Answering Machine with white list to permit only certain callers
October 8, 2009 9:39 AM   Subscribe

I would like to find a hardware answering machine that has some advanced controls to manage which incoming numbers can make the phone ring.

I have an annoyances that I'd like to cut out - telemarketers calling (I went on Canada's DNC list but that made it worse because now all the spam calls are from the States); the solution I thought of would be to have all numbers that I haven't approved to go straight to voicemail without ringing the phone at all. Other callers in a "white list" would ring the phone like usual. My current answering machine does actually have a "black list" feature but the spam calls are always from a new number so it doesn't really make sense.

The other annoyance I had that I was able to solve is to have certain hours where no one can ring the phone. I solved this with the Night Mode feature on my Panasonic phone which is awesome.

Some restrictions I have is that I'd like this to be a hardware solution instead of software because I don't want my computer running all night just to be an answering machine, I'd also like to stay away from VoIP because I've tried that previously with Vonage and found the quality and reliability to be unacceptable.
posted by royalchinook to Technology (9 answers total)
Best answer: I dont know if this is exactly what you are looking for and I am not sure if it is a cost effective solution but it may help
posted by london302 at 9:46 AM on October 8, 2009

Sounds like Google Voice would be up your alley but it's US only :(
posted by ghharr at 9:46 AM on October 8, 2009

(Can't you also put yourself on the US's DNC list, or do they not accept Canadian numbers?)
posted by brainmouse at 10:30 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: @london302 - truecall is a great looking solution, I wasn't able to find any information on if it works outside the UK though - it looks like it should.

@ghharr - i know, i would love to be able to use google voice - I use youmail for my US based cell (aside: I'm going to check to see if that would work for CDN land lines, it may).

@brainmouse - i checked on their website but they don't allow CDN area codes; good suggestion though.
posted by royalchinook at 10:53 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: checkback: youmail is just for taking messages and doesn't screen calls or any of that good stuff at all.
posted by royalchinook at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2009

What is it about running your computer all night that you want to avoid?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:44 PM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: @Obscure Reference - waste of power mainly and also I'd think a hardware solution would be more stable than replying on my flaky computer.
posted by royalchinook at 12:55 PM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: *relying
posted by royalchinook at 1:31 PM on October 8, 2009

I don't believe that a computer (with the monitor off) draws much power. Hardware answering machines are part computer anyway, but maybe your particular machine isn't robust. I leave mine on all the time.
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:56 PM on October 8, 2009

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