Friday, July 03, 2015

How to stop nuisance calls, the really easy way

My call blocker:
the best way to block spam calls

Nuisance calls

Annoying phone calls are something that have been troubling the UK public for almost as long as we have had phones in our homes.  For the time being most unwanted phonecalls come through our landlines, and don't (as yet) affect our mobile phones.  Part of the reason for this might be that blocking and rejecting calls on cellphones is quite easy; all smartphones either have a call blocker built in or a free call blocker app is easy enough to find and install.

Personally I wouldn't have a landline if I didn't have to.  I run my own business from home, and while it's rare that clients call my landline instead of my mobile I believe that having a landline still helps a business look legitimate.  Unlike most
broadband Internet users I don't need a phoneline to get an Internet connection - I'm with VirginMedia so my connection is via a co-axial cable.  So the problem I have is that I need to have a landline, but the only calls I ever got on my landline were unwanted calls.

PPI calls, surveys, accident claims, funeral planning, double-glazing, home-improvements, pensions you name it, I'd get the annoying calls about it.  I couldn't just ignore my phone as there's still the potential that new clients might find my phone number and give me a call on my landline as a first point of contact.

Some days I would get ten or fifteen spam phonecalls a day.  I'm a polite person by nature, and I realise that I could have just hung up on these callers as soon as they revealed their purpose, but I don't believe anyone deserves to be spoken to disrespectfully just because of the job they do.

Stopping unwanted calls using the TPS

I have registered my phone number with the TPS (telephone preference service) several times but it appears to make no difference at all.  In theory registering with this free service should stop unwanted spam calls, but appears to be entirely futile.  When I first registered with TPS I would tell callers that in theory they shouldn't be calling me they would quite often get the hump with me and tell me they don't check to see if numbers are registered with TPS.

How to block a number

The only way I could think to stop nuisance calls would be to block the numbers the calls were coming from.  Unfortunately VirginMedia don't offer a call-blocking facility.  So each time I got an annoying call I entered the callers' number into the phonebook on my phone, represented by a profanity.  Having swear words pop up on our phone was amusing for a bit, and it at least let me know which calls I could ignore, but it didn't stop the basic problem.  When the phone rang I still have to stop work, get out of my seat and wander over to the phone.

One day the same caller rang me many times and I decided the only option I had was either to cancel my phoneline entirely or to find a better way to block calls.  In reality I can't cancel my phone service because my company's phone number is listed in a lot of places and I don't want anyone thinking I'm no longer in business.

Call blockers - the answer to blocking nuisance phone calls

I looked into a hardware solution to blocking unwanted calls but each of the devices I found were either very expensive or incompatible with the way my phone is set up.  Several call blockers were in fact new phones, and I had no interest in investing in a new DECT phone when I had a perfectly good one (with a lot of swears in the memory).  The biggest challenge that I faced is that there are hundreds of call centres throughout the UK, and blocking every number could take forever.  But then I found the answer...

Call Saint Nuisance Call Blocker - REVIEW

As already mentioned there are many call blocker options on the market, but many do not have a display screen and many are expensive and appear to be complex to set up.  I wanted a solution that was truly 'fit and forget'.  The Call Saint Nuisance Call Blocker needed no set up and worked straight out of the box.  I decided to set up the date function but to be honest there's really no need (as far as I can tell).  You just plug your phone line into the back of the neat little box and then (using the supplied leads) connect your existing phone to the back of the call blocker.  It doesn't even need to be plugged into the mains!

The Call Saint has hundreds of UK call centres programmed into it right out of the box, so from day one almost all of the unwanted spam calls stopped.  If I get an unwanted call I press the * key on my phone and the call blocker automatically adds the number to the blocked list.  This really is the easiest way to stop annoying phone calls.  If you're stood near the call blocker when you take an unwanted call you can click the nice red 'BLACKLIST' button, it's surprisingly satisfying.

How the Call Saint Nuisance Call Blocker works
When you receive a call from an unwanted caller the call blocker stops your phone from ringing.  So while in theory you're still receiving the call in reality you're completely unaware of it.  Ignorance is most definitely bliss.

There's really not much else I can write as a review - the call blocker is incredibly easy to set up and is very effective at stopping spam calls, while ensuring calls you actually want still get through.

Review conclusion
While this device is brilliant at stopping most UK call centres straight out of the box it won't stop calls from callers who withhold their numbers.  There is an option to block withheld (and overseas) numbers but there are callers you may need to hear from who legitimately withhold their numbers (like Doctors' surgeries) and some older office phone systems don't have the ability to 'pass' their number to your phone, so if you block all number withheld numbers you may be missing out on some genuine calls.

That being said, the Call Saint Call Blocker is incredibly effective from the moment you plug it in.  Apart from setting the time and date on the display I've not touched any of the call blocker settings.  I have added a few numbers to the blacklist but not many, because there haven't been many calls that have gotten through to me!

Considering the low cost (less than £30 at time of writing) I am exceptionally pleased with this

This call blocker will work with any phone provider and is compatible, but you will need caller ID activated.


P.S. I'm really pleased with this call blocker, but it's sometimes out of stock, so CLICK HERE for alternatives...