News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Ignoring unwanted phone calls

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Fun Stuff Ignoring unwanted phone calls

    This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  cyberSAR 5 days, 22 hours ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #2140073 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      It was not that long ago that when the phone rang, people just naturally answered the phone, allowing junk callers and bill collectors to get through. However, I believe it was a few years back when things began to change. Now, it is difficult for a bill collector or a junk caller to get through. Now, people look at the caller ID; and if they don’t recognize the number, they don’t answer the call.

      For me, this change occurred about three years ago. If I don’t recognize the number (or if I do but don’t want to answer it), I don’t answer it. I figure that if they really want to talk to me, they will leave a message, and I can then listen to their message and decide if I want to call back.

      If someone calls me from an unrecognized number and they don’t leave a message, I store their number in my phone directory under “Bogus Call 1”, “Bogus Call 2”, etc. On each of these “bogus” listings, I silence the ringer, meaning that I don’t even know that they are calling unless I happen to be looking at the phone when they call. Although this doesn’t prevent first-time unwanted calls, it prevents me from being bothered by repeat calls.

      The first time I began to ignore undesired calls was back in the days of landlines. I felt that it was unfair that someone calling on the phone could “cut the line” and interrupt whatever I happened to be doing or whoever I happened to be talking to at that moment. When the phone rang, if I didn’t want to answer it, I would sit there and let it ring! It was a liberating experience to be able to ignore a ringing phone!

      Do you ignore unwanted calls, or do you answer them? If you ignore them, what are some of the techniques you utilize to help you in ignoring unwanted calls?

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2140096 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      Being in business makes it a little harder to ignore what could be potential customers/clients. However, it would appear that local prosecutions may have dented the supply of such calls, as – touch wood – I’ve not heard of one in recent weeks.

      It was getting very tiresome, with 90% of calls being techsupport scammers, and I don’t miss them one little bit 😉

      • #2140117 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Unfortunately, businesses can’t afford to ignore unknown callers. However, there may be some things that a business can do:
        * If you utilize a virtual PBX (e.g. phone.com), you can tie the caller up for a minute while he listens to your initial announcement. You can then make him “press 0 for the operator” (or perhaps make him choose between several menu options) before anyone even hears the phone ring. The delay and the requirement to press a key could eliminate some robo callers.
        * If he is a known junk caller, you could block the number, or tie up the call in endless menu options. Of course, there is nothing to stop the caller from using another number to call you.
        * Here’s a funny solution: RoboKiller! (www.robokiller.com). It not only maintains a list of known spammers, but it does voice analysis, blocking them even if they change their phone number! And it ties them up in meaningless menu options! (I’ve never tried RoboKiller, so I can’t comment based on experience.)

        Here is helpful information from PC Magazine:
        https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-block-robocalls-and-spam-calls

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2140137 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          Update:

          I listened to some of the RoboKiller fake messages – some are not very family friendly. Be forewarned.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2140118 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I mostly use a landline, a cell phone more for emergencies or when traveling for roughly longer than one hour. I stop answering the phone when it rings, as MrJimPhelps does, because the are mostly robocalls. Although some unwanted calls still come from old-style telephone banks. I feel both annoyed by and sorry for the people that have to work there to scratch a living and would not be really glad to know they have lost their terrible jobs, but, oh well… So I’m a bit conflicted about them.

      Now Congress has passed a law about robocalls .

      https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/19/21030114/robocalls-bill-congress-president-trump-sign-law-illegal-fcc-ajit-pai

      The law was signed into law, made effective, by the President on December 31st of last year.

      https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/1/21045369/robocall-traced-act-signed-trump-law-congress-fcc-ajit-pai

      All that remains is to see what happens now. So far, the number of robocalls I have been getting do not seem to have slowed down. Maybe it is a matter of time, as regulations will have to be put in place to effectively implement this law. According to the FCC, they are definitely going to do so. But that sort of thing takes time, for example because of the preliminary period, usually of a few months, when the proposed regulations are made available to the public for comments, and so forth. So I would not be too surprised if the “robocall industry” (and a real industry it is!) are going to do their best to robocall away our phones while the new era slowly gets under way. And, I imagine, they are also going to spend much of their time and resources figuring out how to deal with this new order of things, so they can continue to make money at the expense of everybody else’s time and patience. Will their solution still be rogue phone calls? Or something else? Maybe something even worse? We’ll just have to wait and see.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

      • #2140128 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        With Caller ID, you can see who is calling before deciding whether or not to answer.

        If you get cable TV and phone service from the same company, they will likely offer Caller ID on the TV, which means that it will flash the incoming number on the screen while you’re watching TV!

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2140177 Reply

      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I reached that point a decade and a half ago. As our children left home and we became “empty-nesters”, my wife became increasingly involved with numerous non-profits in the area — president of this, chairman of that, treasurer over here, vice-chair over there … I got tired of becoming her personal answering service, so I just let the landline go to the machine and had my own contacts use my cell number instead of the landline.

      I think my millenial-age kids just leave the ringers turned off on their cell phones. I’ve never heard their phones ring when I’ve been with them, though there are the constant blips and beeps from incoming texts. They don’t even pickup when my wife or I try to call them, but we do get a callback if we send a text to “call me”. So rather than trying to screen calls, I think they just ignore incoming calls wholesale unless preceded by a text.

      Of course, cell phones are not immune to junk calls these days, though. So I set my default ringtone to something non-intrusive, and use an app called “Group Ringtones” to set everyone in my contact list to real ringtones. That way, if my phone actually rings I know it’s one of my contacts, but if it just dings, it’s not and I can let it go to voice mail. I may look at the incoming number if I’m curious, but it’s easier to ignore if it’s just a ding instead of ringing.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140247 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Come to think of it, I don’t think my 13 year old ever uses her phone! She’s on Facetime continually, or she is texting; but I think if I secretly disabled the phone function on her iPhone, she wouldn’t even notice!

        And I can’t remember her phone ever ringing, although I have heard it vibrate a time or two.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2140183 Reply

      CADesertRat
      AskWoody Plus

      Personally, I use “Do Not Disturb” on my cell phone and programmed it to only allow the ringer when the caller is on my contact list. Unfortunately there are some Diehards that leave a voicemail with loans or the IRS etc. Other than that, voicemails are normally from someone that I want/need to talk to. If it is a business I add them to my contact list until I no longer need that number then I delete it.

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      4 Win 10 Pro all 1903 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

    • #2140187 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      I do the same as you with my landline, and my flip type cellphone stays turned off 99% of the time and I only have it for safety and emergency use.

      The number of robocalls, telemarketing, and scam calls has gone way past just disturbing.  So this is the way I must deal with it.

      Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

      • #2140227 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Charlie: “So this is the way I must deal with it

        For now, at least, we must indeed grin and bear it, although we also may, besides, hope that the anti-robocalls legislation now finally in place that I have mentioned further up, actually has some teeth and these get actually used.

        In my own experience, letting it ring until the call gets flipped over to the voicemail box results almost always in a recording of silence lasting a few seconds and then the recorded call ends without anyone leaving a voice message. Except for a woman that has, repeatedly, over several months now, been telling me that “we are starting legal proceedings against you…” etc. Clearly the judicial system must move very slowly wherever she is in charge of letting me know that “they” are starting those procedures.

        I also get many of these calls from numbers with lots of digits, maybe made from people with cell phones in Russia, or North Korea, or Iran? Wonderful world, this one we live in now!

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        • #2140241 Reply

          Charlie
          AskWoody Plus

          The “Do Not Call” law seemed like a ray of hope but has failed due to ways to circumvent it.  We can only hope that any new legislation will have real teeth to it.  But then, what can be done to stop those calls from Russia, Nigeria, etc.?  Wonderful world indeed.

          Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

    • #2140315 Reply

      cyberSAR
      AskWoody Plus

      We’re a very small shop. Couple years ago I almost hired a receptionist just to deal with the enormous volume of BS calls. Ended up implementing nomorobo which helps somewhat. Now have a policy that if we are busy we don’t answer. If we answer and nobody speaks within a few seconds hang up. Yes, I’ve hung up on a few clients but they understand. I used to blow a whistle in the idiot’s ear but don’t have time for that any longer. I don’t even answer my cellphone and don’t have voicemail set up. It’s a scourge on society.

      Edit for content

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Ignoring unwanted phone calls

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.