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Nuisance calls - call blocker reviews

Nuisance calls - call blocking options

By Jon Barrow

Article 1 of 4

Call blockers can put a stop to nuisance calls - below we explain the differences between common types.

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If you're sick of cold callers interrupting your evenings then you may be tempted to use a technological solution to limit this unwanted annoyance. There are a number of different options available to you – in this guide we'll look at how they work and what they can do.

Call blocking – network solutions

Whether you have a phone package from BT, Sky or another provider, almost all of them will offer some call management solutions. However, these usually have very limited power.

For example, BT's Choose to Refuse only lets you block 10 specific numbers, while its Anonymous Call Rejection just stops calls from people who have withheld their number, not calls with international or unavailable numbers. And both are expensive - Choose to Refuse costs £4.75 a month (or £57 a year) while Anonymous Call Rejection costs £5.80 a month (or £69.60 a year).

In January 2017 BT introduced a more powerful - and free - call blocking service for its customers. BT Call Protect automatically diverts calls that BT believe to be from nuisance callers to customers' junk voicemail boxes and also allows people to compile their personal blacklist of numbers they wish to block.

You can read more about Call Protect, and find out what users think of it, on our BT Call Protect Conversation.

Call blocking – home phone options

Increasing numbers of home phones now come with some call blocking technology. Typically this is more powerful than the standard network options listed above and is usually far better value as the cost is included in that of the phone – you don't keep paying for it every month.

There are varying types of features available to help block unwanted calls. The cheapest call blocking phones often will only block specific numbers. This is of limited value, especially if they'll only block a small number of callers (it's estimated that thousands of numbers are used to make these calls and they change regularly).

A more useful form of blocking lets you block numbers from a specific range, for example all calls beginning 08. And more advanced phones will also block calls from withheld or international numbers, ideally routing them to your answering machine (just in case they're from a genuine caller).

It's worth noting that call blocking phones, and standalone devices (see below), will only work if you have caller ID. Some phone providers charge for this service.

Best call blocking home phones – see which home phones impressed our experts with their call blocking abilities.

Call blocking – standalone options

If you don't want to replace your home phone then another option is to buy a separate call blocker and then to plug it in to your existing device.

These usually work in the same way as the call blockers built into phones in that they have a ‘black list' of numbers, or number types, that you don't want to receive. But the TrueCall call blockers are rather different in that they're based around a ‘white list' of numbers that you do want to speak to – any other calls are screened, giving you the option to reject and even block for ever those you don't wish to accept.