call blocker device suggestions?

Page 7 of 9  
On 04/01/2015 06:05 PM, Ashton Crusher wrote:

Maybe I'll still be in luck then. Although I have the phone line split 3 ways, one for two phones and the last for my DSL/ phone combo, only one phone combination has ringers turned on, and that's the Uniden base and cordless phones. So hopefully if the device is serial and first in line there, no ringing of the phones unless the number is ok.... or so I hope.
If it doesn't, then I will have to return it and go with the Teleblocker. That one doesn't need caller ID, but everyone calling has to enter a 1 or 3, but they get right through if so. I would have gone with this one first, but no longer manufactured and I didn't want to chance it.
Thanks again for your help here. I expect the device will be arriving today.
Bill

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Hi Bill,

First, add your number to the federal do-not-call registry.
Second, see if your phone service provider provides any kind of phone blocking services. We use 1-VOIP for our phone service. I block all callers from 800, 888, and 876 numbers. Family and friends will never use toll-free numbers, nor do any local businesses we work with (banks, medical, etc.). I also block a few specific numbers from local callers (local fundraisers and whatnot).
I can also set up my phone filters to only accept numbers from specific area codes, but so far that has not been necessary.
Using these two simple steps we have not had a junk call in years.
On the rare occasion I get an unknown call I only say "hello" once. If the person on the other end doesn't say hello back, it's probably an automated call. If I get a recording or a person that is obviously a sales call, I simply hang up. I have more important things to do than waste my time interacting with a call I didn't want in the first place. Rude? Maybe, but the unwanted call was rude to start with.
Good luck,
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 03/30/2015 01:41 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Thanks, but this doesn't seem to work for me anymore. I have been registered for years, then re-registered and yet again to no avail. Most of the calls I'm getting are not legitimate and probably aren't even in the country, so the DNC doesn't apply. For the first several years I had it though it worked great.

Not without an additional monthly charge which, being on limited income, I just recently dropped some services to save on monthly rate.

I don't care if I'm rude or not anymore. The way I look at it, they KNOW they're not supposed to be calling and if they do then they get what they deserve. 90% of the time there's no one on the other end anyway anymore.

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Hi Bill,

In theory, it should at least be stopping the legitimate calls.

If you already have high-speed internet, you may want to look into an internet phone provider. I only pay $20 a month for 1-VOIP service. That includes 500 minutes free long distance in US and Canada, caller ID, voice mail that can email my messages to me, and of course a variety of call blocking services. There are additional included features I don't even use.
Verizon used to charge us close to $100 a month for basic phone service, no caller ID, and virtually every call was long distance.
Take care,
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Per HerHusband:

And we pay zero per month (and something like 2.5 or 3 cents a minute)... so it can be even cheaper.
The options are so many and the service so reliable that I am periodically tempted to go over to VOIP 100%.
Right now I just use it for all non-800/non-911 outgoing calls and have been reluctant to port our number to the VOIP provider because of perceived inferiority of VOIP access to the 911 system.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 3:44:13 PM UTC-4, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

They really need to implement some kind of test capability for 911. The way it works right now, you have no idea if it has the right info, will call the correct 911 facility, etc until the day when you need it. When it was all part of the baby bells you figured it worked and I guess it did. We didn't hear a lot of horror stories. But now with it being VOIP, I have zero confidence that it will work if needed.
There should be some protocol where you could do a test call once a year or similar. Even if it was automated somehow within the system, so that it didn't ring just echoed back where the call went, what the far end got for info, etc would be a big confirmation.
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ZERO per month? Who is your VOIP provider? That doesn't seem like a sustainable business model unless they are making money from you in other ways.
My first VOIP provider charged less, but they ended up going out of business after the first year or two.

These days a lot of folks drop land lines entirely and just rely on their cell phones. That's not an option for us since we can't get a decent cell signal here at home.
VOIP providers are required to have e911 service which should give emergency responders your address just like the old wired land lines.
Of course, if my internet goes down for any reason, I lose my phone service too. My Comcast cable connection rarely goes down, but when the power goes out my modem and phone adapters quit working. I do have them all on a UPS backup power supply which keeps everything running for an hour or so. That covers the vast majority of outages. Worst case we have our cell phones for emergency backups too, assuming we can find a signal.
Thankfully, emergency calls are extremely rare. I have never needed to call 911 since I have had VOIP service. For that matter, I don't think I have EVER called 911. I certainly wouldn't avoid switching to VOIP for that extremely rare emergency.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 10:43:11 AM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:

He said zero a month and "something like 2.5 or 3 cents a minute". That isn't free. 500 minutes of usage, which isn't hard to do on a home phone line, would be $12 to $15 a month. At 1000 minutes, you're at $25 to $30 a month. There are many VOIP providers that are a lot less than that, ~$3 a month, The very popular and well known MajicJack being one example. I have Ooma, which is technically free, but I do have to pay taxes and fees that run $3.75 a month.

I don't exactly understand how these low cost providers do it at the low prices either. But companies like MJ have been doing it for a long time now and they are still around.

The operative word there is "should". With no way to test it, you won't know until you need to use it.
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Per HerHusband:

CallCentric.com.
They make their money from me in the per-minute charge that I pay.
They offer monthly plans too... but I elected pre-paid per-minute with automated refreshes against my credit card.
I'm no VOIP connoisseur, but based on several years experience with them, I have to give CallCentric five stars.
--
Pete Cresswell

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Oh, OK, I missed the per-minute part of your post.

My service through 1-VOIP is monthly and includes 500 long distance minutes. I very rarely make phone calls, so we probably use less than 50 per month.
But the extra filtering services, additional phone numbers, etc. are worth the small extra cost to me.

It looks like a good price if it meets your needs.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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(PeteCresswell) posted for all of us...

Call 911 and when they start asking questions explain you just had voip installed and see the info they have on the incoming call matches yours. It is a non-issue for them rather than chase info from state to state and cell calls that don't show location or go to the proper psap.
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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Per Tekkie®:

But that is just one test at one moment in time.
Next year, when I really need 911, who is to say that the databases/tables have not been changed?
Yeah, probably the same general functionality locally... but I would expect it to be more reliable if only because so many people would be using it locally and hopefully surfacing problems before I need to use it.
--
Pete Cresswell

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On Monday, April 6, 2015 at 2:37:15 PM UTC-4, (PeteCresswell) wrote:


It

ell

If it worked once, I'd have a lot more confidence that it would work when needed. Almost always the biggest problem is not that data in a database changes, it's that it's loaded with the wrong data to begin with.
I'm not so sure about the part about calling 911 just to test it out and the authorities will be OK with it. IDK what the policy is on that and it likely would vary from area to area. I guess even if they don't like it, the worst that would probably happen would be that you'd get a lecture on the phone.
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This seems like a whole lot of worry for an extremely rare situation.
1. How often do you need to call 911?
2. Out of those rare 911 calls, how often are you in a situation where you are able to DIAL the call, but unable to SPEAK to tell them your address?
I agree the automated location data is a nice feature to have, but enhanced 911 services like this didn't even exist until the late 1970's. Heck, 911 didn't even exist until 1968:
http://www.911dispatch.com/911/history/
For that matter, most people didn't even have telephones until the early 1900's.
http://www.telephonetribute.com/timeline.html
Generations of people managed to get help when they needed it. Even if that meant sending the kids running to the next farm over the hill. Or calling the telephone operator and telling her you needed a doctor.
Of course, before 1900 or so, they would probably make the long trip out in a horse drawn wagon:
http://www.emt-resources.com/History-of-Ambulances.html
Each improvement has reduced response times. In the right situations those few extra minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Of course, even today, if you live in a rural area you can still be looking at 15-30 minutes response times, if not longer.
If you have a health condition that may rely on medical help arriving if you are unable to speak, you should probably look into medical alert services. You simply push a button if you're having an emergency.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Per HerHusband:

It's like bicycle helmet: you only need it once in your life.
Speaking is fine, but if you are in Pennsylvania and wind up speaking to somebody in Broken Pelvis, Montana because of a bad table entry somewhere it's not going to help.
All that being said, I have an extremely low opinion and low expectations of the local 911 - from experience. For my money, I'd rather call a cab.
But we're both older than dirt and if something happened with The Boss and she picked up the phone, dialed 911, and things went South because I moved us to VOIP... I'd probably have to blow my brains out...
--
Pete Cresswell

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Pete,

Despite my earlier rambling, I do understand your concerns.
I just found the 911 history fascinating and got a little off track. :)

There's certainly no guarantee a standard land line is going to be any more reliable than a VOIP based line. It all comes back to what directory information 911 has on file, not what phone company you use.
At least with a VOIP phone you're probably at the location that is on record for the account. With a cell phone you could be anywhere, and probably not at the billing address. That is something that would concern me if I was trying to abandon a home phone.

We have had two instances to call 911 in the last 25+ years, both were for other people. In our rural area it took well over 30 minutes for the emergency crews to arrive. Depending on the emergency we could literally drive to the hospital faster than the ambulance could get here. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 1:17:34 AM UTC-4, HerHusband wrote:

The problem with a cell phone possibly being anywhere is unique to the cell phone and has existed since cell phones first came out. 911 was never intended to be used with cell phones when it was implemented, but they've apparently done a pretty good job getting it straightened out. But the focus here was on replacing a *home* phone with VOIP or cell. If he's worried about making an emergency call from home, as you've said, why is it so hard to post the direct dial number to the local police in a known spot, like right next to the phone base or on the back of the phone? Virtually all cordless phones also have speed dial, the local police could be added to it.
My main use for 911 would be if I was traveling and came across an emergency situation. Then 911 would be very useful. For example, I used it once from my cell phone to report a drunk driver. At home, I have the direct dial # here for the local police. I'd just dial 911 first, because that might save a some number of seconds, but if it didn't work, I'd dial the direct number.
Seems a big focus on a nit to me.
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On 4/8/2015 7:15 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Worth noting, is that even a cell phone without a working phone number (you got a new phone, and the old one won't make calls any more) will make 911 calls if the phone is working, and you can get a tower signal. I tried it once with an old cell.
I explained to the 911 operator what I was doing. She asked what the emergency. None, I am.... she asked where I was, and I told her. Half hour later, the cops showed up to ask me the list of questions.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 8:09:11 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

The response to your test call is what I figured could happen and why I questioned the advice that you can make test calls to test it out like that.
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As far as I know, the best they can do is triangulate your position from the closest cell towers. That probably works better in urban areas than it does in rural areas with fewer towers.
Although, many phones have GPS these days, so maybe they've got a way to access that data. I really don't know, I still use a dumb flip phone in an area that doesn't have a reliable cell signal anyway.

I think Peter was only interested in a VOIP line. I only brought up cell phones in relation to 911 because many folks (my sister-in-law for example) have dropped their landlines and only use their cell phone.

I think he's more concerned about emergency services being able to locate him if he or his wife are unable to provide that information when they call 911.
There are many reasons this might happen, such as young child calling 911 for mommy who doesn't know his address yet. Or a visitor calling when they discover the homeowner in distress. Or an elderly person who may have dimentia or otherwise not be thinking clearly. Heck, many people may not be thinking clearly enough to remember their address in an emergency.
These are certainly all valid reasons, it's just not something I worry about much. The benefits of a VOIP line far outweigh the need for the location service for that once in a lifetime emergency. Of course, I'll probably kick myself someday when that emergency happens and they respond to the neighbors house. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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