One of the biggest inconveniences that we can experience in our life is when we receive an unwanted phone call on a Sunday at 8 am, or just when we sit down to dinner. In recent years, telemarketing companies have taken the next step, resulting in thousands of complaints being filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC in the United States). How can we put an end to these unwanted calls once and for all? This article teaches you what actions you can take today (in the US).
Method 1 of 2: Stop calls at the source
Step 1. Register with the National Do Not Call Register
This registry, established for residents of the United States, lists telephone numbers and their owners who do not wish to receive unwanted calls from advertisers. Register your phone number by calling (888) 382-1222 or by going to the website www.donotcall.gov.
- This list was drawn up by the Federal Trade Commission in 2003. It has reduced the number of unwanted calls made by telemarketing companies by 80%.
- Some organizations do not have the obligation to consult this list of excluded numbers, here are the cases concerned.
- Calls made by organizations with which you have had a business relationship.
- Calls from companies that you have previously granted permission to call you.
- Non-commercial calls or calls that do not offer unsolicited advertisements.
- Calls from non-profit companies.
Step 2. Call your telephone company and ask to reach the "inconvenience service"
This specialized service can trap your line to prevent certain numbers from contacting you.
Step 3. Place your phone number in the list of numbers excluded from telemarket operations
If you regularly receive calls from the same unwanted companies, you can notify telemarketers to remove your names and phone numbers from their calling lists. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that your number be withheld from the company in question for 5 years.
Step 4. Use a search engine to find who is calling you
If you are not sure where the call came from, search to identify it. Entering an unknown number into a search engine can give you clues about the caller. Many online services also allow you to report and share your experience with other users.
Method 2 of 2: Block calls on your phone
Step 1. Install an application to block calls on your mobile phone
Even though telemarketers are supposed to reveal their phone numbers, a good way to get rid of unwanted callers is to block unknown calls. If you are using an iPhone or Android, there are some apps that automatically block calls from unknown numbers.
- Call Control is the most popular app to block telemarketers calling on your Android.
- Call Bliss is the most popular app to block calls from unknown numbers on your iPhone.
Step 2. Change your call settings
Android and iPhones have settings that let you only receive calls from the people you want. The downside is that if an organization or person you know calls you from an unknown number, you will not receive the call. However, if you get a lot of unwanted calls from unknown numbers every day, this can be a good option.
- You can set your Android to private mode so that you can only receive calls from people you have approved in your contact list.
- Use the “Do not disturb” feature on your phone. You can make calls silent, except for the people selected in your contact list.
Step 3. Use call capture
Call capture services are chargeable. They allow to force the caller to show his phone number. TrapCall is the most popular service, it works as well on landline as on iPhone and Android.
Step 4. Subscribe to personalized calling services on your landline
Your telephone company probably offers several call blocking services. These kinds of services are subject to monthly subscription. Contact your telephone company to find out what options are available to you. Certain services are generally available in most states.
- “Call Screen” is a service that can be configured to block calls from specific numbers by sending that caller a pre-recorded message telling them that you will not receive the call.
- “Priority ringing” allows you to configure ringing tones specific to each phone number so that you know if you want to take the call, without having to look at your phone screen.
- "Return call" allows you to call the last person who called you, even if their number was displayed as "private" or "unknown".
Step 5. Purchase an incoming call blocker for your landline
Blocking incoming calls requires the caller to dial a code to reach you. This makes it possible to block callers who do not have your personal code. While it may annoy your friends, family, or people who want to reach you, it's always better than being constantly harassed by constant solicitations.
Be courteous when informing your telephone company of unwanted calls you receive. It is not their fault and they will be more inclined to help you if you are polite
- If the unwanted calls amount to harassment, for example if the caller makes repeated calls and uses threatening or inappropriate language, you can file a complaint with the police.
- Be careful when using the call back service, as the person you are calling may become hostile by being confronted with their actions in unexpected ways.
- Blocking incoming calls blocks anyone who does not have the code to call you. This means that an emergency call can also be blocked.