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N9MD
Too busy to chat
Premium
join:2005-10-08
Boca Raton, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
·VOIPO
·CIKTEL Telecom

1 recommendation

reply to josephf

Re: NYTimes: Who's on the Line? Increasingly, Caller ID Is Duped

Hmmm!   A subject near and dear to my heart (and psyche).

There are many things in our day to day existence that are annoying ... but unwanted telephone calls are truly frustrating and exasperating ... and they always seem to come while you are in the middle of dinner or are rinsing the dinner plates and your hands are soapy or you just dozed off for a quick after dinner nap.   Then there are the incoming cellular junk calls that inevitably interrupt some very important activity or discussion in progress.

I am dealing with this issue proactively.   All calls to my NJ and FL residences and all calls to my cell phone (and my wife's cell) and all calls to my dedicated fax number (and my wife's) arrive via VoIP.  : :Yes, all our published numbers are VoIP numbers that are forwarded to the appropriate destination (home, cell, fax).   For the extra monthly pennies I spend, it is well worth the cost for peace of mind.

Most, if not all, of the "upscale" VoIP providers we discuss here in the BBR Forums have excellent Call Blocking (Blacklisting) features, with a host of options in dealing with unwanted calls.

For example, Voip.ms and CallCentric gives the choice of blocking/redirecting a specific incoming CallerID or a block of CallerIDs (using wildcard "x" or "*" to replace one or more parts of a DID) or an entire rate center/exchange or an entire area code.   PhonePower (one of my former providers) and VOIPo have decent Blacklisting features (but the latter is very difficult to navigate and is not intuitive).

The various Blacklisting options can be customized for each blocked DID (or number groups):
• Hangup.
• Call forwarding to "silly" phone numbers (such as the "Psych Hot Line" at 218-488-1302).
• Call forwarding to "silly" SIP-URLs (such as "Laughing Monkees").
• Recorded voice message.
• Busy signal.
• Number not in service.
• Number has been disconnected.
• DTMF test.
• ECHO test.

Over the past year I've kept track of unwanted calls ... that is, I've recorded the phone numbers, the callers (which I can determine either from the CallerID record or from an online search), the organizations represented, and the frequency of repeat callers.

Some examples:
• MEDCO was calling on a daily basis;
• University of Phoenix;
• Lyndon LaRouche;
• Fraternal Order of Police telemarketing;
• Various collection bureaus (And I don't owe anything to anybody ... except my second grade teacher Mrs. Johnson who lent me a nickel for lunch in November of 1949;
• Various charities ... almost all of whom have never received a dime from me, not even the March of Dimes;
• OnStar;
• Comcast telemarketing;
• Alumni organizations;
• Surveys ... every time I have one of our cars serviced by the local dealership, I get a cellphone call from a Virginia area code asking questions about my recent servicing experience;
• Mausoleum and Headstone (Monument) providers ... following my dealings with them for recently departed family members;
• A variety of "empty air" calls where there is nobody there ... even when you listen for 10 or 15 seconds for callers using robodialing;

My methodology:
• I block all Toll Free incoming: 800xxxxxxx (or 800* depending on the provider) ... and 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, 822 for good measure;
• For area codes that I would never expect a call from, I block the entire area code: e.g., 208* (or 208xxxxxxx);
• For rate centers that I would never expect a call from, I block the entire rate center: e.g., 701454* (or 701454xxxx);
• For a range of DIDs that I do not wish to receive calls from, I block a range of numbers: e.g., 70145412* (or 70145412xx) ... when particular nuisance callers tends to use closely related numbers for their CallerID;
• Obviously, for areas of the country from which I receive lots of legitimate calls, I will block the specific DID of "bad people".   For example, I now block my recently departed son-in-law's mother ... by recently departed, I mean that she moved to Chicago.   She is sorely missed ... or is it that I no longer have the soreness in my rump from this PIA?

Lastly, I continually update my CSV listing which allows me to upload the lists to some of my providers.


pinky321

join:2002-06-05

1 edit

Almost all of my DIDs are obtained free of charge from the net, and all free DIDs are listed nowhere. None of free DIDs get any unwanted call. Only paid land line and mobile phone DIDs get unwanted calls. I am about to cut the last land line DID that should take all unwanted call for good.

Got few calls from different police departments in the past year, all calls have no CID.


ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
reply to N9MD

That's a nice list you've got! Everyone wants to get a hold of you?

Did you port your dear old numbers to VoIP, and got new numbers for the actual devices? Don't you get any calls on the actual mobile phone numbers to which you forward all your calls? Or do you subscribe for no voice, and merely use SIP on the mobiles?



N9MD
Too busy to chat
Premium
join:2005-10-08
Boca Raton, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·Callcentric
·VOIPO
·CIKTEL Telecom

1 edit

1 recommendation

VoIP Uses

said by ConstantineM:

...Did you port your dear old numbers to VoIP, and got new numbers for the actual devices? Don't you get any calls on the actual mobile phone numbers to which you forward all your calls? Or do you subscribe for no voice, and merely use SIP on the mobiles?

Background
My wife and I have homes in NJ and FL ... so we want to give our friends and family in both places local numbers to dial.
My wife and I each have regular ATT cell phones (no SIP, no fancy stuff) ... with Northern NJ DIDs ... but we never give out those numbers ... except to our kids and grandchildren.

Home Phones
Our NJ home phone has a DID from Voip.ms which is set to ring on our 2-line cordless phones system (base station plus 5 satellites and built-in answering machine). This DID can be redirected (forwarded) at will to one of our cell phones when we are travelling.
Line 2 on our NJ telephone setup is registered to one of the "lesser" providers for redundancy.
Our FL home phone has a DID from VOIPo which is set to ring on our 2-line cordless phones system (base station plus 3 satellites and built-in answering machine). This DID can be redirected (forwarded) at will to one of our cell phones when we are travelling.
Line 2 on our FL telephone setup is registered to another "lesser" provider for redundancy.
Each of the incoming VoIP home phone DIDs (NJ & FL) have failover to my wife's ATT cell phone number. Thus, even if we are away from one home and cannot reset that home's router or ATA, calls to that home's VoIP DID will ring (failover) to her cell phone.

Cell Phones
My wife has two additional DIDs permanently forwarded to her ATT cell phone ... a FL DID from CC and a NJ DID from Voip.ms.
I have a FL DID from VOIPo and a NJ DID also from VOIPo ... permanently forwarded to my ATT cell phone.

Faxes
My wife's incoming faxes arrive directly in her email (with fax attachment) using a CallCentric DID dedicated to fax.
My own incoming faxes arrive directly in my email (with fax attachment) using a VOIPo DID dedicated to fax.

Other Uses
We have a separate Voip.ms DID specifically for use with DISA for outgoing calls from our cell phones. This is useful when either one of us wants to make an "anonymous" call from our cell phone ... without the potential for the called party to either learn our "real" number or to thwart our efforts through No-CallerID denials. To make a call, we dial this Voip.ms DID ... their system recognizes either of our cell phone numbers ... we enter the number we we want to call and our PIN ... the call connects with the called party seeing an Atlanta GA CallerID. [If anyone calls back the Atlanta number they are redirected/forwarded to one of the many "strange" voice responses I've been collecting over the years.]
Employing VoIP DIDs rather than publishing PSTN or cell phone numbers permits the use of selective and/or general Black Listing (Call Blocking) as I mentioned in my earlier post.

PSTN vs VoIP Expense
Were I to have a Verizon landline in NJ and an ATT landline in FL, my expenses ... including intra- and inter-LATA and long distance calling plus CallerID and CallForwarding, with none of the other VoIP features offerings, and adding in fees and surcharges and taxes ... would be over $1,000 annually.
My VOIPo numbers are on a pre-paid annual plan while I have PAYG accounts with all of the other providers. The per minute usage, fixed fees, E911 fee for NJ (already included in FL's account) ... with no extra costs from CallCentric, VoIP.ms and VOIPo ... average $334 per year.

Final Comments
I realize how convoluted, complex and downright goofy all of this may sound. However, my setup offers a great degree of flexibility and functionality ... it is very easy to tinker with should my needs change ... and it yields not too shabby cost savings.
I apologise for the length of this post (and the earlier one) ... but I hope I've provided readers with various ideas, uses, options and incentives for using VoIP ... and a reason for having more than just one VoIP DID/account.