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"Can I block an "UNAVAILABLE" number?" Topic

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962 hits since 19 Sep 2012
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2012 11:16 a.m. PST

I use my cell phne (a SAMSUNG Verizon) for business.
Three times today, I got a call from UNAVAILABLE, two of whch hung up on me, and the 3rd kept calling me "Grandpa". I am not a grandfather. When I asked who he was calling, he hung up.

Obviously, I cannot re-dial because the number is "invalid".
Can I block this number without blocking other UNAVAILABLE numbers who may be legitimate potential customers?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2012 11:23 a.m. PST

I realize that I can probably block anonymous phone calls, but I have gotten some legitimate customers who choose to keep their numbers anonymous while dialing.
I suppose it is futile to ask my phone to differentiate between "legitiamte" anonymous numbers and "crank" anonymous numbers.

coryfromMissoula19 Sep 2012 11:31 a.m. PST

Talk to your provider – I have blocked a few unavailable numbers, but I may have simply guessed at whom they were coming from.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member19 Sep 2012 1:57 p.m. PST

Good luck. They will not do it in Canada.

Space Monkey19 Sep 2012 2:04 p.m. PST

We get anonymous drop calls a lot. I suspect they hang up when they hear the person answering in English rather than Spanish.

45thdiv19 Sep 2012 2:11 p.m. PST

As long as the phone number appears you can log onto you providers web site and block the calling number. If both show as unavailable then I am not sure what you can do.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian19 Sep 2012 6:15 p.m. PST

I am not a grandfather.

As far as you know… evil grin

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member19 Sep 2012 10:53 p.m. PST

I never answer unavailables. If it's somebody I know, they will leave a message.

KatieL Inactive Member21 Sep 2012 1:13 p.m. PST

In the UK, there is a way of doing this, but you have to have it enabled on the line.

Way it works is this; caller ID consists of two parts. One is the public visible bit. This can actually be set by the caller -- unavailable or to some other number (this is often used by companies to export their main switchboard or contact centre number).

The other is the real dialler as determined by the dialler's incoming exchange. It's used as part of the billing and routing systems. This is stripped off at the receiver's exchange.

So, in order to be able to block these, BT implemented a system where you can type a *-sequence on your phone and the exchange interprets this as an instruction to block calls from the last caller to dial into that line -- using the real caller ID (which the exchange has), not the public one. Diallers then get a ringing followed by a robot voice which says that the target number is no longer accepting calls from them. ISTR there's a buffer of 5 blocked numbers available.

(In other words, yes, the UK landline system CAN distinguish between different diallers when the receiver can't.)

Mobile networks don't seem to support these things; I don't know why.

A possible solution may be that you can often assign contact numbers into groups and give a default action to groups -- so you could redirect "unavailable" to answer machine if you can put it in a group.

Also, in the UK, there are two of these messages; "withheld" is from a caller who isn't exporting an ID. Generally these will be companies inside the UK who don't want to export a number for some reason. (I have no idea why employment agencies wouldn't want to, but almost all of them apparently don't.)

"unavailable" means a diallable number (rather than a billable one) actually can't be determined. Certainly to my number, these are without exception recorded messages touting "competition win" call-back scams from overseas.

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