Remember when your cell would ring and you always knew who it was? Today, our phones ring from numbers we don’t recognize on a daily basis – sometimes multiple times per day.
With this ever-increasing rise in robocalls, consumers are looking for ways to curb scam and nuisance calls to their phones. While there are many call blocking apps available for download on smart phones, major carriers are also implementing their own integrations with apps.
Caller ID and Call Blocking App Stats
Companies today – especially businesses in the finance, retail, or health care sectors – realize that perfect customer service differentiates them from their competitors. In fact, 86% of customers will pay a premium for a better experience. Better customer experiences include building trust and answering questions, and this is usually done over the phone.
Even though so much of our lives occur online, 60% of consumers still want to speak to a live agent – especially if their issue is complex. But the sharp rise of robocalls threatens this channel of communication. Consumers in the United States receive around 3 billion robocalls every month making it difficult to decipher legitimate calls from deceptive ones. This has led consumers to screen their calls and not answer if they don’t recognize the number. In fact, this is why 97% of your calls go directly to voicemail.
This means you’re losing out on potential sales, but it’s also bad for customers who may inadvertently miss an important call – one they’d actually want or need to answer. Maintaining the validity of your caller ID is one way you can make sure your call goes through. But how?
New Rules and Caller ID Legislation
The implementation of the FCC’s SHAKEN/STIR framework provides new rules for culling illegitimate individuals from hijacking legitimate phone numbers, also known as spoofing, in order to lessen the occurrence of scams on unsuspecting consumers.
But even legitimate businesses with real reasons for calling can be marked as Spam or Scam Likely. How can you protect your phone numbers and your business’ caller ID reputation? You need a caller ID program that’s properly structured for your outbound calls with accurate information. This is the most important step to ensure your calls aren’t trapped by call blocking apps.
Top Call Blocking Apps and Features for 2020
Today’s call blocking heavy hitters include apps by major carriers and third-party apps.
Major carrier apps
Major carrier apps include:
- Verizon’s Call Filter
- T-Mobile’s Mobile Security
- AT&T’s Call Protect
- Sprint’s Call Screener
Verizon’s Call Filter is free for all Verizon phones and includes these features:
- Spam detection
- Spam filter
For just $2.99 per month (or $7.99 per month for three or more lines), you can get Call Filter Plus with these additional features:
- Caller ID
- Spam Lookup
- Personal block list
- Spam risk meter
T-Mobile’s Mobile Security app offers the following included with phone plan:
- Scam ID
- Scam Block
For an additional $4.00 per month, users can also get Name ID.
AT&T’s Call Protect provides several noteworthy features. There’s a free plan included with all phone plans (download required) or subscribers can get Call Protect Plus for $3.99 per month.
Sprint’s Call Screener has a Basic free plan, and Call Screener Plus is just $2.99 per month.
Carriers will face a mandate with the SHAKEN/STIR framework to block robocalls to consumers, and the apps above are just the first step. However, call blocking apps have preceded carriers by many years. Developers saw the need for these services in the past and rolled out apps specifically for smart phones. One of the biggest hurdles carriers face with implementation is that many third-party call blocking apps are not working with carriers to provide the data needed to implement the SHAKEN/STIR authentication framework.
There are a variety of third-party call-screening applications available in the Apple Store and in the Google Play Store. Some of the best call blocking apps include:
Truecaller’s call blocking app includes:
- Spam blocking
- Chat, SMS and Call features
- Intelligent Dialer
- Caller ID
Hiya was originally just an app available for download, but today Hiya offers a whole suite of products and provides data to carriers and a number of other apps including:
- AT&T Call Protect
- Samsung Smart Call
- T-Mobile Name ID
- Samsung Places
- Mr. Number
Robokiller goes one step further than most apps and keeps recorded call logs of robocalls and blocked calls so other consumers can reference these. Not only that, but they also offer a variety of pre-recorded bots to mess with spam callers on your behalf if you choose their paid services.
Other call blocking apps
Although there’s a plethora of options for consumers, the majority of these apps do not communicate with each other. This means that numbers flagged on one app or carrier might not be flagged across the board. This fragmentation of data can cause issues, not only for consumers but legitimate businesses as well if they are erroneously flagged.
Legitimate businesses placing outbound calls should make it a habit to scan their numbers frequently to ensure none of them are flagged across these apps or carriers.
Do you know your caller ID reputation?