Mrs. GubMints called me at work the other day to let me know that the situation with Telemarketers and Bill Collectors calling our house phone was untenable- It seems that someone (a total stranger, not a member of the GubMints Circle of Trust) racked up tens of thousands in credit card debt and then provided the GubMints house phone number as their contact info.
The telemarketing and collection phone calls have been nothing short of relentless. Sure, I know that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act I have the right to contact the collection agency with a letter and instruct them to Cease and Desist, blah blah blah. Right- That’s much more trouble than it is worth.
What to do?
- Disconnect the land line during the day
- Get a new phone number
- Use the Blacklist feature on OOMA Premier
Since I’ve mentioned here before that I’m a fan of OOMA, you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post that we opted for a free 30-day trial of OOMA Premier (normally $9.99/month) and started Blacklisting the offending incoming phone numbers.
The telephone silence has been nothing short of deafening. It’s like we’ve finally kicked out a bunch of uninvited dinner guests who have been bothering us every night of the week and twice on Sunday!
OOMA Premier’s Blacklist feature is easy to use. You can blacklist by opening your call log (OOMA logs ALL incoming and outgoing calls, even if you don’t answer) and clicking the ‘Not’ symbol to the right of the phone number. You can also go to the ‘Blacklist’ menu and type in the phone number manually. This second option has an added benefit- You can Blacklist an ENTIRE AREA CODE (by typing the 3 numbers followed by *) and prevent inbound calling scams from Aruba, Grenada, Dominican Republic, etc.
When you Blacklist, you have 3 options of what to tell the offending caller:
- Go to straight to Voicemail
- Ring 10x, then give a busy signal
- A recording that the number is disconnected.
We chose option 3- The logic being that a disconnected number will get removed from phone spamming databases more quickly than options 1 and 2. We’ll see if this works, or if the phone spammers just shift to new outgoing call numbers.
…but if they do change their number and try to call the GubMints house again- I’m not worried. It’s just a few mouse clicks for me to block them again using OOMA Premier’s ‘Blacklist’ feature!
OOMA Premier has some other handy call blocking features, like Anonymous ID blocking (just check the box) and ‘Community Blacklist’.
Community Blacklist is a handy feature. When you Blacklist a phone number, you have the option of clicking some buttons and describing the nature of the offending caller (Telemarketer, Political, Bill Collection, etc). If enough users in the OOMA community blacklist the same number, it gets added to the OOMA ‘Community Blacklist’. You can opt-in to the OOMA Community Blacklist feature by simply checking a box- Then inbound calls marked as offensive by other OOMA users will automatically be blocked from calling your number (In Military Terms, this is what is known as Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)). I love it!
Give OOMA a try today!
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