Why is there no way to block someone?

EDIT: I just discovered Republic Wireless’s “block spam calls and voicemail” option and I am trying that. I will report back. Thank you.

There is a particular phone number that calls me every hour of the day all day and leaves the same robot 45-second voicemail. I blocked the number but it keeps leaving voicemails, blowing up my phone all day. Is there really no way to block someone? Can someone explain why not? It seems like it ought to be a pretty basic function of a phone, along with, turn on, play music, make calls, block people, etc.

Supposedly there are 3rd-party apps that “actually” block people but I have tried a few and they did not work, and they also have ads in them. I am very perplexed by this situation. Not to sound like a ■■■■ or anything but can someone explain to me why I am in the wrong here? I legitimately find it extremely confusing why it is considered normal that there is no way to block someone from blowing up your phone all day. Am I really supposed to just change my number repeatedly and hope this stops happening?

I really appreciate anyone’s time and help and I really don’t want to sound like a ■■■■ as I am here asking for the help of this community but can someone explain to me the logic of why blocking a phone number is not an included feature of Republic Wireless’s phone service?

To anyone that might say: oh, well they are blocked. The blocking is working. Doing stuff with voicemail is some other issue. Look, they are blowing up my phone all day. All day long my phone is blowing up because of this person calling me. I do not think it is reasonable to consider this number “blocked” because it affects my phone all day long. Whenever I use my phone their number is all over the screen, new notifications happening all day. The number is not blocked.

Hi @jorge.8uahss,

What you’ve discovered is how Android’s call blocking “works”. Blocking a call sends the caller to voicemail. Most spammers don’t bother to leave voicemail but there are always exceptions to the rule.

Unfortunately, the last third party app I’m aware of that somewhat reliably hung up (rather than send to voicemail) blocked callers is no longer available in Google’s Play Store and doesn’t work on newer versions of Android.

Hopefully, Republic’s new blocking option (which blocks the call before it reaches your phone) works for the offending number.

It worked eventually on the robo-call service I believe, but it doesn’t work on numbers that aren’t robo-calls.

Consider this thread:

The original poster says:
“every time someone request it if RW (me included) they receive a nonsense response, such as: nor enough people have requested it, it really isn’t necessary, or use this work around… Disabling voicemail is not rocket science — JUST DO IT”

Official company response:

"Typically for additional features, there’s a progression. … So, yes, for us to implement a new feature, we do require that there be significant demand. We can’t chase the wind… Anytime I bring a request like this to the table, the first question I’m asked is, “what’s the impact?”

Let me tell you, it’s not a table where I want the next sound coming from my mouth to be, “Uhhhhhhh. Dunno.”"

As I said in my original post the problem is that my phone will be vibrating and giving me notifications from this person I want nothing to do with and there’s nothing I can do to stop them. Which depending on the context can be kind of traumatic.

This kind of reminds me of how in Google Chrome you cannot disable the auto-complete suggestions in the URL bar (called the “omnibox” apparently). You just can’t, even though lots of people want it. The reason is probably a combination of the fact that Google is fundamentally a search company that doesn’t want to disable what it sees as its most essential service, and also the fact that auto-complete suggestions might be considered to be something like a very light form of and possible stepping stone towards their greater Google Assistant/AI services strategy. So I can see how there might be a combination of pride and culture and general strategy as motivations for their decision.

However in Republic Wireless’s case I cannot see the motivation. I guess they have just calculated that it’s not worth the effort.

Let me pose a hypothetical scenario for you. Let’s say a guy commits some crime against some girl and the girl blocks him on her phone. The guy keeps calling her all day leaving messages on her phone and her phone is always vibrating and has his name on it. There’s no way to get him to stop doing this according to the current policy. The girl would need to switch to a different phone service.

I’m unable to speak for Republic as to why it doesn’t currently offer the ability to turn voicemail off nor do I know how many folks would like the ability to do so. You’ve quoted the best available answer on the subject.

In the absence of being able to simply turn voicemail off, there’s no means built into Android to hang up on an unwanted caller as opposed to sending the call to voicemail. One might ask Google why this is the case.

In the case of this specific hypothetical circumstance, my advice would be to contact the relevant authorities. Use of a phone to specifically harass someone (rather than the spam we all put up with to some extent) is a crime.

It’s a workaround, however, if ridding yourself of these notifications is sufficiently worth it to you, you might consider using Republic’s “voicemail forwarding”, which is call forwarding on no answer to sends calls to another number where there’s more control over voicemail or where one need not have voicemail at all.

Callcentric is one service I’m aware of that may be of interest to you. It would cost $1/month for the target phone number Callcentric would supply. Callcentric’s website is linked here: https://www.callcentric.com/.

As Roland suggested, you can use voicemail forwarding to send calls to a number where you don’t get voicemail. No need to wait on Republic to develop anything for you. Here’s a list of numbers you could forward to at no charge: moo.net/numbers.html (Be sure to test them, the number list is old, but I tested a few and they still work).

Thank you very much for your responses. I will try to set up voicemail forwarding. In the meantime I think it is reasonable to point out that a potentially very significant problem remains for the person in the hypothetical example above. So let’s say some girl has been victimized by some guy. She blocks him but because this just sends his calls to voicemail, he’s able to continue to cause her phone to vibrate all day by constantly leaving voicemails and so his name is constantly appearing on her phone.

SO, she can disable her voicemail through forwarding. The one potentially very big problem is the fact that this girl may need to interact with some organization (doctor’s office, any government agency, etc) whose policy is that they contact you through phone. If this girl has ANY interaction with ANY organization that has any non-zero probability of communicating important information through a voicemail, then this solution would not be possible for her. In an ideal world, organizations SHOULD be able to accommodate the reasonable request of not communicating important information over voicemail if this was requested of them, but they also shouldn’t make you wait 3 hours in a waiting room. Organizations that would only communicate important information over voicemail probably aren’t the most up-to-date and accommodating but this is how many important organizations operate, for example health clinics, medical centers, doctor’s offices, etc. Many people are forced to interact with some kind of agency that would leave them an important voicemail at some time.

Let’s say the hypothetical victimized girl is such a person who does not have a lot of money and can only get health services from such poorly operated institutions. Getting rid of all voicemail is not a practical solution for her as this is how her doctor’s office would communicate appointment cancellations, confirmations, and so on. I am not an expert on this but I imagine that disabling all voicemail is not a practical solution for many people. Maybe it is, in which case I will be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime I thank you for your help. I am not trying to construct some obscure scenario as a way of being confrontational or something, it just seems to me like the hypothetical example I just described is not that far fetched. How many people don’t want to disable all voicemail because they fear missing an important voicemail, but there is someone in their life that is harassing them over the phone? My guess is that this describes a significant number of people.

It might also be worth noting, and this is really just a very minor point, that the people in this situation, with this problem, are people who have been traumatized and are simply trying to avoid someone who has traumatized them, and so, dismissive responses to the reasonable request of being able to block the person who has traumatized them can come across as slightly callous, for this reason.

This issue isn’t a Republic issue. As has been pointed out by @rolandh above, the person in this scenario should be engaging the authorities as the behavior you’ve described is out-and-out harassment and likely illegal in nearly every place in the US. Second, the inability to hang-up on a number, rather than send it to voicemail is a Google restriction. THEY prevent that from happening on Android.

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