A robocall is a call originated by a computerized auto-dialer that plays a pre-recorded message to the called party when they answer. Some such calls finish with a "press 1 to speak to...." option to be connected to a real person. Some may also include calls that are immediately connected to a real person, but use auto-dialers to select the called number and initiate the call, only connecting to one of a bank of waiting “agents” if the call is answered. Robocall Blocking Service is a new feature designed to block the majority of all these types of unwanted calls.
When Robocall Blocking is enabled on your line, unwanted callers will hear a message stating, “We’re sorry. The party you have dialed is not accepting calls at this time.” Using third-party "reputation data" on calling party numbers, our equipment makes the determination of whether to block a call or not. These third-party databases are constantly updating in real time based on a number of information streams (including publicly available lists, real-time calling patterns, and user reports of unwanted calling party numbers), and can react within minutes of a new unwanted calling party number starting to be used. Customers can expect a significant proportion of unwanted calls to be blocked.
Many genuine callers such as hospitals, schools, and utilities now use mass notification systems to send messages that you want to receive. The technology and reputation data providers distinguish these genuine callers from unwanted robocallers by using a variety of techniques and sources of information. If a customer has both voicemail and Robocall Blocking Service, then if the Blocking Service rejects a call, the caller can leave a voicemail if they are still on the line after the rejection announcement has completed.
Here are a few common questions and answers about Robocall Blocking service. If you would like to add this service to your line, please call us at 1-800-452-2288.
Unfortunately, FCC regulations, while recently updated to address this issue, still place limitations on the blocking of legal calls, whether unwanted or not. Currently, we have to allow our customers to OPT IN to this service. Our industry associations are pushing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to affirm that providers have the flexibility to offer robocall-blocking tools to all customers, through an OPT OUT method, but today we are only allowed to do it for customers who OPT IN to such services.
If robocallers engage in caller ID spoofing, then they usually consistently spoof a given caller ID (at least for a time, before moving on to a new caller ID). The Robocall Blocking Service can block such calls, as it would for calls from any other calling party number that demonstrates a high calling pattern associated with robocalling. Some robocallers engaging in caller ID spoofing may make calls with different randomly-chosen spoofed caller ID’s. In that case, it is harder for any call blocking service to identify them as robocalls. However, the equipment vendor we use for this service is active-engaged with their suppliers and industry discussions seeking to minimize the impact of such caller ID spoofing.
callGUARD is a telemarketer call screening service that prevents automated robocallers that will not record a name when prompted. It does not prevent unscrupulous telemarketers who press the digit suggesting they are not telemarketers when in fact they are, whereas Robocall Blocking Service would stop them if they were frequently calling from the same number. We now recommend the new Robocall Blocker service in place of callGUARD. A subscriber cannot have callGUARD and Robocall Blocking service on the same line.
Yes! The service is available on individual lines, business group lines, multi-line hunt groups, PBX and Hosted PBX. For business group lines, the service must be enabled separately on each business group line that wishes to use it. On a PBX or HBPX, the service is applied to the PBX listed directory number and all the DIDs.
Callbacks from the operator or emergency services
Call services that initiate calls to the line (such as reminder calls, automatic recall callback when the remote party is free, ringback when hanging up with a call on hold).
Calls that do not have any caller ID information (anonymous calls). Customers wishing to block anonymous calls may also subscribe to our Anonymous Call Rejection feature.
The very small amount of additional latency in the call setup process should not be noticeable to callers.