phone features the telcos won't sell me

Any entrepreneurs out there? The feature that I would most like for my phone (after the caller ID and voicemail features that I have come to rely on) is the ability to block calls from specific numbers and ranges of numbers. Although I can buy a service that allows me to block calls from a single (or possibly several) specific numbers, this is costly and the term is limited. What I most want to do is block all calls from 1-8xx numbers, as well as block calls from any telemarketer/ telephone survey firm that gets past that protection.

The telcos don't seem interested in selling such a service: it would undermine their revenues from these heavy users of their services. I think that the technology for this should be quite doable, however. Wouldn't it be possible to design a phone that did this kind of blocking? I would buy one, and I bet a lot of other people would too.

You can get anti-spam software for your computer. You can ask the post office to not deliver junk mail to your address. Why can't you stop junk calls with your telephone/telephone service?

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One of the joys of running Asterisk (and I assume any of the other open-source software PBX) is that the developers aren't under the thumbs of the telcos. Features like this exist in the base system. There are even hacks to send SIT tones down the line when telemarketers call, (although the utility of that has been debated.)

Setting up the PBX was a bit of work, but it sure is nice not the have the barrage of phone spammers calling any more. I find the biggest barrier to phone spammers is the IVR system ("Please press 1 for XXX. Press 2 for YYY.") The spamming autodialers are too stupid to press a number, so the call never dials through. In a way this is a turing test and the autodialers fail.


Reply to
Wolfgang S. Rupprecht

In article , says... |Any entrepreneurs out there?

This software will do what you want if you are willing to keep a computer running all the time.

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Reply to
Steven Stone

Thanks Wolfgang, I work mostly on Linux system, so I suspect that an open source PBX might be my best option, although finding time to set it up might be another matter.

Thanks also to Steven, but I run Win systems as rarely as possible: they seem to have a built-in pipeline from my wallet to Bill Gates' bank account, and I'm trying to choke that off as much as I can. Hardware is expensive enough, and I think that Richard Stallman is just a bit too moderate for my tastes! ;-)

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I do not think that is possible.

AFAIK, 800 numbers (inward WATS) is completely different than outward WATS. I don't think anyone has a phone number listed with an 800 area code.

It seems what you seek is a block on lines equipped with outward WATS and that is not possible or realistic. Plenty of legitimate business calls originate from such lines, and residences now have that as well.

How does the U.S. post office know what is "junk" mail? While junk mail is typically Third Class (whatever they call it nowadays), it may be First Class as well. Also, some legitimate mail may be sent Third Class to save money, as some non profit organizations do. Anyway, I was not aware the Post Office will filter out mail for you.

Junk calling is determined by U.S. state and federal law. There are "do not call" lists you may sign up for. However, the law allows certain types of calls--non profits, political, prior business relationship--to go through.

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So Ajjst...

Does that remark of yours apply to Canada Post only or when asking the US Postal Service to stop delivering this waste what do you ask for? That is, can you cite a regulation number that "opens the gate" to their understanding of what you're asking for? Several years ago I asked our local letter carrier if we could stop receiving that stuff and the answer was (more or less) "No, someone paid the USPS to deliver it to you and so we have to deliver it". Of course, a Letter Carrier isn't the most authorative source as regards Postal Regulations, but knowing where in their Regs to start might sway the Postmaster.

I'd like to find a way to apply the anti-SPAM laws (which don't work very well for electronic SPAM) to the paper SPAM we receive almost on a daily basis



Reply to
Al Gillis

"Al Gillis" wrote in news:

Here in the US, there is a way, but there is a hitch involved.

Many years ago, folks were concerned about soft-core p*rn and legal but borderline advertising material being delivered to homes where it was unwanted. There was a big public outcry for an "opt-out" system for objectionable sexually explicit mail. Either the courts had ruled, or folks had anticipated that they would rule that the USPS could not define "objectionable" material. The solution arrived at and upheld by the courts was that each postal recipient was their own arbiter as to what was objectionable sexually explicit advertising material.

Any person can attach a request for prohibitory order (Form 1500) to any piece of advertising mail addressed to them or to a person living in their home under the age of 19 and take it to their local post office and declare it to be objectionable sexually explicit material under their own personal standards. The submitter is the final arbiter. No one else is entitled to second-guess their declaration that they found a piece of mail objectionable. The result of filing the request is that the Postal Service will enter a prohibitory order against the mailer, ordering them to remove the recipient from their mailing list, never send anything to that address, screen future mailing lists for that address, and never sell or rent that address to any other mailer. The order expires after five years. The only reason the Postal service can use to deny the order is that the mail piece submitted with the application is not an advertisement offering items for sale, or the mail is addressed to an address outside the US, or is send from outside the US.

So, if you are willing to declare an item of advertising to be sexually- oriented and objectionable, you can force the sender to stop sending anything to you. See and ask for form 1500 at your local USPS office.

Reply to
R. T. Wurth

In "R. T. Wurth" writes: [ snip ]

copies available online at:

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