Firstly, the disclaimer. I have no connection with Truecall, other than being a satisfied user of their technology.
I mentioned in a comment on my old post regarding cold calls from “The Listening Company” that I had bought a Truecall unit. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, and thought I would write about it, and talk about my experiences.
Once the device is set up (and the web-interface comes in very handy for loading in your regular contacts, in my case, a handful of friends and family who call me on the landline) it’s very simple to use.
To people on your “star list” – it’s no different to what they expect, they hear a ring sound, my phone rings, and when I answer, I speak directly to them. If I don’t answer, Truecall offers to take a message, and lets me know there’s a message with a flashing LED. Perfect.
The best part though is what happens to people who’se caller ID is withheld, or not on my list… they get an automated message asking them to state their name. If they don’t hang up at this point, after they’ve said something, they get put on hold, and my phone rings. When I answer I hear the recorded name then can decide whether to accept the call, ignore the call, or (if the caller ID contained a number) block the caller in future.
Blocked callers just get a pre-recorded message stating that they should not call again – my phone never even rings. I’ve also blocked international callers by default.
The unit has a very comprehensive feature set, and can be set up to be far more draconian than I have mine – one option is for all callers can be screened, all callers can be forced to prove they are not a machine by being asked to press a randomly selected number on the keypad, etc.
It also has a built-in answering machine, which works as you’d expect, including the facility to remotely listen to messages by entering a 4 digit PIN.
I find the web interface very handy too – especially to see how many unwanted calls it’s blocking without ever letting my phone ring!
In my opinion, any company which witholds it’s caller ID has something to hide. You want me to trust you and do business with you, give me a clear way to call you back, if you’re hiding, I want nothing to do with you.
My sole niggle with the Truecall is that it is a little sensitive to background noise during the “whisper” and a hangup from a noisy call center sometimes get rung through to my phone.
But basically, it’s a great piece of kit, and comes highly recommended if you have problems with cold/silent/unwanted callers who either ignore TPS laws or ringing from outside the UK, they may still be calling, but you won’t have to talk to them.
TrueCall Plug-in Phone Call Unit on Amazon.co.uk