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August 29, 2012 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I blocked a phone number thinking it would you know prevent someone from calling me. I've since seen on various forums (like ask yahoo) that the call will go through but will show up on my phone as "blocked number." Is that true?

So I blocked my ex's number last week on my phone thinking it would stop him from being able to call. I have an iPhone through Verizon and I blocked his number for 90 days. Since then both friends and online forums have said the call will go through but come up as blocked number or a private caller. Of course, there are others who say "no, no it won't." Verizon was predictably useless. I'm pretty ok with either thing happening, but I would like to know what to expect.
posted by miss-lapin to Technology (14 answers total)
Can you describe the steps you took to block his call in more detail? What did you specifically do/press?
posted by ellF at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2012

Is it easy to block and unblock a number? If so, this is easily answered by blocking a number you have access to (your friend's phone or whatever), and then calling yourself from it.
posted by brainmouse at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Visit Call & Message Blocking and enter a phone number you wish to block. You will no longer receive calls or messages from this phone number."

posted by roofus at 9:24 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think there are two kinds of "blocked number" situations -- the first kind is the one you're doing ("block this person at this number from calling me"), and the second kind is when you don't want other people to see YOUR number when YOU call someone.

So you got the first kind, which means that Verizon will not let a call from his number go to your phone. If you get a call on your cell that says "blocked number," that means THEY got the SECOND kind of "blocked number" (i.e., "don't let anyone see my phone number when I call").

Maybe the people who say that it'll show up on your phone as a blocked number are suspecting your ex may figure out what you did and they're saying he'll go, "well, fuck that, I'll just get the second kind of blocked number thing so Verizon won't KNOW it's me trying to call miss-lapin! Hah!" But I'm not sure Verizon wouldn't still know and wouldn't still be able to block his calls.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Verizon user here. I can confirm that I have not received any calls or texts from the few numbers I've blocked over the years.

I've used Verizon's website and the "block number" function of my phone (Incredible 2). Both methods worked as advertised.
posted by Diskeater at 9:29 AM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Seconding Diskeater's experience with the Verizon website, I haven't used the phone method (iPhone) but the using the blocking feature on the site stops calls from coming through and I'm never aware if they even existed.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I should have that mefi could answer my question in minutes. Thanks all!
posted by miss-lapin at 9:46 AM on August 29, 2012

Typically, when my phone says "blocked number", it means the caller has blocked their number from appearing on caller id, not that I have blocked their number.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:14 AM on August 29, 2012

Yeah, I've blocked a couple of (spam) numbers via Verizon and I don't get those calls anymore. I do occasionally get a "blocked number" call, and I never answer, since 99.9% are spam. Every once in a great while it's from someone I know calling from some caller-ID-blocking phone; they leave me a voicemail, and then I get back in touch.
posted by rtha at 11:14 AM on August 29, 2012

Also chiming in to report that blocking a number via Verizon's website prevents calls from that number from going through.

I was receiving repeated calls from my local PBS station, presumably to solicit donations from me, given that I'd donated in the past. I recognized the number and didn't answer, and they didn't leave a voice mail, they just kept calling over and over. After the fifth or sixth call in the span of a few weeks, I blocked the number via the Verizon website. No further calls from that number came through, so either the blocking was effective, or the station coincidentally chose that point to give up on bugging me. I'm betting on the former.

(I still support the station, but don't put down my phone number any more.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:21 AM on August 29, 2012

I think what your friends and the forums are trying to explain is that if your ex figures out you've blocked him from being able to get through to your number, he can still get through to you by preventing his number from showing up on your caller id. In this instance, you would receive a call from "blocked number" that would be from him.

So the letter of the ban would be respected: you would no longer receive phone calls that are literally from his number, ###-###-####. But the spirit of the ban would not be, since he can change ###-###-### to "BLOCKED", and get through to you anyway.
posted by lesli212 at 12:11 PM on August 29, 2012

Is that the case, though? He's still calling from his number, which Verizon knows - it's just that the recipient can't see it. The carrier still can. I suppose this is something that can only be confirmed by a Verizon CSR.
posted by rtha at 12:36 PM on August 29, 2012

The question of whether the call would go through if he blocked his number is interesting but, honestly, in this specific case I don't think it's relevant. He's really not techno savvy so I can't imagine that would even occur to him.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:10 PM on August 29, 2012

Not sure if this is the case, but it used to be. For me, it's been a long time since the days of getting around phone number blocks (and having them gotten around). It was a bunch of middle school mean girls prank dialing from rotary phones.
posted by lesli212 at 2:21 PM on August 29, 2012

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