TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Is There a Device to Block Selected Incoming Numbers

Re: Is There a Device to Block Selected Incoming Numbers
Sun, 01 May 2005 06:12:15 -0700

Jim Kennedy wrote:

> Is there a home/home office telecom device, eg. answering machine,
> caller id unit, etc, that allows you to program in particular numbers
> to be blocked or to receive a custom message? I would like all other
> calls to go through as is.

> Thanks.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The telcos (Traditional Bell at least)
> offers a blocking service. You have to get *60 turned on by telco,
> then you can do what you are asking -- theoretically -- and get rid
> of the nuisances. I say _theoretically_ since SBC at least claims as
> often as not 'that call cannot be blocked', i.e. outside of LATA, or
> people who send bogus numbers for caller ID. Once you ask telco to
> turn on *60 you can enter numbers you do not wish to hear from any
> further, and that person gets a recorded intercept saying 'the party
> you are calling is not accepting calls at this time.' You can also
> 'block last call recieved, whether or not you know the number,' by
> dialing (I think) '01' at the internal prompt, even if the caller
> deliberatly withheld their number via *67. You can hear a recitation
> of the numbers on your blocked list as part of the *60 process also,
> and to protect the privacy of those persons who used *67 when calling
> you, the recitation refers to them as 'private entries' .

> You can also get 'block the blockers' service from telco using *77
> and when someone does do *67 when calling you, _they_ get a recorded
> message that they have to unblock delivery of their ID and dial the
> call again. So, if you sign up for both these features, (*60 and *77)
> you get rid of most or all the pests. But, one caveat with certain
> telcos, like SBC Southwestern Bell, they don't go out of their way to
> make this work correctly. With some of these telcos, calls which are
> out of LATA cannot be blocked, and calls where the caller gives you
> a bogus string for ID cannot be blocked. And of course, if the caller
> moves from one payphone to another, he _will_ get through to you. Now
> in years past, when Illinois Bell existed and had this service, you
> _could_ block out of LATA calls, and maybe you could not, if the place
> originating the phone call had an old fashioned switch. But you could
> at least 'ping' it first and see if it would work or not (from out of
> LATA). Locally, it would come back immediatly and say okay; but if
> out of LATA it would go away for a few seconds and then come back
> and say okay but sometimes your request would time out and you would
> back an answer saying "cannot be added right now, try again in a few
> minutes" or else it would just say "cannot be added" (period.) But
> SBC won't deal with any out of LATA that I know of. So maybe this
> service from your telco will help you eliminate many of the pests.
> PAT]

As I recall, the service is called "Selective Call Rejection" by SBC
in California. It will only hold a list of up to 10 numbers at a
time, which is virtually useless.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: That's what they call it here also,
and what Illinois Bell called it in Chicago. And the limit is ten
numbers, which I think _should_ be enough if you use it in a judicious
fashion; in other words, only on the worst, most hopeless cases. You
should not rush to do *60 everytime some drunk in a bar somewhere
calls you; only for the really persistent and sort of stupid callers.
It's hard for me to imagine you have _that many_ total jerks in your
life to deal with. And bear in mind, all the problems with the
service (such as out of LATA in the case of Southwestern Bell) and
people sending bogus ID (again, Southwestern Bell) and people who
walk around from one pay phone to another. I still maintain though
that for the 'average phone user' it pretty much does what the
original correspondent requested, especially if used in conjunction
with *77 (reject all 'anonymous' [deliberatly blocked ID] callers).
Although I am no longer with SBC -- I find Prairie Steam much
better and far less expensive -- I still get both those features
(*60 and *77) through Prairie Stream now. PAT]

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