How to block unwanted calls and texts on an iPhone and land line
Who Calls Me?
whocallsme.com is a free reverse phone directory, a user information generated site where people can go to search numbers and find out which company has been calling them. Users can then leave comments as to the companies conduct and customer service and link the many numbers used by these companies together.
Beware, some sneaky companies are now using numbers that look like mobile numbers, beginning with 07536 or 07967, to get us unsuspecting consumers to answer the call. That, and, many different numbers each time just to add more confusion.
This website can help you identify these numbers and avoid time consuming and infuriating conversations.
How to block calls on an iPhone
Its turns out its very simple to do.
1. Start by saving the unwanted number to your phone book with a name to easily identify the company or caller. This does mean you have to let the phone ring the first time but then if you follow the next few steps you never have to be bothered by these rogue companies again.
2. Open your address book via the call function, not via the address book app.
Go to: "Phone", "Contacts", click on the saved nuisance number, scroll to the bottom of the contact details, click "Block this Caller".
3. Caller blocked
Click on "Block Contact" and that's it, you wont ever get calls from this number again.
Do the same with text numbers, add them to your address book and block them. I never respond to marketing texts even if they offer an opt out option. Just black and delete.
This doesn't stop these companies leaving a message on you iPhone, which is actually a good thing. If the call is legitimate and is important they should leave a message and allow you to call them back. Of course half a recorded automated message, or just static, is annoying but just delete delete delete.
I am certain that other mobile devices have a similar way of blocking calls, have a look through your call functions, it may end up being very clear how to do this.
No, I haven't had an accident and I don't want to reclaim PPI!
It enrages me that so much of my daily life is spent going to answer my phone, seeing a number I don't recognise on the screen, then cancelling the call because I don't know who it is. I am then so bothered that I have missed something important that I spend further time going to the website www.whocallsme.com to find out who or which company it was. This is of course much more time saving than the old way - actually answering the phone and then spending time explaining that you don't want what they are offering before getting seriously hacked off and telling them where to go, or where to put their product before hanging up. Nowadays I don't ever answer my phone to a number I don't recognise BUT I then end up, maybe once out of every 5 calls, missing a business call - if only I could trust every call that came through to my phone.
Phone induced homicidal rage
This is actually a rather large problem for society. Some of you may say just don't answer it, ignore them or hang up BUT for some people its not easy to ignore. Some people become so enraged at these calls that they are one step away from spontaneous combustion. I have recently watched a video on YouTube of a British Telecom customer service agent calling a customer to ensure that they are receiving the best service. What he received in return was a tirade of abuse and hatred, whilst its funny to listen to it can't have been fun for the member of BT staff who was just doing his job. Please remember, some of these calls are legitimate and being made by people who are trying to earn an honest living. Be polite, be courteous and be firm.
Not all companies are legitimate, BT probably does have a good reason to get in touch with customers, in fact many companies do. If they are contacting existing customers at reasonable hours of the day for genuine customer service reasons then that's OK right? The problem is with our details being sold to companies who will call and call and call. Companies who claim to know about your personal circumstances - these are the persistent weasels that I don't ever want to talk to. And its not just phone calls, ever received a text that goes something like this "You could claim up to £3,00 in compensation for your recent accident"? What recent accident? Nothing has happened to me! And even if it had how do you know that I could claim that amount without knowing any details of the case?????? Now these texts truly enrage me.
Blocking unwanted calls at home
I have a Panasonic KX-TG6721E triple handset wireless phone and answering machine at home. I can add numbers to a blocked caller list and so when a blocked number calls the phone automatically sends them an engaged tone and doesn't connect the call, or allow them to leave a message. I can see who has tried to call me by looking at the recent callers list, and the blocked numbers are highlighted so I know how many times they've tried.
After a few days, or weeks for the more persistent companies, they give up and the number doesn't come up again. They stop calling!
You need to have caller ID on your land line for this to work (around £1.50 per month depending on your service provider) plus a phone handset that offers the blocked caller function. The only problem with the Panasonic phone is that you can only block a maximum of 30 numbers, however after a few weeks they stop trying so you can delete old numbers and add the new. It is a little time consuming but saves you the distress of having your evening meal interrupted by a cold call.
Mistaken Identity? Being chased for someone else's debt?
A lot of people are enraged because they are receiving calls at home for an unknown person, perhaps previous owner or tenant, someone who has defaulted on an agreement or has a CCJ. If you are receiving calls for a person who no longer lives at your property, simply informing the company over the phone, no matter how forceful you are, will not be enough.
This will take a little time but will be worth it in the end. Answer the call and ask the phone agent for a department and address details so that you may send proof that you are not the person they are looking for. Chances are if you're getting phone calls your getting letters too, make sure you return to sender all mail not addressed to you with a note that the recipient is no longer at the address. Then send them a copy of your council tax, rent book, mortgage agreement or utility bill that proves that you are now a resident in that property and they should remove you number and chase the other person via other means.
There may also be a case of the wrong number given by the customer they are chasing or its been recorded incorrectly, again ask the phone agent how you can prove that they have the wrong person. If you don't get any results from this then its time to block the calls, after all they have the wrong person.
iBlacklist - a number blocking app that's a waste of money
Whilst looking for a solution to blocking these unwanted calls and texts I came across a YouTube video claiming to show me how using the iBlacklist app. Great I thought, finally, someone has actually done it! I watched the YouTube video, it seemed straight forward, so I clicked 'purchase'.
I can't even open the app. It keeps asking me for a password that I don't have and have definilty not set up myself. I checked the app store again, maybe there was something else I needed to do? Then I opened up the reviews. Oh dear.
It turns out that your phone needs to be jailbroken to run this type of app successfully and there isn't one single positive review for this app. The iBlacklist app purchase page should have made clear that the phone needs to be jailbroken in order for it to work.
If Apple wanted your iPhone to be jailbroken it would be.
Life's too short
As a consumer we have rights, but it seems our phone lines, email accounts and post boxes are considered fair game. The best thing we can do for our own health and well being is find a way to avoid having to deal with them in the first place. We have the power to block phone calls, send spam emails straight to junk and throw mail straight into the bin. We can decide what we look at, listen to and choose to purchase or claim.
Life's too short to be stressed about phone calls so for a few minutes here and there and a little effort we can remove the issue from our lives and get on with living.
© 2013 mooboomoo