the illegal calls.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Obviously, it's not a silly idea if people like and use it. If you'e calling me a silly person, well, we just won't go there. I don't aplogize for my thoughts and suggestions; there are exceptions to almost everything. No need for Obama-bashing. We get enough of that from robocalls.

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    " Actually, since this discussion thread is about those who want to eliminate robocalling, perhaps this is not the place for your comments..."

    Why not? Robocalls affect business lines just like they do personal lines. The entire idea of this challenge is to address the elimination of ALL robocalls WITHOUT impacting legitimate calls. It isn't limited to personal lines.

    "If you conduct business via phone, I guess it comes with the territory."

    One could say the same for someone that has a phone number for personal use. But that doesn't address the challenge made, does it?

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    Henry R wrote:

    "I do not see having to flag a number as a handicap. In fact, there are privacy apps which can use a shared database wherein individually blocked numbers are stored and at after a certain number of users have blocked the (same) number, it is in the shared database and thus prevented from contacting anyone who has the app."

    Where can I find one of these apps to install in my 70's era rotary- dial desk phone? "Apps" work for smartphones. That pretty much limits their use to cell services. There are tens (if not hundreds) of millions of of phones in use that aren't smartphones. And while adding a number to a blacklist might not be a handicap for you, can your grandmother do it? And should she (or anyone else) have to do it several times a day?

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    "Naomi W" needs to lighten up. My comments are about the Challenge and not about your comments and you know it. You wanted to comment about the “Obama bashing” because I referenced a stupid comment that Obama made to make a point about automation in the workplace. The idea is that automation saves money for American business and provides higher customer satisfaction.

    "James R" Needs to take a 101 writing class because I have no idea what he are trying to say (and learn how and when to use ".." marks too). FAIL
    This discussion is about the FTC challenge and not about people who want to eliminate anything. James R, again you get another “FAIL”

  •   •   about 8 years ago

    I didn't know it was a debate! I agree, and I'm lightening up at this very moment! Thanks, everyone, for the banter. The Challenge was made, the world was invited to participate, and I wanted to share my IDEAS. I thought this was the proper venue, so I put in my two cents, as I am entitled.

    Oh, and thanks ThomasM, for outling the "law." I was already aware; that notwithstanding, I chose to share my IDEAS. ...I was just sayin'. You're the one who took it to a political level, not me.

    When the time comes, I will diligently seek a Smartphone that has the capability to block all callers who aren't listed in my Contacts (on my phone). And everyone else will do what they will do, FTC be damned.

    By the way, uh, I already voted.

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