Nuisance phone calls are becoming ever more intrusive and once your number gets in the hands of a company with an automated system you can receive any number of calls per day, often from the same company. There is generally no way to get off the database of these companies and there are reports of people getting abused for requesting it, so you have limited choice, change your phone number or block them. The easiest option is to block them.

If the Telephone Preference Service doesn’t stop these calls and being ex-directory hasn’t worked either, you can take a few simple steps to block nuisance calls. I’m not saying this is the only way, it’s simply one that I know has worked, but beware if you have a phone which uses the 1571 service as they are not recommended for use with a call blockers.

So this is what you do;

1. Request that your phone provider activates Caller ID, also called calling line identification (CLID) if you don’t already have it. There may be a small monthly charge if it isn’t part of your package although BT will currently give it to you free if you renew your contract with them for another year at the same time, which you probably would be doing anyway, right? NB you don’t have to wait for the end of your current contract. In any rate, get Caller ID, this won’t work without it.

2. Purchase a black box called a call blocker. There’s a bunch of them out there but again I’m going with the one I know works, you can get one from Amazon by clicking the box below.

3. When the black box arrives take the little connector out of the back of your telephone not the telephone socket, plug it into the back of the call blocker and connect the phone and the call blocker with the supplied cable. It is a little short so it’s going to have to sit pretty much right next to your phone. There’s no power connection needed as the call blocker gets its power from the phone line. There is a cheaper version without an LCD screen but the screen is handy to see what numbers have been blocked so I think it’s worth the extra cost. They recommend that the call blocker is installed on a master socket which is the normally first one connected to where the line comes in from outside. See info on BT master sockets which will be the same for most providers although I can’t vouch for Cable services. However having said this, I have plugged a call blocker into an extension socket and it works fine although in this case there is only a DECT cordless phone system in use at the property. If you have a number of corded phones on extensions you may get spurious extension ringing if you don’t plug in a master socket and the user guide suggests that the call blocker will only protect the phone it is plugged into.

That may seem like an awful lot of caveats but if you have a single phone or DECT phones running from a base plugged into a single socket then it really is pretty much plug and go.

4. Programming is pretty straight forward. There’s a big red block now button on the unit which will block any number that has rung you provided it has a number showing in Caller ID. #2 on a DECT phone has the same effect. Some nuisance callers withold their number and there are a number of different codes to enter to programme the unit to block those calls. You can for instance block specific area codes or all International or Out of Area codes or Unavailable codes or Spoofed calls with the application of a single programming code for each. Importantly you can reverse the programming if you find it has been too draconian.

Another cheaper call blocker with good reviews although I haven’t personally tried it is;

Or of neither of those fit your requirements there are several pages of call blocker solutions on amazon.co.uk some more expensive, some a bit cheaper. If you do try a solution and it doesn’t work immediately then I may be able to help so get in touch. All the best.