5 On Your Side

Robocall blocking aid available to consumers

Posted September 8, 2015

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— ​The federal government has given the go-ahead to phone companies to offer call-blocking technology. Until they come up with a plan, there are devices that can offer help.

Consumer Reports tested four robocall blocking options—available for buyers to install themselves—ranging from $45 to $110.

Some models let consumers “whitelist” safe numbers to accept, and others have a “blacklist” that is pre-programmed with numbers to block.

Testers said models that use both seemed to be the most effective.

The Digitone Call Blocker Plus, which retails at $110, was the most popular, according to Consumer Reports.

"Once I saw the number either on my caller ID on the phone or on the robocall device, I was able to either whitelist them—yes, this is an acceptable call—or blacklist them,” Phyllis Finkelstein said.

Even with the ability to block or accept calls, Consumer Reports agreed with users who wanted a big picture solution.

"What I'd like to see is the phone company take responsibility for not allowing these calls to come though and harass these people at home,” Jacqueline Birnbaum said.

Consumer Reports also reviewed the NoMoRobo. It’s free and effective at blocking robocalls, but it’s only available to specific internet phone service providers.

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