Believe that by now we all been there, with those 2pm Telemarketing calls. When we used to have a non-voip landline we would get up to 5 unwanted calls a day. So long for the do-not-call list..!
Now fast-forward to today and we are using a voip landline (Phone Power) one of the very neat features is called Block List. Let me tell you unwanted/telemarketing calls have reduced to almost zero, those that made it through we can quickly add the number to the block list. The block list has a limit of 50 entries; we are using about 20 of these right now. But you can also use Selective Call forwarding, which means when a particular number calls you chose what behavior the line will have. For instance the typical option will be to give them a busy signal. What I did just for the fun of it to a particular duct cleaning that been had calling us in past quite a lot and even when we told them we were in the do-not-call list they would say things like ‘so.. what? You still pick up the phone..’ so what I did I Google the real number for that company and configured Selective Forwarding so every time they called from the numbers I had noted would get forwarded to the actual Duct Cleaning company… Note I did remove that rule after a week… just wanted to get back at them for a short while and now their numbers are happy campers in our block list. The Selective forwarding also has a limit of 50 entries. Thus in total is about 100 numbers you could block. Which is even more than call blocker devices you can buy elsewhere, i.e: the Digitone Call Blocker has 80. Though we heard Phone Power has been working in a new functionality that will expand the number of entries to reportedly limitless; such feature will be added to all existing customers and as it is with PP no extra cost for such a vital feature. Other providers such as Axvoice or VOIP.com also offer this type of feature as standard.
Off course there are other options to deal with telemarketing calls, for example the Panasonic DECT phones often have a Call Block feature, in which case the phone itself keeps a list of blocked numbers. The disadvantage of this is that calls will ring at least once before it’s blocked. Another one is using one device type of the Digitone mentioned or Pro Call Blocker devices, but the downside with these is that are hardware solutions, hardware has added cost overhead and it’s limited to that one line. With a VOIP Block List you get a central admin interface, which is the same you’ll use anyways, and no matter how many numbers you have in your account you can easily manage the settings.
In summary VOIP’s Block List or Selective Forwarding features such as the one given by Phone Power helps to get rid of Telemarketing calls.
For some Block List feature alone justify the switch to VOIP. For us it completely did.