We all get them – unwanted calls or callers on our cell phones and we wish there was a good way to block certain callers from calling. Well, we wanted to explore a couple of really great ways to accomplish this using an app for one and then Google Voice for the other. However, the options may vary depending on who has your number and how you want the blocked call handled.
The app method is great especially if someone ALREADY has your number and you gave it to them a while ago and then realized they were going to call you like a telemarketer and leave you a hundred voicemails a week. This allows you to have some recourse with someone who abuses your number that may already have it.
Let’s take a quick overview of a great app that is found in the Google Play market called Call Filter. This is a great app that allows you to control what happens to unwanted calls when you receive them. We have tried out a few of these apps before and many of them simply send the caller to voicemail. Well, what if you don’t want the caller to be sent to voicemail and able to leave you a message? If this happens also, they KNOW they have the right number especially if you have a personal voice message setup to greet callers.
Call Filter allows you to essentially drop callers before they ever get to your voicemail. So they hear the ring and then the call is disconnected. Basically, the app quickly answers and disconnects the caller in such quick succession they never hear anything. The call is simply dropped to them. The beauty of this is that you can still see who calls you and see which unwanted calls you may be receiving, however, the caller never knows that. This option of course can be turned off, but it is really a great feature that really reinforces what the app can do. Below are some screenshots of the options once the app is installed and what you can do with them.
As you can see above, you can choose to always “Block Unknown calls” so they are always disconnected. The “Control specified numbers” is where a user can pick and choose which numbers are blocked either from the call log, phone book, or manually typing a number in.
Above are the block options in more detail from the “Control specified numbers” screen.
Google Voice is really the ultimate method of controlling unwanted callers. However, this method is really a more proactive approach to controlling calls, because it is most effective when you give someone your Google Voice number instead of your regularly assigned number from your carrier. This way, the caller doesn’t really have your “real” cell phone number and only has the Google Voice number, which gives you much more control over the situation.
After you have created a Google Voice account and linked this number with your cell phone, simply add the number or person you want to block to your contacts and choose the option to Block Caller shown below:
The awesome thing about the above option is that the end user receives the, “We’re sorry the number you are trying to reach has been disconnected.” What is nice is that you don’t have to have the person blocked immediately. They can get through a time or two and then you can add them and block them. This way they may simply think the number has truly been disconnected and leave you alone. You can always unblock them at a future time or try to pass it off as just some kind of blip in the system.
Thank goodness for Call Filter and Google Voice in providing such a great services/apps that can be used to your benefit in controlling your privacy and penalizing people who start to abuse your number.