Ways to block unwanted calls from your home phone

There are several ways you can control who gets through to your home phone. You can use one of our calling features to block incoming calls. Change your directory listing so it's more difficult for unwanted callers to find you. If you're getting harassing or threatening calls, you can identify who's calling and then work with local law enforcement. Or, if you're specifically having problems with telemarketing calls, you can add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. 

Robocall-blocking tools

There are several tools that CenturyLink offers in some service areas to help mitigate unwanted phone call solicitations as well as Robocall solicitations or Robocall scams.

No Solicitation

While technically the No Solicitation feature blocks calls, it's functions more like a screening service.

No Solicitation screens your calls from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm every day. An automatic message asks solicitors to hang up and tells regular callers to press 1 to complete the call. This feature relies on the honesty of the calling party to hang up if they're trying to solicit your business. In fact, anyone can press 1 and be connected to your home. If you're trying to block a harassing caller, this feature probably isn't the best choice.

You must order No Solicitation and have it added to your account in order to use it. When it's initially installed, it's turned OFF, so you need to turn it ON. For more information and specific instructions, you can download the No Solicitation user guide.

Security Screen

While technically Security Screen blocks calls, it's actually more of a screening service and requires callers share their phone number or be disconnected. People calling from blocked, unidentified, toll-free and long-distance numbers hear a message saying that you don't accept unidentified calls. Then, they are given the option to enter their 10-digit phone number or hang up.

To manage this feature, call 1-888-(your area code)-8052 and select Security Screen when prompted. Then, follow the recorded instructions. For more information and specific instructions, you can download the Security Screen user guide.

Most customers should call 888-(your area code)-8052 to make changes to these calling features. However, there are a few exceptions if you're located in:
 

  • Minnesota and are calling from area codes 763 or 952, call 888-612-8052.
  • Iowa and are calling from area code 641, call 888-515-8052.
  • Arizona and are calling from area code 928, call 888-520-8052.
  • Oregon and are calling from area code 971, call 888-503-8052.
  • Oregon and are calling from area code 458, call 888-541-8052.

Caller ID with Privacy +

Caller ID with Privacy+ intercepts calls that don't contain Caller ID information. Callers can record their names, then you decide which calls to accept or reject. You should notice a reduction in the number of calls you receive, since most telemarketing callers will hang up without recording a name. To manage this feature, call 888-(your area code)-8052.** Select Privacy+ when prompted, and follow the recorded instructions. For more information and specific instructions, you can download the Caller ID with Privacy+ user guide.

Most customers should call 888-(your area code)-8052 to make changes to these calling features. However, there are a few exceptions if you're located in:
 

  • Minnesota and are calling from area codes 763 or 952, call 888-612-8052.
  • Iowa and are calling from area code 641, call 888-515-8052.
  • Arizona and are calling from area code 928, call 888-520-8052.
  • Oregon and are calling from area code 971, call 888-503-8052.
  • Oregon and are calling from area code 458, call 888-541-8052.

If you have questions or would like to change or add calling features to your account, chat with us. We're here to help!

Popular call-blocking tools

You can use calling features to block all incoming calls, certain types of calls or specific phone numbers. Anonymous Call Rejection and Call Rejection are two of our most popular call-blocking features.

Anonymous Call Rejection

Use Anonymous Call Rejection to stop calls from ANONYMOUS and PRIVATE numbers. For instance, if a sales guy calls you from a blocked number, he hears: 

The party you are calling does not accept blocked calls. If you are calling from a blocked number, please hang up, pick up the receiver, press *87 and redial the phone number. When you do this, your name and number will appear for this call only.

In many areas Anonymous Call Rejection comes with Caller ID. In some areas, you need to order it separately. Either way, when it's initially installed, it's turned OFF, so you need to turn it ON.

This calling feature only stops ANONYMOUS and PRIVATE calls. Because they lack the necessary data, OUT OF AREA, UNAVAILABLE, UNKNOWN or NOT PROVIDED calls cannot be blocked. 

If you're having trouble getting this feature to work, you can read these Anonymous Call Rejection troubleshooting tips.

Call Rejection 

Use Call Rejection when you want to block specific phone numbers. To do this, you create a list of the phone numbers that you want to reject. Then, anyone calling from a number on your list can't get through.

For instance, you might use Call Rejection if an old boyfriend (or girlfriend) won't take the hint, a market research company has you on their speed dial or a political campaign thinks you're the Bank of Big Bucks. In these cases, you add the offending phone numbers to your "rejection list." Then, when someone calls from a number on that list, he/she hears a message saying you're not accepting calls.

Calls from numbers not on your list ring through to your home as usual.

You must order Call Rejection and have it added to your account. When it's initially installed, it's turned OFF, so you need to turn it ON.  Here are some specific instructions for using and configuring Call Rejection

With Call Rejection, you can block more than 10 numbers. If you need to block additional numbers (up to 25), Enhanced Call Rejection is available in some areas.

If neither of these calling features sound like they're going to do what you need done, we have other calling features available that may block the particular calls that you don't want getting through.

More call-stopping ideas

Sometimes limiting where, and how, your telephone number is published can make a world of difference. There are several ways for you to control how your name and number are shared.

Directory listing service

You can request:

  • To have your name removed, at no charge, from lists that we may provide to other companies for marketing purposes. (Non-listed and non-published numbers are automatically excluded from these lists.)

  • A non-listed (semi-private) listing. In this case, your name, address and phone number aren.t included in the printed telephone directory, but your name and telephone number are available through Directory Assistance. 

  • non-published (private) listing. With this type of listing, your name, address and phone number don't appear in the printed telephone directory and aren't available through Directory Assistance.

Harassment prevention

Telephone harassment is a crime. If you receive threatening or obscene phone calls, you can trace who's calling you

Call Trace is already installed on your line. You don't have to order it or have it installed, and you're only charged when you successfully complete a trace. (Note: This feature is available in most areas. However, if you attempt a trace and hear a fast-busy tone instead of recorded instructions, it's probably not offered in your area.)

After 3 successful traces, contact the CenturyLink Annoyance Call Bureau at 800-582-0655 for help resolving the problem. Or, if the situation is rapidly escalating and you feel your wellbeing is at risk, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

If you're having problems blocking certain numbers, try these troubleshooting tips. If you have questions or would like to change or add calling features to your account, chat with us. We're here to help!

Robocall Do's and Don'ts

More information on what to do and not do about robocalls is available on the USTelecom website. You can also visit the FCC web page for stopping unwanted calls, texts, and faxes.

National Do Not Call Registry 

The National Do Not Call Registry (aka the "Do Not Call" list) is managed by the Federal Trade Commission and is meant to give people a way to stop relentless phone solicitors and telemarketers.

If you would like to block unwanted calls to your (home or mobile) phone, adding your number(s) to the Do Not Call list is a good thing to do. It's a free service, and once your number has been on the list for at least 31 days, telemarketers are supposed to stop calling you. If they don't, you can file a complaint

Of course, the government recognizes that some business calls are legitimate so even if your number's on the list, you may occasionally still receive calls you don't entirely want. For example, you may get calls from political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors.

You may also receive calls from companies that you've purchased from within the last 18 months or from companies that you've given written permission to. (Be extra careful to read the fine print in agreements you sign.) 

Did you know? If you ask a company to place your phone number on its internal do-not-call list, it must honor your request. (Of course, it's always a good idea to keep a record of the date you made the request. Just in case the company doesn't do as they should and you need to file a complaint.)