Robocall blocking devices tested

Volunteers say $110 Digitone, free Nomorobo service worked best


Robocalls are a nuisance. Even the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, has said, “Telephone companies can and in fact should offer consumers robocall-blocking tools.”

Until that happens, there are devices you can buy and install. Consumer Reports asked volunteers to try out four devices that are supposed to limit the number of robocalls that get through.

The devices range from $45 to $110. Some let you program a “whitelist” of safe numbers to accept. With others, a “blacklist” comes programmed with numbers to block, and you can add more. Some use both, and seemed to work the best.

Most of the volunteers who tried the Digitone Call Blocker Plus liked it. It costs about $110.

Another robo-blocker Consumer Reports looked into is a service called NoMoRobo. The volunteers found it very effective at blocking robocalls, and it’s free. But it’s available only with certain Internet phone-service providers. You can see if it is available for your phone at NoMoRobo.com.

Consumer Reports says a better solution is for the phone companies to take responsibility for not allowing those calls to get though by providing a free service to customers.

To get involved with Consumer Reports’ campaign to push phone companies to block robocalls, you can do so by signing the petition at EndRobocalls.org.

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