Nuisance calls can be a daily irritant that are hard to shake. Luckily, tech can save the day, with plenty of options available to make sure your phone only rings when there’s someone you want to talk to on the other end of the line.
We look at six features available on phones and call blockers, or through your service provider, that can help curb nuisance calls and give you back some peace.
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How to curb nuisance calls
Last caller barring – perhaps unsurprisingly, this feature blocks the number of the last person to call you. It’s useful if you take a call from a salesperson or other nuisance caller, and know from that first conversation that you’ll never want to speak to them again. Once selected, the caller will hear a busy tone the next time they call. Of course, they have to call you at least once before you can block them.
Last caller barring is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
Anonymous call blocking – lots of nuisance calls come from anonymous numbers, so this feature will nip such unsolicited callers in the bud by simply not allowing any of these types of calls through. It can be extremely effective, but it’s worth remembering that plenty of legitimate companies and organisations – like banks and the NHS – can also show up as ‘anonymous’ so you may miss out on an important call.
Anonymous call blocking is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
Individual number blocking – if you don’t want to blanket block numbers, but just deal with individual persistent pests, most phones, devices and services will give you the option to block certain numbers. How many depends on how you go about it – services tend to only let you block a small number (around ten), while call blocking devices give you a lot more options.
Individual number blocking is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
International call blocking – if most of your calls from abroad are from a man in Mumbai trying to offer you an upgrade on your broadband, then you might be tempted by the option to block international calls. Only UK-based phone numbers will be able to get through to you, although the trueCall call blocker will also let any friends or relatives abroad enter a special code to bypass the block.
International call blocking is available on some phones or through most call blockers.
Silence/Night mode – if you don’t get too many nuisance calls, or simply don’t want to speak to anyone when you’re settling down to watch Eastenders, then Silence/Night mode gives you the option to set a time period when your phone won’t ring. It essentially mutes the ringtone, meaning that the call is getting through – you just won’t hear it. You can select numbers from your phonebook to bypass this if there are people you don’t mind talking to at any time.
Night mode is available on some devices depending on model and manufacturer.
Call screening – many people use their answering machine to screen their calls but the truCall call blocker offers a more sophisticated option. It asks the caller to state their name and business before putting them through – most won’t bother, choosing to hang up and try someone else instead. Legitimate callers will be happy to give their details, at which point your phone will ring, a recording of their answer will be played, and you can choose to accept or reject the call.