I have a solution. But it will take significant development. Here we go:
- Build a system to review call logs and allow people to (one time) go through and whitelist phone numbers they recognize. Those numbers would not be subject to the rest of this. (You can optionally whitelist whole area codes, if you don't want to subject this to the area codes you are called from the most.)
- When a call comes in that is not in the whitelist, the following will happen.
- If the phone number is not a valid number (I get calls with caller ID info that is like only 1 or 2 digits sometimes) the call is automatically routed to a fake number not found messsage
- If the number appears valid, Oooma picks up the call before ringing the home phone and starts recording. Then it plays a message that says:
This is not an answering machine, please do not hang up. In order to prove you are not an automated dialer, please enter the following number: 43
- The number would be a randomly generated 2-digit code every time. (If the phone thieves figure this out, the system may need to employ captchaesque techniques like telling them to enter the answer to what is 3 + 5.)
- If the number is entered correctly, the call goes through and rings the house phone.
- Numbers that make it through would be optionally white-listed (each user could control whether they want to auto-whitelist or not.)
- If there is no response, or the number is incorrect, but the person is still talking, keep recording until they stop (treating it like a no-answer voicemail).
- If anything was recorded, store it in the inbox, turn on the message light on the ooma and send a text mesage:
(Blacklisted call intercepted from [number] (x sec)) Listen via phone: [number] then press * or online: http://my.ooma.com.
- It would be cool if this could allow the user to respond with "White" or "Black" to whitelist or blacklist the number that triggered the text message, but, in order to do that, I would think Ooma would have to use unique "From" phone numbers to tie the response back to the appropriate number, and that may not be practical.
Once you get a call form someone that is intercepted in this way, you can log into my.ooma.com and review them and whitelist or blacklist the numbers directly from there.
So. How hard would this be to implement? How do we go about getting Oooma's attention to consider something like this?
This could really be the killer app that differentiates Oooma from the competition.