Blocking a specific phone number should be easy. The cell carriers and smart phones certainly have the technology to do just that. With Skype, you simply add a number to your block list and you never hear from them again. Why does this seem so difficult with some cell phones? Below are some ways to block a specific number on your cell phone.
There are different reasons why you may want to block a number. Sometimes it’s your stalker ex who keeps hounding you. In other cases, you want to create a running list of telemarketers or debt collectors. I have dealt with both, actually, but in a perfect world, I would be able to maintain an ever-growing list of any annoying callers – whether it’s a telemarketer or crazy ex.
The best solution I’ve found is the first one in the list below. I’ve included some other suggestions as well.
Forward to Google Voice or Skype
If you have a phone number assigned to your Google Voice or Skype accounts, you can forward your phone to that line at night or when you’re at your computer, and add numbers you want to block there. I have a paid Skype account. When I forward my Android phone, the calling number shows up on Skype’s caller ID, which I can easily block. Skype also allows me to only accept calls from people in my contacts. I experimented with this feature to see what callers on the other end experience when blocked. They don’t get a message or my voice mail – they get a busy signal. Even though I have to turn this feature off when I’m not at my computer, in my case I’m at my computer most of the day, so this is the best solution I’ve found.
Prior to the above solution, my preferred method for blocking numbers was this one:
Install a call blocking app
There are tons of apps out there designed for the sole purpose of blocking numbers. Most of those end up just sending them to voice mail, which means you still have to deal with annoying messages. I tried about a dozen of them. The better ones also blocked text messages. It could be that I never found the right one for me, plus there are new ones being introduced at a fairly regular pace. Check out the app marketplace and see if you can find one that works for you.
Below are other methods I’ve tried or attempted to try, none of which I felt were good enough.
Use your smart phone’s blocking features
Some smart phones allow you to add numbers to a block list. This seem to vary by manufacturer. In some cases, “blocking” a number merely sends it to voice mail. This may be acceptable to some, but to me it wasn’t good enough. I found that using this feature along with Gmail’s contacts was slightly more palatable. In Gmail, I set up a contact with all of the phone numbers I wanted to block. Then in my smart phone, I added that single contact to my block list. I assigned a big “BLOCKED” graphic with a circle and a line through it so I could easily see blocked calls in my call log.
Call your carrier
Different carriers have different policies on blocking numbers. AT&T, for example, offers a paid service for $5 a month that allows you to block up to 30 numbers. It has been reported that some carriers will block numbers for free. If you’re looking to block many numbers, this isn’t a practical option. My block list on Skype is pushing 100 numbers already.
Silent Ring Tone
Creating a silent ring tone and assigning it to a contact containing all of your blocked numbers is another way to avoid hearing them call, although you’re still forced to deal with voice mail.
What are some ways that you have found to block a phone number from calling?