The new AT&T, like the old AT&T, is woefully behind the times. After the seventh call in twenty-four hours from 866-801-8623 (whoever you are, go perform an unnatural act with a diseased goat, and don’t call me back to tell me you’ve completed the task), I went looking for blocking services, and this is what they came up with:
Call Blocker is a service that prevents up to ten pre-selected local numbers from ringing through to your phone.
Hello? “Local numbers” aren’t the issue here. I want a blocking service that can reject any number I can see in Caller ID, plus all “Out Of Area” numbers, and I’m willing to pay more than the $3 a month they’re asking for their existing service. (The Privacy Manager service, which costs $4, will take care of the numbers with no Caller ID tags, but does nothing to callers who have a number listed, even if it’s bogus.)
I suppose what I want is a passworded phone: you dial in, you’re asked for a PIN or something, and if I’ve assigned you one, you get through; otherwise, you get dead air. But I’ll happily accept a dumber system that simply blocks 8XX toll-free numbers.