Why Apple doesn't include a silent ringtone -- a feature found on pretty much every 'feature phone' I've ever seen or used -- is just one of life's dumb mysteries.
I hope Apple updates DND with more options like DND for calls only.
1) It mutes all notifications, not just non-whitelisted calls. As much as I hate notification overload, I do want a select few to come through.
2) I want a discoverable way for non-whitelisted callers to be able to break through (not everyone will know to call multiple times to break through).
I'm working on an app that addresses those -- email me if you're interested (see my profile).
So, all calls get answered by the answerphone, most spam callers hangup as soon as the message starts.
Genuine callers start to give a message and you can pick up if you want to handle the call immediately. If someone needs to "break through" then they can say "hi, it's X, can you pick up please".
I would love my mobile to work the same way.
If you just switch to/from the voicemail context once for 10 messages, the cost is only 10% of the cost for real-time answering.
I only put burner numbers on forms. They start to get called about 90 - 180 days later. Not all, but enough you don’t want to give your cell out.
Havn't heard from the fake CRA, chinese immigration or duct cleaners for ages... I do still get text messages so I'm not sure what people are talking about by 'all or nothing' ...
As far as I can tell, the only downside is anyone in my contact list can wake me up at 4am...
I believe apple has a new call fitering API, but of course you don't have a way of really knowing what apps do with their permissions.
Apple should give you the ability to firewall apps from any net access.
Single number at a time though. Useless for spammers that use random spoofed numbers. Not sure what sort of performance problems you'd hit by adding 10M numbers per area code. It's probably a hashset underneath, so maybe none...?
Apparently you cannot.
I end up syncing in the morning when I turn Wi-Fi back on
I setup a rule that if the call was from a withheld or foreign number, it would play an automated message asking the user to press the number 1 to be connected. This alone stopped basically all the spam calls. I'm surprised how well it actually works, I assume the caller detects it as a voicemail message so just hang up.
I imagine most carriers could implement something like this relatively easy. Sorry Google, no AI needed here.
It seems to me that phone companies can detect that, but they don't want to reduce the number of calls, do they?
And that's an awful lot of work just to cold-call someone to try to sell them insurance or whatever.
This has happened multiple times before, at least two separate incidents have made the news.
I'm sorry, this just sounds far-fetched to me. History seems to have shown that when hurdles are just a little too high, the spammers just don't bother.
This is mostly a US problem though. In Europe, the operators tend to be more strict on this, AFAIK.
I currently use the "Should I Answer" app, mentioned below, which is about as good as it gets in terms of pissed off people working together to fight the good fight I think.
However, all of this crap is still jist a bandaid for a lack of our governmental ability (at least in the U.S.) to hold phone utilities accountable for the illegal use of phone numbers.(1) Fine the phone companies hard and the problem goes away.
I stopped doing it when I basically switched over to a cell phone as my only phone.
For a while 5 years ago I was getting a ton of spam calls, mostly the "Rachel from Credit Card Services" ones. One to two a day.
After trying the "Press 1 to be put on our do not call" and speaking to a person and asking to be put on their do not call, filing those FTC complaints, and still getting a few a day, I started using a "fake person generator" and just stringing them along. After a couple weeks of this I got one that went along with me for a few minutes and then said "Thank you for playing <my phone number>, you will continue to get calls." and hung up.
This was fantastic, because at the time I had 3 phone numbers associated with my cell phone, and I didn't know which one was getting the calls. I shortly after switched to Google Fi, and ditched the number that they had been calling, and the calls dropped way off.
Of course if this were widely available for people who can't write five lines of code, it would be defeated. For HN readers, some of whom scripted checking into Continental flights right at the 24 hour window to game the upgrade list, this is child's play that works.
The implication from the OP is that it's a question about mobiles. It's not 100% clear, but in my experience people rarely bother to have contact lists on landlines, which themselves are increasingly less popular.
"Please press 1" reminds me of the recent CCC talk on automating hacking mobile voicemail to get access to online account recovery codes.
Some websites required a key press before speaking the code so he simply recorded the DTMF tone on the voicemail greeting message.
What I've found is that whist it does stop a lot of spam calls they now fake local numbers. Worse they fake them with a missing digit. The phone companies could definitely spot that. I've wondered previously if international telecoms treaties stop the phone companies from acting to block these calls.
Anyway, at the time I was traveling a lot so had my VOIP number forward to whatever local number I had in that country. That worked great, except on my phone it just displayed my VOIP number as the caller ID, so I had no idea who was calling.
In Asterisk I saw you could set the caller ID, but it didn't work for outgoing calls via my SIP trunk, so I assumed it was disabled by my provider (makes sense). I contacted them, and they said they had unlocked that feature, after which I could make a phone call with any caller ID. I expect there is something fundamental about how the telecom system works that prevents them from blocking these calls, but I'm really surprised at how easy they gave me access to it.
Seemed to automatically take them off most lists pretty quickly.
Show of hands: if we opened up this feature for you to control this filter for yourself or your loved ones, holding all else constant (price and coverage), would that be sufficient to cause a switch to try out an alternate provider?
I'm not thrilled putting Google in charge of my mobile data, but I still trust Google to safeguard my privacy more than any of the major telcos, and for someone who uses small amounts of data, they're very competitively priced and have really good, simple billing.
But particularly with the Librem Phone coming up, I've been trying to find other phone providers I won't hate that can give me more flexibility in devices and that at least somewhat shares my values. Community Phone looks really interesting. I'm frankly a little bit weirded out that the prices are that low, I'm going over the site trying to figure out what the tradeoffs are.
Rolling out a feature like this would definitely make me more interested in switching. Even if I didn't think it was valuable for me personally, it would make me feel like the company was in close contact with its users and working with them, rather than just blindly selling to them.
From a pure feature point of view, I would still want unknown people to be able to leave me messages. I get legitimate calls from unknown numbers -- but my policy is that if I don't know you and the call isn't important enough to leave a message, you're either spam or I don't care. If it is important enough to leave a message, I screen that and then add the number to my contact list if it's legit.
The real answer is that our prices are low because most of our users to date use less than 1gb per line (nearly all senior citizens on our 15 or 25 plans)... they were overpaying the most while using the least (but even for them we cannot be too low otherwise even the stingiest would think our pricing is too low to be credible... and I am laughed out of /r/nocontract for having prices that are way too high). And since building that volume, we've been able to keep our prices as they are, due to better negotiations with carriers.
That said, most of our customers to date join us just because they like getting a human from Boston or Milwaukee when they answer the phone who can help them quickly, listens intently to what you say, and doesn't require a "tech-ese"
For how long were you with your previous carrier before joining Google Fi and when did you make the switch?
I was with Verizon from my first phone until I first got a smartphone. I switched over to Fi specifically because I didn't want to deal with Verizon's billing, and because I didn't like the company in general.
The low-data approach is really attractive to me -- atm I use less than 500mb a month (sometimes as low as 200-300mb). At that level of usage your prices are very competitive with Fi. My concerns are that I'm starting to migrate away from native services where possible because of the security implications -- more of my texting is happening over Signal rather than SMS, and with the Libre phone theoretically some voice is going to start getting routed over Matrix.
I have no idea what that's going to do to my data usage, I honestly just have to experiment and find out.
Additionally, I'm starting to get more serious about using a VPN everywhere, even on mobile data, since I assume that behind Google, whatever network I'm on is absolutely selling any data that hits their towers. That may drive my data usage up, or it might drive it down because I might feel more comfortable connecting to random wifi networks if I know 100% all of my traffic is going through that VPN.
I'm in an urban area, so this is unrelated to me, but the fact that you're selling dumb phones on your plan is also pretty cool, and I can think of people who would be interested in that if Sprint's rural coverage was better.
Do you operate your own VPN? Or if not, how do you truly evaluate whether you are solving your problem? What questions would you ask post-Librem and post-VPN adoption whose answers would tell you how close you are to solving your problem?
I use a 3rd-party VPN (PIA). This is obviously not perfect privacy, since they could be lying about what data they store. That being said, I'm not trying to hide from a government, I'm trying to hide from advertisers, stalkers, and criminals. So even if I can't personally validate that PIA isn't storing any of my data, having my data accessible to a warrant is still better than having it accessible to hundreds of different sites and companies that I 100% already know I don't trust.
I validate actual implementation security by regularly checking what information shows up in requests when I visit sites. There are a couple of tools that help with that online.
Being strict about what data goes where is part of the reason why my data usage is low. It turns out that if you block network access for most apps on a phone by default, data usage just goes down a lot. Apps like Uber and Lyft make a lot of requests, because they are constantly tracking you, so blocking their network access if you have them installed is just a strict all-around win. Even apps that should be good about this like Google Music will sometimes just randomly decide to download things.
Obviously the librem phone is still kind of up in the air, but my game plan assuming it's not a complete disaster is to migrate over to that and fill in any gaps of functionality by just programming whatever features I need. I dunno how voice calls will work. The idea of switching to something more secure than the existing phone system is attractive, but I mentioned above, I'm not sure what it would do to data usage -- I just don't have any basis to make an educated guess.
In general I want my phone to be a very specialized device -- not a dumb phone, but a phone that only ever does what I tell it to.
So a successful migration for me would look like a company:
- with good coverage
- without any horrible terms like arbitration agreements or stealth charges
- that does not sell data, and that is supportive of low data-usage
- that is at least not actively unethical :)
on a device that:
- gives me root access
- makes calls, texts, and browses the web in a secure way
- that is highly geared towards offline availability and low data-usage
- and that doesn't run extra software or do things behind my back
Librem is my hope for the second part, I guess if it crashes and burns I'll look into custom Android roms. I haven't made a list of carriers yet, but from what you say, it sounds like Community Phone should be high up on that list?
I get ~5 calls/day that are legitimate calls with unknown numbers, and ~10 calls/day that are spam robocalls. I use Google screening and it works reasonably well; I would much prefer to have a telco do the screening automatically.
I use ~10-20GB of data per month, mostly for video calls, mostly for business, mostly via Signal, Slack, Zoom.
Feel free to PM me if you would like more. Contact info is in my user link.
I feel like if I just told some of my relatives about it without it being marketed, they would think I'm the one scamming them.
Sometimes getting them a prepaid phone with limited minutes, like 100/month or 1000/year, manages to fix it because it stops them from answering calls from unrecognized numbers. I guess the logic is they get upset about spending 4 cents a minute.
yes, OMG YES. i get _at least_ 5 spam calls a day. It drives me mad. PLEASE let me whitelist.
I'd still need comparable coverage and pricing, and be able to use my iphone but yes i would switch carriers.
The easy international hookup feature of Google fi I could give up, although that is pretty sweet. All over Europe my phone would hook up automagically with the local system about 30min after my plane landed.
- People in my contact list (or whitelist) automatically get through
- Everyone else is forwarded to a real live human who screens my calls
(The reason why I would pay is I'd rather just have a well-paid human handle this instead of some kind of AI or heuristic.)
The human could be paired with some data, like what phone network the call came from, and additional data about how likely caller ID is spoofed. If you want to get fancy, you could do some kind of machine learning where you tell the person, "this call is xx% likely to be spam."
To keep things simple, I shouldn't be able to set many preferences. (This allows the human to react the same way every time.) But, things like choosing to allow or block "good" robocalls, like automated calls from the power company, are probably useful.
You could try to make a profit by actually asking to get on the do-not-call list, tracking it, and then aggressively suing violators. When I'm interrupted on my cell phone, I just don't have the time to track this kind of thing.
And, one more thing: If you want to get into AI, see if you can figure out how to keep the spammers on the phone as long as possible. This increases their costs dramatically.
Regarding your proposed feature, how much time, or how many calls/fewer distractions, would you look forward to saving every month if this real live human did their job well?
I live in Houston, TX. My current carrier is T-mobile. I'm fairly satisfied with cell service where I live, but my parents' home an hour away is garbage. How's your coverage there?
In addition to leaving my devices in do-not-disturb mode, I also specifically disable my voicemail. I am not interested in voicemail messages and have repeatedly asked to have T-mobile permanently disable it for my phones but it keeps turning up anyway. Is Community Phone able to resolve that?
What I would rather have would be if voicemail and other messages could be delivered directly to a personal email address and/or posted to a personal file server. I want to be able to aggregate my phone numbers' correspondence in any standard desktop mail client like Thunderbird.
However, that proposed feature plus the fact you don't sell user data to advertisers (reading your website) is appealing...
I had tried Hiya and Jolly Roger Telephone Co, but neither was good enough to be worth the bugs and loss of privacy.
I had the problem intermittently for years, but it becamw awful (like 6+ spam calls a day) for two weeks before Google apparently fixed it.
At what point did you finally decide to leave your smartphone behind and how severe of a lifestyle change have you had to make in order to operate and function as you have come to expect of yourself?
We currently offer unlimited talking and texting for $15/month + state taxes and FCC fees, or ~$18.
Interesting service - how did it get started? I see that you're all over the site, assuming youre "Strategy Team James"... Are you the founder of this service?
Who backs the network you talk to?
Would you have a data-only-text-only SIM plan? (i.e. could I have a ~$3/month SIM that ONLY allowed Text? or a $5/month plan that ONLY allowed text+SOME data?
I'd like to put sims in some IoT devices - and want to find the cheapest method to allow this.
I have some other ideas I'd like to talk to you guys about if these sorts of things are something you're open to.
We use AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile networks. We also peer with a few hundred regional carriers around the world.
What is your business application and how big of a cost component are these SIM cards and how many of them would you need? Have you checked out hologram.io? They have a card built for this IIRC.
Always open to ideas! I am firstname.lastname@example.org
Ill send you an email though - love the mission you describe for what youre doing.
Maybe you are a fossil, how could I know, but we've figured out how to fashion literal fossils into the black goop that's brought the entire world this far... fossils of all kinds must have a lot of potential!
edit; T-Mobile accepts forwarded text message SPAM at 7726 - https://www.t-mobile.com/responsibility/privacy/fraud-spam/s...
Having a phone with a far-away area code is actually really useful just for this reason, I've found.
Imagine for a sec a situation where:
1. I receive a robocaller message.
2. I press a button on phone indicating spam
3. Software Agent takes over, presses the right DTMF to proceed (ML based analysis of what works and what doesn't)
4. Agent waits for human to come on, starts playing random conversational pieces that sound right (extension, the google thing that booked a hair dresser appointment takes this even further https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D-6mxb_Mu8).
- You'll make it very hard for genuine people to contact you.
- You don't solve the problem, you only make it more expensive. As long as the benefit of calling you is bigger than the cost they will jump through whatever hoop to call you.
For some context: this isn't a problem everywhere in the world. In my country there are strict laws about unsolicited phone calls (especially to people who have indicated they wan't to be called). I never get a spam called (automated or otherwise).
There are laws in the US about this too, with some pretty heavy penalties that are possible to collect in Civil court. The problem is finding the perpetrator, as the phone system makes it difficult to get accurate info on who actually called. I suppose someone could start a class action against the telcos, or an aggressive AG could start a RICO case.
BTW, AT&T, if you don't fix this soon I'm moving to T-Mobile.
I tap a button, and the call screener takes its time to explain that I've enabled that call screening service, while I continue on my day. No spam I've ever gotten has waited for the voice to finish its 3rd word.
Unfortunately this also disables all other app notifications which is less than desirable.
You can block all hidden numbers, all numbers not in your address book, specific numbers, etc.
Or one can use Tasker - an Android automation app to achieve the same functionality and more in any Android phone. I suppose these days, you can use Iphone's scripting functionality as well for the same, can't you?
Privacy concerns regarding MIUI /Android can be handled by installing a firewall like Netguard.
Also the feature of recording conversations is very nice.
Click on allow calls and select "from contacts only".
That app has a lot more features too, like blocking calls which are rated negatively in the community-curated database. Of course, you can rate numbers yourself as well, and block/whitelist those.
It can also block hidden numbers or foreign numbers, and a whole bunch of other stuff as well.
It's a pretty cool app. Check it out.
I this this "Pixel" reply is misplaced. I've been using "Should I Answer" for about a year on my Galaxy S6, and it does everything the OP was requesting and then some. I just donated to them yesterday for the first time in fact.
Even if you don't choose to use your contacts as a white list (which I don't because I often have client/prospect calls coming in that aren't in my contacts yet), it still catches about 95% of calls thanks to thepower of the masses fighting back.
If you don't have it, definitely worth a download
I seem to have robocalls worse than most, most of my friends are still sufficing with spam detection, but it's not enough. It's a crying shame the FCC has allowed the telephone to become a tragedy of the commons, but none of the carriers have any interest in blocking robocallers, it's a secondary source of income.
I have a smartphone that literally can not operate as a phone and take calls. It's dystopian.
Why are scammers even allowed to spoof caller IDs from local area-code numbers that don't even exist? (Thankfully, this makes them blissfully easy to spot. But I fear someday the fraudsters will get up to speed on that heuristic.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a technical measure like the one you suggest — it appears to be sorely needed. But I'm dismayed at how little the government and the carriers care.
And for God's sake can we choose a more convincing scam than "the factory warranty on your vehicle is about to expire"? My car is over 20 years old. The warranty is gone.
I can't speak to the FCC's leadership under Ajit Pai, but donotcall.gov was shuttered during the latest government shutdown.
The main service the app offers is a community rating of phone numbers. Depending on the rating, calls can be muted automatically. You can also, however, tell the app to generally block all calls except those from contacts in your address book.
One advantage of this system is that the blocking provider does not need (and can't have) access to your phone call history at all. The disadvantage is that it is a blacklist only, you can't invert the rules.
As a side note, although I would _love_ to just ignore all calls from numbers I do not know, at least in France most companies such as banks, taxman and so on will call you from a withheld number and they don't always leave a message.
People you actually want to talk to: custom ring/vibration. As a bonus you can assign different rings to people so you know “oh hey that’s Mom” or whatever.
Users just pay for 'Unlimited Calling' now, but all the legacy payment structures still exist on the back end.
I'm working on an app (iphone & android) that solves this the way you suggest, via a whitelist of contacts, with an optional way for non-whitelisted, non-robocallers to still get through.
If you're interested in early access, email me at russell.davis [at] gmail [dot] [com].
Hear me out. If you all have noticed, with every privacy feature released a significant amount of people migrate to it full-time. I currently cannot recognize my phone ring, because from the day I bought my last phone I switched off the ringing and never bothered to turn it back on, not because I hate ringtones, I just forgot and also there have been no dire consequences to do so. Someone on this thread also said he/she set her phone permanently on "do not disturb" and just deals with notifications when they want to. This is all well and good cause anyone who has tried to reach us has successfully done so and even if they did not reach us, we have evidence that they attempted to.
Having a whitelist system is VERY different and has many unforeseen consequences. From as little as, your mother got a new phone and soon she cannot reach you, you got a beautiful girls number and want to ask her on a date but cannot reach her. To bigger issues like your teenage child is mad at you and deletes your contact from their phone. Job offers will be missed, you will become unreachable in emergencies etc. The short of this is, the best case of such a feature is that you don't need to install a third party app to block spam calls, the worst case of such a feature is people can literally die cause they cannot contact you or vice versa. If I was a phone manufacturer. I just won't even allow this. There are easier ways to solve the underlying problem without opening the door for worse outcomes
Ever watched any American movie? The girl usually writes the number on a back of a receipt or napkin, gives it to you and immediately leaves.
I do generally agree with the OP though. I need to have a way for unknown but legitimate calls to reach me. To use actual examples that happened to me - sometimes there's a problem with my on-line order, or with some form I submitted to the government, and some clerk from a company/govt office calls me to set things straight. I don't have, and couldn't possibly have, an idea from what number they'll call, but getting that call is a difference between fixing a matter on the spot, vs. wasting me (and them) half a day + incurring some extra wait time the next week.
sure the girl might like to be surprised, but is that worth all the spam? perhaps someone should come up with an artificial spam service "so that you will extra enjoy your real acquaintances when they call you" if that really were true...
- family members getting new phones
- missed connections + job offers
- teenage child being angry with you
1. The cellular phone has existed only for so long, and people found a way to exist before it. I'm not going to belabor the point since it's not very deep but this concept that you need to be reachable 99% of the time in 99% of the cases is wrong -- the cases where you actually absoutely need to be reached is often <1% of the time.
2. The problem is identity here -- it's not that you don't want certain numbers calling you, it's that you don't want certain numbers calling you. This could be solved by creating a system that links identities to numbers, though it's exceedingly optimistic notion that we'd get everyone to agree on the same system.
In all the situations when you give someone your phone number or they give you theirs, you're agreeing to talk to each other. If you instead exchanged some sort of identity (let's say GPG key), the problem no longer is "how can I call a number they should be at", it's "how do I find how to contact this person with this identity". The latter question can be solved much more robustly.
I've thought about something like this -- creating just a online store of just identities that you can freely create and discard, boiling down to GPG key. Having such a shared resource would mean that chat apps, telco providers, and various other usecases could just use GPG (in this example) to look up the right contact method... Attempting to create a widely used standard is basically suicide though so maybe this idea has no legs.
In this imaginary scenario you have a whitelist that works the way you want -- people you want to contact you can, and you can have very limited overrides like a shared identity/utility key for hospitals/government/etc.
[EDIT] - I also wanted to add -- again, I do think that this would have bad effects on "free and open communication", but I'm not sure it might actually be bad for society -- maybe free-and-open-communication by default for some mediums isn't good. I don't think closing down this loophole for phone numbers is going to squelch productive protests (one of the phenomenons I personally think we'd want to protect), but maybe I'm wrong.
Like if someone used your number as an emergency contact. Or some hospital in the world trying to contact you because someone you know got hospitalized (touch wood).
If a legitimate business or other entity wants to get through to me and isn't in my contacts, their best bet is to leave a voicemail and hope I get around to taking a look at my visual voicemail transcriptions. Most robocalls don't leave voicemail, but some are starting to.
I'm not trying to say it's not an issue, but the mentality that you need to be connected and accessible at all times is a relatively new phenomenon. If you are in a caretaker role than sure, but if my best friend is sick in hospital and I miss it because I'm out hiking or have turned my phone off, that's just life. People are not supposed to be 24/7 contactable in my view.
In this case, maybe sending the calls to voicemail instead of outright blocking them will work. AFAIK robocallers disconnect when encountering voicemail, whereas in a real emergency they'd leave a message to call back.
As a single guy with no children, I'm unlikely to get any emergency calls. But my friend who has two children in school and one in nursery? You bet they're going to call her if one of them gets sick or has an accident.
I was looking into this for a friend and found something a couple of tutorials for making it happen with iphone, but they all said you had to use the interface from a computer (desktop/laptop) - that the call filtering and time block feature was not accessible via the phone's interface.
(this was about a year ago?)
- you could make your phone go silent, but let a selected set of contact be able to ring, or perhaps give another set of contacts the option to turn off your silent mode if they coded twice within 5 minutes or something?
I think there is built in methods for this with do not disturb and assorted options with that feature on newish android without third party apps right?
(I currently frequently use a "timed silent profile" app that I paid the premium for years ago, but I think I ran into these settings on base android in the past year.
At this point I just don't answer a call that's not in my contacts, but I should be able to enable this as the default. If it's someone that really wants to talk to me, then they'll leave voicemail.
I shouldn't have to use Do-Not-Disturb; that's for something else (don't ring my phone at all when I am sleeping), also I don't want to lose my other notifications.
The telcos charge for a "blocking" service so they have no incentive to do anything about it ... but I don't understand why Apple hasn't addressed this (maybe today's 15% decline in iPhone sales is people saying f-it and switching to Android where you can get apps to block calls).
You can screen calls or automatically send them to voicemail. You can create rules for groups of contacts that override the default. You can setup different voicemail messages for different groups.
I have it setup to send everyone but friends and family to voicemail. The transcript of this message is emailed to me. If I get multiple spam voicemails from the same number, I add the number to a contact called "Block" which sends them to a custom voicemail message I recorded telling them the number has been disconnected.
My number is posted on websites, I use it when signing up for shady things, but I hardly ever get spam. I remember having to add a lot of numbers the first month and then suddenly the torrent of spam calls abruptly stopped. I assume they blacklisted my number on their lists. I've been pretty much spam free for years.
Might be a concern in authoritarian regimes.
Weren't there a project with proof of work?
On an unrelated note, I've many times wished the phone protocol was upgraded to send metadata of your choosing along with the caller ID. Not even asking for a standard, because it'd probably suck. Just provide the means to send some optional data along with the call (which could ultimately put the nail in the coffin of land lines). The primary use case I had in mind would be to authenticate identity (since caller ID can be spoofed), but I'm sure a bunch of new uses would be utilized.
The Hiya app also helps somewhat. I didn't realize how good a job carriers like T-Mobile do at filtering out the Spam calls until I switched to XFinity Mobile and went from 1-2 calls per week to 5 in the first day. Hiya brings the number back down inline with T-Mobile, and might be the same database T-Mobile uses on the backend.
You can always set you're phone to ignore calls, but this doesn't avoid the call to reach your phone. However, the robinson list does.
"Is an opt-out list of people who do not wish to receive marketing transmissions"
I had to work some magic (which I have since forgotten) to convince my S9+ to ignore this background process, else it would stop working after a few hours.
The key thing that I wish it had was a quick way to allow unknown calls for a specified time. This would have been helpful when given the option of staying on hold for an extended period of time or receiving a callback - or when you get that "my connection is crap, let me call you back on another line."
This will take the problem of spam away.
Most of the time they go straight to voicemail and leave the same message.
All my real friends FaceTime, signal, iMessage, etc.
It bewilders me that telcos haven’t done anything about this. It’s 100% of my incoming calls... and they only about 2 unique actual messages, pre recorded...
With the Galaxy 9, there are some Name ID features built in if you use T-Mobile. For iOS on T-Mobile, I do:
1. Pay for T-Mobile Plus to get Name ID.
2. Install the Name ID app and enable all the blocking
3. Manage Blocks, Go to VM, and whitelist contacts
Another thread mentions Exchange Blocker, this also helps with exchange alias scams and is a light weight app that takes a minute to install.
1. Set system ringtone to "nothing"
2. Set ringtones for people I want to not miss
3. Suppress annoying notifications
Takes care of most problems.
At the time, AT&T, if you gave them a few dollars a month, would let you block 5 numbers. It was the most unbelievably stupid policy I had ever seen and almost caused me to churn, which I probably should have done.
It specifically has a setting to force all non-contact list calls to voicemail. I had to do this when I started getting 8-10 spam calls a day.