Feb 212015

Did you know you can block callers on your iPhone?

ProCaller BlockerLandline telephone suppliers (always?) offer an “add-on” service whereby you can block specific callers from getting through to you. It does have limitations in that you can only block the 10 most recent callers and it can only block callers whose numbers are known (ie the caller is not calling from a VOIP service and the caller is not withholding their number). I found that the limitation of ten numbers in the list isn’t really a problem as adding a new one deletes the oldest and the oldest have probably given up trying to reach you by then. This service does cost a bit (in the order of a couple of pounds per month).

Despite the reasonably low cost, I decided I didn’t want to keep paying a monthly amount and bought, instead, a Pro Call Blocker. Amazon also have a large range of these devices, including the Call Blocker Pro.

This was at least a year ago and it has performed perfectly. I couldn’t find anywhere whether it’s pre-populated with known nuisance callers, but I’ve certainly had very few problem calls and it’s a very quick job to block them when they do happen.

It should be added, by the way, that, for call blockers to work on a landline, you do have to subscribe to the “caller display” service of your telephone provider. Again, this is a couple of pounds a month.

iPhone - no entryAnyway, all of this is just a preamble to letting you know (if you didn’t discover it before I did) that you can block specific callers to your iPhone with just a few taps. Since it’s available on an iPhone it’s probably worth looking to see if it’s also available on an Android or Windows phone.

All you need to do on a recent iPhone is:

  • Go to the phone app
  • Tap on the “recent” option
  • Tap on the blue “i” to the right of the number you wish to block
  • Scroll down and tap on the option that says “Block this Caller”

As with the landline, the number of the caller must not have been withheld if this is to work. You don’t of course have to worry about “caller display” as this feature is built into mobile phones.

I don’t know how long this option has been available on the iPhone. It would be very easy never to notice the facility as you do have to scroll down the screen after clicking on the blue “i” icon in order to reveal it.

I’ve just checked on my old iPhone 3 (running IOS version 6.1.6) and I can’t find the option in that version.

Costa Unsubscribe AcknowledgementStill on the subject of stopping unwanted communications
, I recently registered a new Costa Coffee loyalty card under a fictitious name. Call me paranoid, but I really do not like the way that so many online services are sharing data amongst themselves and anything I can easily do to keep these things separate I will do. Maybe I missed ticking or unticking a box on the form. I think I must have done because I soon received an email (to the fictitious account, of course) asking me what I thought of the cup of coffee I’d had in Costa Coffee at Clapham Junction the previous week.

What? Are there people out there whose brains and schedules are so bereft of content that they would remember – or care – or wish to comment on – a specific cup of coffee to Costa?

Being a reputable company, they had put an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of their email, so I clicked it and duly unsubscribed. They really made my day by confirming my unsubscription with the acknowledgement shown in this post. Just what exactly are they thanking me for? Not for the first time, I find myself wondering just how junior are the people who write things for websites that are then published for the whole world to see, and which reflect back on the website’s organisation. If I was the CEO of Costa Coffee and saw that acknowledgement screen I would curl up with embarrassment. Mind you, some of my own blog posts don’t make comfortable reading if re-visited months later.

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Computer Support in London
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