Matt Pavelle

Avoiding Telemarketers with Your iPhone

Telemarketers: they are annoying, bothersome, and pushy. And despite government efforts such as the National Do Not Call Registry, most Americans still receive numerous calls from telemarketers. But you don't have to know they're calling - you can send them silently to voicemail!

The Blacklist Solution:

This is the option I currently employ. It's reasonably easy to implement and essentially makes your phone ring audibly for some callers, but allows you to permanently turn off the audible ring for others. I use this and as a result my phone never rings from the same telemarketer number twice (I add them to my blacklist any time I get a call from one). Here's what you do:

  1. Download this file: silence.m4r (this is a 5 second long silent ringtone)
  2. Open iTunes, connect your iPhone, and import this as an additional ringtone
  3. Create a new iPhone contact named "Telemarketer" (or something similar) - this is your blacklist - and choose the ringtone named "silence" as your custom ringtone
  4. Every time a telemarketer calls, simply add their phone number to this contact

The Whitelist Solution:

This is option is for people who want to go one step further. It too is reasonably easy to implement, however this method silences the ring of all new and unknown callers. You'll basically create a whitelist of people who deserve a real ring: everyone in your contacts list. Here's what you do:

  1. Download this file: silence.m4r (this is a 5 second long silent ringtone)
  2. Open iTunes, connect your iPhone, and import this as an additional ringtone
  3. Under Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtone, choose "silence"
  4. Visit every contact in your contacts list and for each one choose any other custom ringtone
  5. Every time a new contact is added to your phone be sure to give them an audible ringtone

And there you have it!

With one of these two steps, you've basically given telemarketers an inaudible ring. They'll go straight to voicemail and you can simply delete those when you wish.

What About Blocked or Unknown Callers? The problem here is that you can't add "Unknown" or "Blocked" callers to a contact. Thus you can't silence those rings. If you are blacklisting, this is no problem. If you are whitelisting, however, it is. For this you might want to investigate TrapCall (http://www.trapcall.com/).