Blocking "unknown & Harassing Callers" There Oughta Be A Way!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Applephile, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #1
    Hi all, For my first post in my first thread I wanted to take an opinion poll of sorts. I'm hoping that if enough of us speak up we can influence the powers that be at Apple to either fix the problem themselves or motivate AT&T to do it on their end. Here's my story and argument:

    For more than a decade now, hard line phones have been able to key in a code on their phone such as for my service, Comcast, the code on my phone is *77 to activate it, and from that point on any unknown caller who attempts to reach us is immediately linked to a verbal message that says something like "Sorry, this caller doesn't accept blocked calls, please unblock your number and try again." This service costs nothing extra at all, simply dial in the code for your particular carrier and the service is activated.

    Also, as a Father of 2 daughters and a friend to many parents of children with cell phones, the number of stories I have heard regarding ex boyfriends, girlfriends and wannabe's who have refused to take no for an answer are too voluminous to count. Unwanted "unknown callers" is also an issue with me. Even if we ignore the call, that doesn't stop them from using up our minutes by leaving an unwanted message.

    The fact is I ported my phone number from T-Mobile when I came to AT&T to own an iPhone and I was with T-Mobile since they were VoiceStream so I have had this phone number going back 13 or 14 years now. People all across America have my number and it would be impossible to contact them all to a number change, nor would I want to change my number because of one jerk who can't take no for an answer.

    My reason for raising this issue here and now was caused by asking a group of 25 young people (my daughters friends at a social gathering) who were discussing their phone services; I kind of broke in and asked first, how many of them have received unwanted, unknown and harassing phone calls from people they didn't want to hear from, and secondly, how many changed their phone numbers because of these issues?

    Guys and girls alike raised their hands and proceeded to tell horror stories of every conceivable type of harassment, many saying they have changed their phone numbers more than once in order to evade harassment from broken relationships and friendships as well as from unknown and blocked callers. In speaking to AT&T about this issue, even though they admitted no fix exists, they graciously (NOT) said that they will allow ONE number change at no expense to the customer. How generous as they make millions per year from the unwanted minutes burned up because we suffer through calls and messages we don't want to receive in the first place.

    As to why I'm here on an Apple forum rather than an AT&T forum? Because I have shown that carriers have a financial incentive to ignore this national problem which is epidemic because the minutes wasted by these unwanted calls line their coffers to the tune of millions of dollars per year. But Apple has no such financial incentive to ignore this universal problem. Their priority is to serve our needs and deal with making our phone experience as pleasant and SAFE as possible so they will care if enough of us speak out and agree with the spirit of this message.

    IN CLOSING, MY HOPE IS THAT THOUSANDS OF YOU WILL SIMPLY WRITE AT LEAST A ONE WORD POST "AGREEING" WITH THE SPIRIT OF THIS POST SO THAT THE POWERS THAT BE FROM APPLE WILL EITHER CREATE A CODE VIA AN UPDATE OR FORCE AT&T TO OFFER A FREE FIX FOR US. JUST THINK, THEY WOULD BE THE ONLY COMPANIES IN THIS INDUSTRY WHO HAVE FIXED THIS VERY REAL ISSUE. BUT FEEL FREE TO SHARE PERSONAL STORIES IF YOU HAVE THEM. TALK ABOUT BEING INDUSTRY LEADERS, ISSUES LIKE THIS DEFINE THE TERM FOR THE COMPANIES THAT LEAD THE WAY. SO PLEASE, IF YOU AGREE WITH THE SPIRIT OF THIS COMPLAINT, SAY SO HERE AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.

    Thank you for reading my first post/Thread here, Let's rally the troops and together send a loud and clear message that the powers that be at APPLE and AT&T can't ignore. 10 years into the 21st century it's an abomination that this problem still exists.​
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #2
    Is there an App for that?
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Location:
    Lewiston, New York
    #3
    I agree with you, however there are some companies who block outgoing callers name, mine is one and so is a lot of aerospace companies.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #4
    Not an Apple authorized App in the App Store.

    You misunderstand, this issue is regarding incoming unwanted and blocked calls. You're talking about a company blocking you from calling certain numbers. That has absolutely nothing at all to do with the issue I'm raising.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    bender o

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #5
    I use iBlacklist on Cydia. It works great, you can choose what message the caller receives, voicemail, busy tone or others and when you get a cal from one of the blocked numbers you et a "tiny phone" in the status bar letting you know and you can go in the app and check who it was.

    Hope it helps :)
     
  6. macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #6
    Agreed. I want to block calls.

    My understanding there is an additional service AT&T offers to block calls, but it isn't free. When I had a land line I blocked unknown and blocked callers. They were able to record a short message, and while they waited my phone would ring and play the message to me. At that time I could decide to pick up their call or not. Legitimate callers got through and others didn't take the time or couldn't (robo-callers, etc.).

    Twice in the last three months someone has mistaken my number for someone else's. It takes a while for the late night calls and voice mails and texts to end.
     
  7. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Couldn't Google Voice handle this for you?
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    #8
    iBlacklist

    /thread
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    #9
    I get annoying calls from dominos....
     
  10. macrumors demi-god

    markyr17

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    #10
    Don't be a girly... Jailbreak and use iblacklist

    Apple/AT&T won't add this

    /discussion
     
  11. macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #11
    1. Not everyone wants to jailbreak their phone and you should make it clear you are recommending they do so.

    2. "/thread" is as useful as "cool story, bro". If believe the thread should be locked or moved to the wasteland, you may make a request to the mods. I understand that you believe your one word response answers the OP question and no further discussion is necessary, but that's not how it works.

    It is telling that there is enough of a demand to produce a third party app.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #12
    I'm 100% in agreement with you OP. If there could be settings on the network side to block calls with the personalised message, the people making the nuisance calls would clearly get the message that the person doesn't want to be disturbed.

    I've bought an app on my N1 called Call Blocker Elite to get around my network not offering this type of feature and it works well enough for me. There are 3 options, silence (which silences the call from the unwanted person), send to voicemail, hang up call. I have all unwanted calls on my phone set to "hang up call" which stops the unwanted callers from even being able to leave a message. All it does is pick up the call and cuts them straight off. The downside is that this lets the companies know that the number does exist and is in use.

    What does this have to do with the iPhone?
    If such a feature came native to the iPhone it could be a MASSIVE selling point over the competition and could spur rival handset makers to do the same.

    I'm with you OP and would LOVE Apple to make it happen! :cool:
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #13
    I hate to say this but this is one thing that I missed going from a HTC G1 to my first iPhone.

    On the G1 there was an option when creating a contact that diverted them direct to voicemail. so you could setup a "Spam" group and direct all of there calls to VM and screen them that way,.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #14
    The problem with that option is that it leaves the unwanted caller the opportunity to leave a Voicemail. I'd rather send them a message saying I wasn't interested without the opportunity of letting them fill up my Voicemail with unwanted messages. :p
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #15
    I should clarify that I don't want to have to jailbreak my phone in order to acquire a fix for this problem, nor should it be necessary. This fix is as simple as dialing in a code such as "Star 77" just like my Comcast hardline offers. The technology exists and it would cost the company nothing more than the time to program the option into the functions menu as an update. The only relevant question here is would you like the option to be able to block unwanted callers and unknown calls from your hand set? If so, ask Apple to make it happen for us.

    They have proven to be very receptive to customer complaints and requests in the past and I suspect they would listen to us now if we ask for this service as a group.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #16

    Yes I would love to be able to block "unknown number" from calling my phone via a short dial code.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    ideal.dreams

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    OH
    #17
    There are two easy ways to solve this. Google Voice, which will allow you to block numbers, or you could Jailbreak your phone and get iBlacklist.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Mliii

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #18
    OP, I couldn't agree with you more! I find this terribly annoying and think being able to block UNKNOWN calls is a great idea, especially since it is something that is available on land line phones.
    With more and more people giving up landlines in favor of mobile phones, this seems like a no brainer feature request. Unfortunately, AT&T seems to make no brain decisions regarding no brainer requests all too often.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #19
    Please explain how the "Google voice" solution works with iPhone/AT&T system, if you will. You know, how to apply it?
     
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #20
    Thanks to both of you for simple and concise responses. As for the bolded, I believe that the reason every carrier either ignores this issue or allows a transfer to voicemail solution but never the power FOR US to block the incoming call is for reasons of GREED, so their willful ignorance is anything but an accidental oversight! Consider the hundreds of millions of cell phone users? This issue equates to tens of millions of dollars in income for the carriers at the total and complete expense of we, their customers who must go through voicemails to weed out the unwanted messages from either harassing or unknown callers whom we don't want to hear from either.

    The number of wasted minutes this issue creates are incalculable. This is why APPLE, the manufacturer is the most practical source for a solution to this problem. They can fix this easily and in short order with a simple * code we dial into the handset. All we need now is a few thousand more contributors like you two who will speak up in an open and concise manner. :D :apple:
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    ideal.dreams

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    OH
    #21
    It's probably not your best bet, as with Google Voice, you get a whole new free phone number. When people call that number, you can block them from calling it, but if they know your real one, they can still get through

    iBlacklist is probably your best bet. There really aren't any risks of jailbreaking - jailbreakme.com does everything for you!
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #22
    Doesn't jailbreaking void ones warranty? And didn't Apple just release an update which blocks "jailbreakme.com" from working?
     
  23. macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #23
    Then they should quit their whinning. There's no such app outside of jailbreaking. Period.

    The only other option is to use Google Voice, but this would provide the OP with an entirely new phone number and would not really fix his problem.

    JBing does not void your warranty. Walking into the Genius Bar with a JB phone that is broken will void your warranty.

    The funny part is, putting in 3rd pary RAM into your Mac also supposedly voids your warranty. Does this stop anyone from actually doing this? I brought my Mac to the Genius Bar one time with 3rd party RAM in it. He told me that under normal circumstance, this would void my warranty, but allowed the repair anyways. He just told me to remove the RAM before coming in next time.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #24
    You'd probably get more results posting a feature request here.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Applephile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Location:
    North Eastern USA
    #25
    Why is asking for an above board solution to an unnecessary and simple to solve problem considered whining to you? The only reason this issue exists at all is because it adds millions of dollars to the carriers coffers each year in wasted minutes used by frustrated customers. So just because there is currently no solution outside of jailbreaking, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be one, and right now.

    Great suggestion, I'll C&P a copy of the OP to them right now.
     

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