Correct. Inform the few that you really need or want to talk to.
The rest can hang up. Those that know me can call my cell phone.
Yes. Many just start in with their message and the answering
machine starts recording. That includes my dentist's office as I
found out last week. However, it knocked out about 30% or so of
the junk calls and all calls from real live beggars.
I have the answering machine to not ring at all.
Seems to me like the only test would be two phones side-by-side on the
same exchange: one "With" and one "Without" and some record of calls to
Having said that, I have had the SIT tone for "Number not working" in
the beginning of my answering machine announcement for at least 4 years
now and I do not perceive any improvement.
On 3/29/2015 5:12 AM, bill ashford wrote:
Often, there is a delay (sometimes a few seconds) while the "dialer"
tries to track down a "human" to speak with you.
CID is a useless service. It is too easily spoofed. You need an
authentication method that *you* control, not one that TPC *poorly*
See above. Regardless of how "smart" it is, you're still relying on
the information provided by the CID service (or, dealing with "blocked").
Yes, if *all* it does is require a particular DTMF tone-pair, then
anything above $5 is ridiculous (e.g., DX.com sorts of prices)
We've adopted a simple solution in the past: answering machine with
"factory default" outgoing message (so no information about our
identities is revealed, why we aren't answering the phone, etc.
Folks who know us don't need that information; folks that don't,
*shouldn't* need it!).
The ringer is also turned off (unless we are expecting a "call back"
from a friend, doctor, etc.). Every day or two, we notice if there
are any messages for us and screen them when we are in the mood.
Machine is digital (aren't they all, nowadays) so *if* a caller was
unsolicited, just pressing ERASE after the first two words is enough to
delete the message and advance to the next. Callers who don't leave
messages cost us nothing (time).
This approach works without incurring the cost of (spoofable and therefore
worthless) CID service. The downside is we don't see messages for hours
or days at a time. OTOH, friends know they can more promptly reach us via
If all of your callers are made aware of it, you can also eliminate the
outbound message entirely (IME, this makes callers very uneasy -- despite
the fact that they should instinctively *know* that the "beep" means
"leave your message, now"). Or, replace it with the "service disconnected"
message. Some robodialers will detect the pipe tones at the start of the
message and remove your name from their list automatically.
I've been trying to come up with an interactive scheme that would allow
the "attendant" to screen the calls in real time. I.e., quizzing callers
to verify their identities. Presumably, that would eliminate the
"automated" callers who wouldn't be able to comprehend the questions
asked of them:
"Press <random number> to be connected" as any "standardized" number
could easily be handled by a dialer knowing that number a priori
"Press <random number> to be disconnected, and <other number> to be
connected" as a trivial workaround would be to press *all* digits
in a quick burst to defeat the previous option.
"What's <some trivial arithmetic challenge>?" to try the patience of
a human solicitor.
For frequent callers, I am hoping to use speaker recognition techniques
to make *their* experience less tedious (like your secretary recognizing
your wife's voice and putting her through, automatically)
You did not read my earlier reply.
A robocall is initiated by a computer, not a person. When you answer,
the computer is supposed to connect you to a live pitchman. Sometimes,
however, the call center is understaffed, which means there is no
available pitchman. If you stay on the line and repeatedly say "Hello",
you might eventually connect to a live person.
On Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:15:43 -0700, "David E. Ross"
I'm questioning why this would happen "upwards of 10 calls daily."
I get a robocall about once a every two weeks. Charities and
political calls are exempt from the "do not call" list.
Some use robocalling.
I've learned to recognize the soundless delay and simply hang up the
phone. If I'm not quick enough somebody comes on the other end.
The OP is getting '"upwards of 10 calls daily" and doesn't know who is
calling; something is wrong with that from her end.
The "do not call" list has worked for me. In the 10 years or so since
I entered my number unwanted calls are few and far between.
I've told maybe only 2 callers that they've violated the "do not call"
list and they never called again.
This guy's wife is getting thousands more unwanted calls than me.
That's pure harassment in my book. Or bullshit. Shouldn't happen.
Quite a lot of these callers are using predictive or "robo-dialing"
systems. Their computer system calls phone numbers, and tries to
detect the presence of a "human answer" - somebody who picks up and
says "Hello?" or something like that.
Only when the computer detects a human answer, does it start playing
its recorded sales pitch, or ring the call through to a human
telemarketer who reads the pitch. If the computer detects what sounds
like an answering machine message, it just hangs up. If the computer
detects a human answer, but all of the human telemarketers are busy
annoying other consumers, the computer hangs up.
In some other cases, the telemarketers seem to be making short calls
(with no content) in the hope that people will see the "missed call"
indication on their Caller ID system, and call back... at which point
the marketer tries their sales pitch. This may be a somewhat feeble
attempt to avoid the Do Not Call list, because the marketer didn't
*technically* make a sales call to the consumer (just a call with no
message) and the consumer ended up calling the marketer back and is
thus "fair game" for a sales pitch.
Since many of these robo-dialers work their way through whole ranges
of phone numbers, doing so won't help much.
Supposedly there was a scam using that strategy: the CallerID number
would be one of those exchanges like the phone sex operators use where
the caller gets charged per minute and a percentage of the charge goes
to the operator.
Such call are, in general, already illegal in the United States, and
have been for some years.
Robo-dialing and the playing of automated announcements are not
permitted. Making marketing calls to people who have registered their
phone number on the "Do Not Call" list is explicitly illegal.
The law has next to no teeth, though. It is rare for the authorities
to actually prosecute cases - it takes a *lot* of complaints to
pressure them into doing the "legwork" needed to trace back these
sorts of calls to the originator(s), and gather the evidence needed to
secure a criminal conviction or a civil fine.
If I recall, the law does give the offended consumer (who receives
such calls) the right of private action - i.e. the right to file a
lawsuit in civil court against the marketer. Unfortunately (as with
junk fakes) it is both difficult and expensive to track down the
offender, collect proof that s/he was the one who called, identify the
business or business owner, file suit, serve the suit, go to court,
make your case, win, get a judgement, and then actually collect.
A lot of these calls come from "boiler room" telemarketing operations,
which can set up and shut down on a moment's notice. By using Voice
over IP they can make calls to anywhere, from anywhere, with excellent
anonymity. And, a fair number of such calls are now originated from
outside the U.S., so applying the TCPA law becomes almost impossible.
A couple of years ago, I switched my wife's business landline over
from a dedicated hard-line to a voice-over-IP provider. The incoming
call comes to an Asterisk server I run. It has a multi-layer defense
against junk calls:
- Any call which is on our private "blacklist" is immediately
rejected with a "CONGESTION" error.
- Calls from outside our local area codes go to a "Please wait to
be connected" voice message, and then a 10-to-15 second delay
before the phone / answering machine are rung. This gets rid of
a lot of junk calls - they don't hang on the line long enough
to get past the delay.
- I can dial "666" from any of our VoIP phones, and the system will
read back the number of the last call on her line. I can then hit
"6" to add it to the blacklist. If I head a ring-no-answer from
her office I call 666, write down the number, run a quick Web check
to see if there are telemarketing complaints against it, and if so,
call back and "6" it to the blacklist.
I'm strongly tempted to add an automatic Web lookup to the
"telemarketing complaint" web site, while the call is still in
progress (or immediately after) and blacklist numbers that have been
mentioned repeatedly or recently.
Unfortunately, none of the above helps with our main home land-line,
which is still olde-fashioned analog (I don't want to get rid of it as
it's pretty certain to work even during a power failure or Internet
I bought this on Amazon. Works great. $40
Has a white list and black list as well as a screening mode.
SENTRY Dual Mode Call Blocker. Block 100% Robo Calls. Stop All Junk
Calls, Election Calls, Survey Calls. 9999 Number Capacity
After reading all of the suggestions here, this unit is what I decided
on except version 2 because it looks like I can add numbers manually. I
still have some questions about it though that perhaps you can answer:
1) Will my caller ID still work? I'm hoping to install the unit in
front of my cordless phone base unit to which a pair of cordless phones
are linked to. The cordless base unit has an announcing caller ID.
2) I'm probably going to run it in "advanced" mode. If so, I'm hoping
the phone won't ring at all unless it is a white listed number. Is that
the case, or does it still have one audible ring? The whole reason I'm
getting something like this is to stop ALL ringing from non-wanted
numbers. An elderly person in the house is constantly awakened by the
spammers, even after one ring, so I'm hoping advanced mode won't let the
To all others here who have provided suggestions: much appreciated but
there have been issues with some of the recommendations. For one, I
don't have any cells or android operating phones, so those apps wouldn't
have helped. Also, the website that screens the unwanted callers is not
available for my area. Verizon block is apparently only available as an
extra monthly charge, which I sure didn't want to add as I just dropped
two unnecessary extras recently. Unfortunately, my cordless Uniden
phones don't have the ability to block calls on their own. So that
meant either changing my number and/or getting a private number which
costs, or upgrading to FIOS which I definitely didn't want to do,
getting rid of Verizon altogether and going with someone else or getting
an inbound device that would do the screening job. I chose the latter
both due to the simplicity, cost and convenience. Now I'll see if I
made the right decision. There was another device I looked at first
called the Teleblocker, which didn't even need caller id, but it is not
being made anymore and I wanted something still manufactured and could
be returned if problems or doesn't work like I want it to.
Thanks to all,
On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 9:18:45 AM UTC-4, bill ashford wrote:
I don't know what Verizon is doing there, but here in NJ, if you
have cable TV, internet and phone, the phone winds up less than the
typical Verizon copper phone bill, which is ~$50 a month here. The
effective rate for VOIP FIOS phone I think is more like $30, so I
don't see why moving to that would be more expensive. Even if you
have the lowest cost, metered copper service, that's probably >$20 a
month. They have the pricing set to encourage people to move to VOIP.
Or you could do what I previously suggested, but an Ooma and get rid
of Verizon phone. The Ooma is about $100 new, cheaper on Ebay.
And after that, you only pay fees and taxes which are about $3.75 a
month. For an additional $10/mth, Ooma premier gives you all kinds of
call blocking, call forwarding and similar features.
Getting 10 hangups a day is not normal, not in my experience and
I don't think I'd try to bandaid it.
If I was having 10 hangup calls a day, I'd go to Ooma, get a new
number, problem solved and cost is down to $3.75 a month. Unless
of course having a different number is a big burden for some reason.
And to those saying this happens a lot, with any new number, etc,
not in my experience. In the last 18 months I tried MajicJack,
Nettalk, and now have Ooma. Had different numbers with all of them
and not a single hangup type call. I'm sure it's possible, that
you could get a bad number, but it hasn't happened to me.
What are you paying Verizon every month now?
Now I'll see if I
Yes, caller ID still works. I have an announcing "base" on my system
too and it says the incoming phone number.
If it's like mine there will be one ring even for blacklisted numbers.
For it to receive and decode the caller ID info it seems like it winds
up having to let one ring thru. However, I'm running mine in parallel
with the rest of my phones. I think you can insert it in series in
which case it might not send anything thru, and hence no ringing,
unless it's actually allowing the call to get thru. It depends a bit
on how you want to set up your answering machine and where you want to
put it and where you have your wires running, etc as to whether it can
be set up parallel versus serially. I didn't want to rearrange a
whole bunch of my phone stuff to do the serial setup so I just stuck
it on an open jack.
Interesting. I didn't know there were variations.
"CALLER ID DELIVERY TYPE
Caller ID signaling is sent by the local phone company's central
office in either of 4 different electronic formats.
Bellcore 202 signaling is sent between the first and second ring
in the countries such as the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and others.
Caller ID is sent *before* the first ring by British Telecom (BT)
in the United Kingdom. Similarly, Caller ID is sent before the
first ring or after a very short ring burst using ETSI signaling
that is prevalent in eastern and northern Europe.
In countries or regions where older central office equipment is
used Caller ID is delivered via DTMF (touch-tones). Contact
CallerID.com for a different version of this unit if Caller ID
is delivered via DTMF signaling.
So apparently there is a workable scheme, where the CallerID
is delivered before the ringing voltage.
It's possible the first presentation of Ringing Voltage,
could "open" the CallerID module to listening to the line.
If the CallerID is listening all the time, if there
is a noise burst on the line, you might get random
displays appearing on the LCD display of your
CallerID box. The error checking may not be
fancy enough, to stop all error-filled packets.
Still, if BT can do it, why can't we ? :-)
It would be interesting to see if they
patented their idea :-)
Sorry, I was just teasing. LCD display, along with PIN number and HIV
virus, are probably the commonest forms of PNS syndrome. In the case of
LCD, it's probably because its predecessor, the LED display, _wasn't_
tautological (combined with the feeling lots of people have that
abbreviations with only two letters are unsettling).
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf
A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.
Caller ID is almost useless in my area.
Turns out that the telemarketers are using bogus unassigned local (in
area) numbers more and more frequently.
Blocking specific out of area area codes still works for some of the
calls. I swear that the telemarketers are using the do not call list as
a data base to call anyway.
To add insult, the calls, when answered, may transfer to another number
that is also hidden, or an overseas answering center.
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