I have just replaced our phones, with a set which filters out nuisance
callers, unless they are live callers who can follow a proceedure to
My new concern is that we sometimes get automated calls from the
electric, gas, flood and water utilities, when they have an issue and
we obviously want these calls to get through - so I need to find out
the numbers they use to ring us from, so I can include them in the list
of accepted numbers.
Has anyone found such a list, or even a proper name for this type of
prerecorded warning phone call?
The obvious answer is to ask the utilities concerned.
Do they really call so frequently that missing the call would be a concern?
Incidentally our Truecall unit blocked 8 nuisance calls on Wednesday. Best
thing we've ever bought.
The other obvious one is the power or water being out for hours
because of work being done. It would be handy to know when and
how long it will be out for so you can either be elsewhere if you
need the power or water or not start something like a roast or
baking a fruit cake or bread that will be ruined if the power goes
out half way through the process.
Its much more viable to have an automated system which does
ring the affected numbers than to rely on people doing that.
And we have just recently had a situation where because of
the way the irrigation system management had deliberately
shut down an automatic overflow system, much of an entire
village was flooded very badly indeed when we had a weather
event which would not have produced a flood in the past.
And with bushfires, it makes a lot more sense to notify all
the mobiles known to be in the area where people should
consider evacuating that to expect people to be checking
web sites etc.
Back in the real world, how many times have a utility company phoned YOU
to say that a service is going off? In 40 years they have phoned me
zero times. The utility companies don't phone you when the service is
about it go off. It will be more likely something like the fire brigade
requesting power is switched off while they fight a fire, or some JCB
driver has cut through a cable or road workers have set fire to the gas
main. The utility company 'office' will have little idea when the
service will be restored although they may set up an automatic answer if
you phone them and a lot of people are asking the same question. When
major work is planned you may get a snail mail saying the service will
be interrupted at some unspecified time of day.
Some people may have a need to accept certain calls and filtering the
junk may be more difficult but I guess that for most people a simple
universal filter will block most junk cold calling especially as many
modern systems are smarter than just dropping calls.
Doesn’t mean they wont start doing that.
Ours just has notices in the local paper and it would be a lot better
if they did have a system which automated phone calls instead.
And we have just recently introduced a system where we do get
both automated phone calls and broadcasted SMS messages to
mobile phones in the area when people should be leaving due
to bushfires making it sensible to consider leaving while you can.
Same with floods.
But it would be a good idea if they did, particularly when
it would be a lot better than a card in the letterbox when
urgent work is needed than to not give any notice at all
or send someone around to knock on the doors etc.
Yes, but it clearly would be useful if your call
filtering system could allow those calls thru.
Still better to get an automated phone call warning you that the power
or water will be unavailable for a while than no warning at all.
I'd like to have the phone call as well because plenty don’t check
their mail every day.
I don’t believe that a simple universal filter is feasible, because
plenty of operations choose to suppress their caller ID for very
valid reasons and while it is certainly possible to present a
different phone number than the one you are actually calling
from and have that the main switchboard number, it is hardly
surprising that quite a few of the authoritys that need to do
that have other budget prioritys than upgrading their phone
system allow that when the current one doesn’t.
And plenty of the people who need to make that sort of call
need to be able to do it from their mobile today, so it just
isnt viable to have a simple universal filter that say ignores
all calls that do not present a caller ID. If a paramedic chooses
to call me from the accident scene when the injured person
has told them who they want notified, it makes no sense to
ignore all those calls. You might well end up not being able
to talk to the injured person before they die if you go that route.
That paramedic would easily get through to me even if his number was
withheld and I filter all number withheld or numbers.
You seem to be suggesting problem scenarios where none exists for most
Although it may be a good idea for utility companies to phone in the
event an unexpected event in the UK it doesn't happen so no problem with
blocking number withheld numbers from them.
More likely if they have your number they are likely to regular give you
a 'service call' aka junk cold call selling you other services such as
service agreements and/or additional insurance (for things probably
already covered in many peoples building insurance anyway). This often
bypasses the TPS which is meant to stop these types of UK sourced junk
calls because they don't treat them as cold calls as you are already a
customer. The utility companies often use third party agencies for these
So many people are plagued by PPI, Have you had an accident, come to
Disney Land (France), You have won a prize, Your gas boiler is illegal
and needs replacing etc. cold calls that filtering is becoming very
popular. Even telephone providers are offering this filtering service at
their end of the line (at a cost). Soon any legitimate organisation
that withholds the calling number will find that it cannot operate
efficiently and will have to start presenting a number. However, in my
experience, any organisation that I've dealt with, utilities, local
doctors surgery, local hospital(s), local council, bank, credit card
company etc. all present valid calling numbers.
That was a comment about your simple universal
filter which you have dropped from the quoting.
Then you need to get your seems machinery seen to with all
of flood warnings, notification about urgent maintenance etc.
Those do matter for normal people.
But it should for better a better service from utility companys.
But is a problem if you have a more sophisticated white list system
which requires a human caller to do something specific to make the
phone ring so the person called can choose whether to answer or not.
Irrelevant to how to allow automated warning calls to get thru.
Yes, that is the reason people are looking for an effective filtering
I bet that doesn’t happen because it just isnt feasible,
particularly with calls from a mobile by their employees
who make almost all calls they make that way, just
because its simpler to use the one phone for everything.
And plenty of them arent massive operations with fancy PABXs
etc, plenty of small business has just mobile phones today.
By definition you are most unlikely to every get called by them
in a real emergency by one of their employees who is out and
about with just the mobile phone.
For a planned shut off I would bet that they're legally required to contact
all affected householders, which at a minimum means posting cards through
letterboxes I would have thought. It's what happens here.
What happens if you're out when they call? Do they delay cutting of the
Trolls AND TROLL FEEDERS all go in my kill file
What would happen if they phoned and you were out and you don't have an
answerphone? You would not be informed at all.
Even with an answerphone and an incoming automated message the time
taken for the answerphone to send the outgoing message and the time
taken to issue the 'beep' may be long enough for the automated message
to finish before any recording started.
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