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#77538 by MrX
Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:58 am
We have Anonymous Call Block turned on. My wife works for a company with the word "private" in the caller Id ("XYZ Private Label"). When calling home from work, she gets the blocked message. This is a corner case, but a real bad one, since currently our only option is to disable Anonymous Call Block, which is one of the main reasons we purchased ooma.

If there is no other way to detect private calls other than looking for the word, "private" in the caller Id, ooma should allow Anonymous Call Block to have an exception list such that users can enter specific phone numbers that will not be blocked, regardless of their caller Id.
#77549 by thunderbird
Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:12 pm
MrX wrote:We have Anonymous Call Block turned on. My wife works for a company with the word "private" in the caller Id ("XYZ Private Label"). When calling home from work, she gets the blocked message. This is a corner case, but a real bad one, since currently our only option is to disable Anonymous Call Block, which is one of the main reasons we purchased ooma.

If there is no other way to detect private calls other than looking for the word, "private" in the caller Id, ooma should allow Anonymous Call Block to have an exception list such that users can enter specific phone numbers that will not be blocked, regardless of their caller Id.

Go into you "My Ooma", click on "Home", than click on "Contacts". When the "Contacts" window opens, click on "Add". Fill in the information at the right side of page. Use any name you wish and at least enter the phone number. When done click on "Create". It may take some time for the Ooma server to update, so test it a little later. When the call comes in it should show the name you entered.
Report back to let us know if this works for you.
#77668 by MrX
Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:47 am
Had my wife call my cell phone from her work to get the her work number (the outbound number differs from her direct line; I guess that's because of a PBX?) Created an ooma contact for it. Let it sit for about 4 hours, then had her try to call home from work. Still blocked I'm afraid.
#77671 by tomcat
Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:55 am
Is her outbound number the same every time? With the last phone system and phone co. my employer used, the outbound number changed based on what line we were calling out on. Our new system and phone co. have it setup now so that our outbound callerID is the same every time.
#77736 by nn5i
Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:32 am
lbmofo wrote:thunderbird, when incoming call is private, there isn't a number coming in so the contact wouldn't help right?

There are many misconceptions about "private" calls.

First of all, the data passing between telephone systems always contains the number and never contains the name. It also contains an indication, separate from the number and name, that the call is "private" -- but even for "private" calls the telephone network always -- always! -- sends the number.

Second of all, the local exchange (for us, that's Ooma's servers) reformats the information before sending it to your telephone instrument. First, though, if you pay for CID name service, it looks up the name in a LOCAL data base -- the maintenance of which causes many problems discussed in these forums. Then it reformats the name-and-number information and sends it to your telephone instrument (between the first and second rings). The information sent to your telephone includes the local time, month and day (but not the year), calling number (as a character string, 15 characters max), and the name obtained from the local data base (also 15 characters max). If the call is "private", the name is given as a single character, capital P. If the call isn't private but the local data base didn't have the name-and-number, then the name is unknown and is sent as a single character, capital O, although some systems will send something like "Florida call" or "Dallas call" based on the area code and exchange.

Incidentally, if you call a law-enforcement agency or an 800 number, the call is almost never treated as "private" even if you thought you were making a private call.

Most telephone instruments recognize the single capital P and display the word "private" or "blocked" or similar. Also they recognize a single capital "O" and display "Out of Area" or "Unavailable" or similar. But these displays typically are generated by the hardware in your telephone instrument, not by your local exchange and not by Ooma.

Summing up, telephone systems indicate "private" calls to each other independently of any text in the name. So if Ooma's servers are finding, in their local data base, names that happen to include the word "private", and are then interpreting that to mean the call is a private call, then Ooma has a bug that's entirely in Ooma's own servers and ought to be corrected.
#77769 by MrX
Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:26 pm
nn5i wrote:Summing up, telephone systems indicate "private" calls to each other independently of any text in the name. So if Ooma's servers are finding, in their local data base, names that happen to include the word "private", and are then interpreting that to mean the call is a private call, then Ooma has a bug that's entirely in Ooma's own servers and ought to be corrected.


Thanks for that excellent info! I'm going to turn off Anonymous Call Block and verify that her calls go through. I must admit that thus far, what I have been describing is my theory, based on the name of her employer, and the fact that this didn't happen before we got ooma (when we used our Panasonic phone system's built-in private caller block). I'll test it out and report back.
#77774 by MrX
Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:26 pm
Ok, I turned off the ooma Anonymous Call Block and had her call, and this is what my ooma call log online showed:

Called home (ooma)
Name: "Anonymous"
Number: "anonymous"

I then had her call some other places (phone number changed for privacy ;) )

Called me at work (we have a PBX which shows callers on my computer in a popup window)
Name: (blank)
Number: "External Call"

Called Google Voice
Name: (Google Voice UI only shows "Lake Forest, IL")
Number: +18005551212

Called my cell (Verizion HTC Incredible Android)
Name: "(Unknown)"
Number: 8005551212

I'll have to arrange with one of my neighbors with a POTS system to see what they see on their caller Id, and report back on that. I'm fairly certain that before we had ooma, our POTS caller Id did not show "Anonymous" when she called home; pretty sure it showed "XYZ Private Label" or something to that effect.
#77776 by MrX
Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:46 pm
Update: when she called the Google Voice number, it rings home; I forgot to check the ooma call log again. For the Google Voice call that rang home, the ooma call log shows:

Name: "XYZ"
Number: "(800) 555-1212"

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