Hatred of spam calls and robocalls is one of the few certainties of life you could put right up there with the inevitability of death and taxes. They’re universally despised, while also metastasizing into a nearly out-of-control problem, which is why spam call-blocking mobile apps and services have begun to proliferate — and even the carriers are, slowly, starting to step up.
Verizon, which said today it estimates customers will have been spared from more than 1.5 billion robocalls this year thanks to its help, is the latest.
Now that the Federal Communications Commission has said definitively it’s ok for carriers to block suspected spam calls by default, Verizon says that customers starting today will be auto-enrolled in the carrier’s free spam blocking service.
Verizon’s Call Filter service will be available first for Android users, managed through a companion Call Filter app (iOS users, you need to install that app and then opt-in to the service). At that point, users can enjoy the serenity of most suspected spammy calls going straight to voicemail, so you don’t have to even worry about them at all.
There’s also a premium version of the service, Call Filter Plus, that costs $2.99 per month and comes with extra features like showing the caller name and the ability to create lists of spam callers. As far as the free version of the service goes, however, this is what Verizon says you can expect:
- If you get a call from a number that’s been reported as spam, that call will be blocked and sent to voicemail.
- You might also see calls labeled as “Potential Spam,” in comparison to the certainty of the first kind of spam calls we just mentioned above. In this case, instead of a name showing up on the screen, you’ll see the words “Potential Spam” and the option to turn on blocking for such calls.