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Thread: Automated "Unavailable" phone calls

  1. #1
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    Automated "Unavailable" phone calls

    My son has had his phone now for 10 months. The number is already on the donotcall.gov list.

    For the first 7 months, he received numerous 1-800 calls. He never answered them. I always reported the numbers on the donotcall. Now he doesn't get any 800 calls anymore...great.

    But in the past month, he's been getting "unavailable" calls, about 6 per day, all about the same times each day. So I'm assuming these are automated calls.

    He never answers them.
    He does not have voice mail set up, so the call just goes to "missed calls".

    I call verizon, and they said they can't do call blocking or tracing on prepaid plans. They suggested getting a new phone number.

    I think the unavailable caller is all the same company. If my son continues to ignore/not answer the calls, will the calls eventually stop? months? years? Any experience in how long that would take.

    If we switch phone numbers, I'm worried that he'll just get 1-800 numbers again, and then more unavailable after that, and he'll have the hassle of giving his friends his new phone number. He texts 100% of the time, no legitimate phone calls sent or received, unless it's an emergency.

    I'm going to set up his VM today, to see if this "unavailable" leaves a message, I have a feeling it will be a hang up message though.

    Any advise?

  2. #2
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    Those "unavailable" calls will not stop as long as they get a ring. I have a junk phone number which I put down on online forms. These "unavailable" and several other calls showed up all the time. They never leave a voicemail. So, I decided to do an experiment. I turned the phone off and didn't turn it back on for about two weeks. After that, I didn't receive any calls on that phone for a few days, then they started flooding back in a few days later (sometimes they call several times within the same hour).

    My suggestion? Get a new number. The reason he ended up with it is because the previous owner was receiving the same calls. The calls won't stop.
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    When I first got my phone, I got a few collection agency calls for the person who had the number previously. I told them this was a new number for me, and they stopped calling for a few months. Then while I was out of the USA for 2 months, I logged onto my account and saw that nearly every day I was getting calls once or twice a day. The 5 people who have my number knew I was out of town, so I figured it had to be some automated dialer (which it was). When I got back, I turned on the phone, and the second day back, it was some collection agency looking for that same girl. So to answer your question: if you don't answer and tell them they have the wrong number, your phone will keep ringing and disturbing you.

    There really should be some way to stop these people because when they call your cell phone, they are costing you money when you answer. I don't want to change my phone number, so hopefully the calls will stop. I guess if it gets annoying enough, I will have to have the number changed. From July to September I didn't get any more such calls. Then it started up again (maybe some other collection agency bought the debt?). They never leave voicemail, so you won't know who's calling unless you answer. Also, if you try to call the number back using the Caller ID info, the call won't usually go through. They somehow transmit numbers that aren't working numbers. It's very frustrating, and I don't see any way to stop those calls.

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    Thanks guys. I set up the voice mail, but the unavailable calls did not leave any messages, not even hang up ones.

    We have tried leaving the phone off for a few days, and we don't get any missed calls notices during that time, but you're right, the calls continue when the phone is turned back on.

    When I talked with customer service, the guy was trying to be helpful, but he couldn't find anything that would block the calls. What I really would like is a way for calls to only go through if they are in the contact list. That may be possible for post paid user, but not prepaid, I wish it was something that individual phones could be set too.

    Since I know approximately what time the calls come at, I might try to call verizon just beforehand and see if they can intercept the call for me. I wonder if that is possible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GEAF
    What I really would like is a way for calls to only go through if they are in the contact list. That may be possible for post paid user, but not prepaid, I wish it was something that individual phones could be set too.
    Something like that could be done is on the phone itself- contact lists are not stored on VZ's systems. On a lot of phones, you can set "restricted" or "unavailable" calls to ring silent.

    Since I know approximately what time the calls come at, I might try to call verizon just beforehand and see if they can intercept the call for me. I wonder if that is possible?
    They probably could, but they won't. Even for someone like me who gives them a nice chunk of change monthly, they wouldn't do it for, sadly.

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    It worked! I played with the phone, a moto w385. I've seen this setting before, but always stopped when it asked for a security code. This time I entered the last 4 digits of the phone number and I was able to proceed.

    Call setting
    Call restriction
    contacts only

    My son didn't receive any unavailable phone calls today.
    I checked his online records and it does show that the calls were put through, but it didn't ring his phone, nor register it as a missed call
    Thanks so much!

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    While it may seem like a good idea, I don't think it is in the long run. If you have contacts only and there is an emergency, you will not hear the ring from a doctor's office, hospital, or any other number not in the contacts listing, right? I vote for the other recommendation of getting a new number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mapson
    While it may seem like a good idea, I don't think it is in the long run. If you have contacts only and there is an emergency, you will not hear the ring from a doctor's office, hospital, or any other number not in the contacts listing, right? I vote for the other recommendation of getting a new number.
    No, he/she set the phone to only block "unavailable" calls (ones with no Caller ID).

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    For cell phones, the anonymous calls being silenced and going to voicemail is probably the best option. I don't know of any cell providers that have anonymous call rejection.

    For my voip, I forward it directly to voicemail, so I don't even hear it ring. It's not a clean solution but it works for now. Some other voip providers will block anonymous calls. Wish my voip would allow a long list of filters like grandcentral.com does.

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    I had this problem once but there were no unavailable calls they were all legitimate, apparently the person before me has legitimate bills out the wazoo, I got 15-20 a day, they told me her address, ann all about her, apparently the number was off for 3-4 months and then assigned to be, dont biller think that once a number is disconnected that if it is connected 6 months later it is probably not the same person, they would not believe I was not this woman so they kept calling and calling. this went on for 1-2 months it was a net10 prepaid phone. at my wits end I called net10 to tell them I had the phone for an emergency only and the 500 minutes eaten up the past 2 months were from the prior owners bill collectors, they changed my number right way, didnt even have to wait for a sim card. they changed it to a new virgin number that no one ever had before. had that number 2 years now and no more collector calls. moral to the story is if you have to jump through hoops to keep the collectors for the prior owner of the number from calling the number IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE NUMBER there ARE virgin numbers, and if you explain it to the company they should oblige.....threaten to go somewhere else, it is their responsibility to give you a good number not yours. all of those calls are really harassment esp since the kid didnt make the bills.

  11. #11
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    A live person at the bill collector's office never does call your number...it's a machine that dials numbers all day long. If someone actually answers the phone it's dialing, then the machine puts a live rep on the phone to hound you for money. The machine probably kept calling your number for the 3-4 months it was not assigned to anyone. You'd think these machines would recognize a "not in service" announcement or code, but apparently they don't. If a live person at the bill collector's office would make these calls, they would figure out quickly that they are following a non-productive lead. If they're trying to find Cindy, and the voicemail says "this is Mike's phone" they could just take the number off their list. Isn't there some law to make them stop? These people are such low-lifes.... why aren't they made to pay for all the grief they cause innocent people?

  12. #12
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    When my young son starts using the phone for voice calls, I'll probably ask for a "virgin" phone number. We've managed to stop all calls from "unavailable" from ringing his phone, but they are still calling, according to the account history.

    Well I did set up his VoiceMail, but now we're getting problems with that too. He's getting about 3-5 voicemail messages, mostly from "dollar financial" asking for Shelly, Barbara etc... to call 1-866-433-1002. Most of the calls, they don't talk, but I can hear the noise of the call center in the background. 1-2 times they actually leave a message.

    I found out that the only way to disable voicemail is to call Verizon. I can't seem to do it online or through the phone.

    Interesting, with the moto w385, voice mail message deposits do not register on the missed/received call entry.

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