How to block unwanted calls on your landline

There are several ways you can use to control who calls your house. By using CenturyLink calling features, changing your directory listing and/or signing up for the do-not-call list, you can reduce and block unwanted calls to your home phone.

How do you block unwanted calls on your home phone?

There are three main sets of tactics you can use to control whose calls make it through to your house.  This can help you fend off telemarketers, robocalls, and other people whose calls you do not want to receive.  You can use one or more of these tactics:
 

  1. Use one of our CenturyLink calling features or tools to block incoming calls
  2. Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry
  3. Change your directory listing so it's more difficult for unwanted callers to find you

CenturyLink tools to prevent unwanted calls

Here are some tools CenturyLink offers to limit unwanted phone calls and solicitations, including "robocalls" or computerized telemarketing calls and scams.

No Solicitation feature

The No Solicitation feature blocks calls and functions like a screening service.

No Solicitation screens your calls from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 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, trusting that they will hang up if they're trying to solicit your business. But in fact, anyone can press 1 and be connected through to your home phone. If you're trying to block a harassing caller, this feature is unlikely to be effective.   It is most effective for solicitation calls.

You must contact CenturyLink to order the No Solicitation feature 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 instructions on how to use this feature, you can download the No Solicitation user guide.

Security Screen feature

Security Screen also blocks calls and works like a screening service by requiring that callers either share their phone number or be disconnected. People calling from blocked, unidentified, toll-free and long-distance numbers hear a message saying that you do not accept unidentified calls. They are then 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 from the menu. Then, follow the recorded instructions. For more information further instructions, you can download the Security Screen user guide.

Caller ID with the Privacy+ feature

Caller ID with the Privacy+ feature intercepts calls that don't show 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 telemarketers will hang up without recording a name. To manage this feature, call 888-(your area code)-8052.

Select Privacy+ from the menu when prompted, and follow the recorded instructions. For more information and instructions on using this feature, you can download the Caller ID with Privacy+ user guide.

Note: For access to the Security Screen or Privacy+ feature, most customers can call 888-(your area code)-8052 to make changes. However, there are a few exceptions for the following locations:
  • In Minnesota, calling from area code 763 or 952: call 888-612-8052
  • In Iowa, calling from area code 641: call 888-515-8052
  • In Arizona, calling from area code 928: call 888-520-8052
  • In Oregon, calling from area code 971: call 888-503-8052
  • In Oregon, calling from area code 458: call 888-541-8052

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 first installed, it's turned OFF, so you need to turn it ON.

If you're having problems blocking certain numbers, try these troubleshooting tips.

This calling feature only stops ANONYMOUS and PRIVATE calls. Other types of calls that lack the info needed for caller ID, such as OUT OF AREA, UNAVAILABLE, UNKNOWN or NOT PROVIDED, cannot be blocked with this feature. 

Call Rejection 

Use Call Rejection when you want to block specific phone numbers from reaching you. To do this, you create a list of phone numbers that you want to reject. Then anyone calling from a number on your list will not be able to get through.

How does Call Rejection help you block unwanted phone calls?

  • Call Rejection blocks incoming calls. To block calls, you create a "rejection list" and add the phone numbers you want to that list. Numbers on your call rejection list are not able to call your home.
  • When an unwanted caller tries to reach you, he/she hears a pre-recorded message saying you're not accepting calls.
  • This feature works with most local and some long-distance numbers.

The Call Rejection feature has to be ordered and added to your account. When it's first installed, it's turned OFF, so you need to turn it ON.  Here are some specific instructions for using and configuring Call Rejection

This feature lets you block up to 10 phone numbers. If you want to block additional numbers (up to 25), Enhanced Call Rejection is available in some areas.

If you need further assistance on how to block unwanted calls using this feature, check out our Anonymous Call Rejection Troubleshooting tips.

Blocking robocalls with Nomorobo

CenturyLink partners with Nomorobo for Digital Home Phone customers, giving them access to this third party application designed to block robocalls. Digital Home Phone customers only, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Nomorobo to initiate the sign-up process
  2. Choose the “landlines” options where it says “sign up now!”
  3. On the next screen, pick “internet landline” and then either input your phone # or choose CenturyLInk Digital Home Phone from the carrier list
  4. You will get an email from Nomorobo with instructions to complete the setup

Do's and don'ts when blocking robocalls

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

Block robocalls with the CPR V5000 Call Blocker   Learn more
 

National Do Not Call Registry

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

If you would like to block unwanted calls to your home or cell phone, you can add your number(s) to the Do Not Call list. It's a free service, and once your number has been on the list for 31 days, telemarketers should 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 is on the list, you may occasionally still receive calls you don't 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 you've given written permission to contact you. Be careful to read the fine print whenever you sign an agreement, as you may be granting that entity permission to contact you.

Did you know? If you ask a company to place your phone number on its internal do-not-call list, they must honor your request. It's always a good idea to keep a record of the date you made the request, just in case they fail to follow through and you need to file a complaint.

Change your directory listing

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.

You can request:

  • To have a non-listed (semi-private) listing. In this case, your name and phone number aren't included in the printed telephone directory, but are available through Directory Assistance. 

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

  • 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.

Be aware of harassment prevention options

Telephone harassment is a crime. If you receive threatening or obscene phone calls, you can trace who's calling you.  If, at any time, you feel threatened or like your safety is at risk, contact your local police for assistance.

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

After three successful traces, contact the CenturyLink Annoyance Call Bureau at 800-582-0655 for help in resolving the problem.

Need further assistance on how to block unwanted calls on your landline?

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

Need more help? Contact Us

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