Despite your iPhone being a mobile phone, that doesn’t seem to stop telemarketers. They have no compassion for consumers who don’t want to utilize their cellular minutes for uninvited sales calls. In a perfect world, you’d be able to take the call and kindly ask to be removed. Each day around 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock I receive calls from 480-567-0012. Googling that number will bring up a good amount of complaints from others who share my frustration. You can sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, but sketchy telemarketers are sketchy, often ignoring basic things such as the law. It’s kind of ironic that visiting that website brings the following warning, “Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls.” So here are your options for how to block calls on iPhone. It’s not as easy as you’d imagine, so we’ll offer up a few options and tips for lessening the frustration of what I call the telephone version of spam.
Cutting To The Chase
Despite the extensive feature set of the iPhone, there is no hard and fast way to simply block a telephone number. There are no security settings or ways to block a call on the iPhone.
Blacklist Apps on the App Store
App Store to the rescue. Not so fast. Despite a wealth of apps titled “Blacklist”, they are all deliberately worded to make you think they provide the functionality desired by those of use trying to nuke any and all cases from telemarketers. In a perfect world, a list of callers would be rejected upon calling. No ringing, no ability to leave voice mails. Rejection. While I haven’t used the abundant number of apps on the App Store, weeding through the reviews will net some interesting information about the perceived and actual functionality of these apps. Here’s a sampling of reviews from a variety of apps, some with overall positive reviews. Clearly, the App Store has been gamed on some of these.
iBlacklist for Jailbroken iPhones
If you are jailbroken, there is an app within Cydia that will work. It will set you back $12, but iBlacklist does the job of blocking calls based upon a list that you setup. This also works for SMS messages. You can also set a blanket block for Unknown or Restricted ID callers. Conversely, this app also allows for whitelisting a group of callers. This app is not and will not be available through the App Store, which is unfortunate. The high price tag is certainly an inhibitor, but feedback within our forums has been positive.
Next Best Thing
The iPhone doesn’t support call blocking, the App Store has no useful apps and you’re not looking to jailbreak your iPhone. Where do you go now? Using GarageBand to create a free iPhone ringtone, I’ve created a silent ringtone, which you can download for free from everythingiCafe. Download and drag this to the Tones section within iTunes and sync to your device.
On your device, go to Phone > Recent Calls > Select the arrow at the right. Edit them as a new contact, scroll down and set their ringtone to the newly synced ‘iPhone Silent Ringtone’. Press ‘Done’. When they call again, you won’t be interrupted. Your display will light up, but that’s the worst of it.
It would be great if there was native support for blocking a call on your iPhone, but that’s not possible. If you haven’t registered your phone number at Do Not Call Registry, I’d highly recommend it and it only takes a minute or so. Using one of the methods outlined above, hopefully it will reduce the frustration of receiving unwanted calls on your iPhone.
Editor’s Note: If you are the developer of a blacklist app who feels my criticism is unfounded, I’d welcome an opportunity to be proven wrong.