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#95279 by snowbank
Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:48 am
Several threads on the Ooma forum have lamented the lack of wildcard call filtering with Ooma Premier. This issue of needed wildcard call filtering is getting some good coverage in a Comcast forum ... d-p/797768 Folks with Comcast phone service are annoyed with the minimal call filtering capabilities they get - only 12 phone numbers can be blocked and no wildcards are allowed. Standalone call blockers such as the Digitone Call Blocker 10 support wildcard call filtering. Because I have Comcast service concurrently with Ooma while I am considering a switch to Ooma and a Digitone I thought I would try the Digitone hardware behind the Ooma Telo hardware and see how it worked. My Ooma number doesn't get telemarketing calls yet so I had to test the system with my cell phone (area code 612) and my current landline phone (area code 763).

The conclusion from the test is that a Digitone behind a Telo works perfectly for explicit number and wildcard area code call blocking thus addressing that limitation with Ooma Premier. I recommend reading the Comcast thread for other commentary. Digitone Call Blocker 10 is currently $100 but seems well worth the upfront investment in hardware - it doesn't seem like the phone service providers are going to give us the call filtering capabilities that would be useful; if they wanted to do it they could have done it quickly and we have been asking for it for a while.

Note that the current model Digitone only allows wildcard block at the area code (e.g 877*) or more general (e.g. 8*) levels however a new model they expect to release this year will allow blocking at the exchange and more detailed levels (hence you could wildcard block the phone bank at your alma mater without blocking all your friends in the same town). Another system called Caller Id with Ring Controller ... roller.php appears to offer similar features as the Digitone but I haven't used one to be able to comment usefully on it based on experience.
#96958 by raylo32
Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:40 am
Can you confirm that the Digitone area code blacklist features works with any area code, not just the most common toll free and telemarketer area codes? I am having major problems with a telemarketer from (706), Hartwell GA.

Also, does the wildcard feature support blocking a specific exchange from an area code, as in (706)805-xxxx? Or is it only capable of blocking entire area codes?

WHY ON EARTH doesn't Ooma build this functionality into the web based call blocker? I am seriously considering dropping my "Premier" service and just using one of these Digitone boxes (or similar) if I can find one that does everything I want... which really isn't all that much.
#96968 by snowbank
Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:39 pm
raylo32 -
The current $100 Digitone model can block any area code completely - 706, 303, 221 - not just your standard 800, 877 telemarketing area codes. It can block up to 80 explicit numbers like 706-805-2379. It DOES NOT block at the exchange level so you cannot block 706-805-xxxx and expect to block the 10,000 numbers as a wildcard. According to Digitone tech support however a new model they expect to release this year for about $180 will allow blocking at exchange level. To summarize:
7*** *** **** allowed block
706 *** **** allowed block
706 805 2379 allowed block
706 805 **** DOES NOT BLOCK ANYTHING (current model Digitone)

I think the Digitone was well worth it - much more flexible call blocking than either Comcast or Ooma Premier offer.
#96971 by lbmofo
Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:53 pm
Edit: Ooma implemented Wildcard Blacklist on 4/1/13: viewtopic.php?t=15436#p108297

raylo32 wrote:WHY ON EARTH doesn't Ooma build this functionality into the web based call blocker?

I'd like to see some of the improvements you guys are talking about as well. Purely guessing, I think this maybe more complex than it appears (hopefully not) such as processing bandwidth at Ooma central (my previous comment on the bandwidth issue below; also the reason why Comcast only allows 12 numbers maybe?). Perhaps, if in the plans, Ooma may decide to push it out to the edge (logic/processing reside on the device) vs current central server cloud method. If that's the case, Hub (lesser hardware than Telo -> Linux, Dual Core, 1GB Flash, 256MB RAM; Asterisk vs Freeswitch may also be a problem) may be a hurdle (could make the enhanced blacklist available only to Telo users if pushed to edge?) It'll be interesting to see in any case.

lbmofo wrote:
joe123 wrote:Let's all stay in reality that Ooma is pretty much ignoring this request.

I personally believe that it's because of the fear of lawsuits from the commercial sector.

It is NOT a technical issue as it is easy to block numbers as Ooma is already doing in very VERY limited context.

Not sure "ignore" is the right word here but no mods have mentioned this being on the roadmap (that I know of).
Here is a list of what's mentioned: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13154&start=10#p91652
I believe if this is far down the list, if on the list at all, it probably is due to feasibility vs what you mentioned. Just thinking about it on the surface....current implementation is storing numbers in blacklists and bumping that up against calls coming in. Now, we are talking about storing strings (hundreds of these for number as well as the name field per user) to compare with attributes of incoming calls...pretty significant difference if you ask me not to mention the performance implications.
Last edited by lbmofo on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
#97018 by raylo32
Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:10 am
Thanks for the info, snowbank. The Digitone 10 sounds like a good device. I may wait for the new model that has the added features including exchange level blocking.

As for Ooma... I have no idea how complex or costly it would be for them to add these features. But I WILL say they are going to lose Premier customers (myself included) if they don't do something soon. Call blocking is pretty much the only reason I have the Premier service and it just isn't worth it with its current limitations. I'll likely just get a Digitone and revert to the Ooma Basic service.
#97037 by raylo32
Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:18 am
See below for questions I asked Digitone and their answers. They say that the 2010 model DCB10 can block at the exchange level as in (706)805-xxxx. At least that's what I think they are saying. Any thoughts Snowbank? Do you have the 2010 model?

Q:" Can the wild card feature be used to block an area code and exchange as in (706)805-xxxx? Or can you only block entire area codes?"
A: Yes both area codes and exchanges can be wildcarded on the 2010 DCB10 model we sell.

Q:" Can area codes such as 706 be blocked or only the ones listed on your web page (800, 855, 866, 877, 888)?"
A: You can block any are code and any number from anywhere.
#97173 by snowbank
Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:40 am
raylo32 -
I have the DCB10. I stand by my original description of the call blocking capabilities of that unit. Evidently we received different responses to our inquiries to Digitone. I include my my original query to Digitone and their response below. The cell phone number I listed in my inquiry example to Digitone is not my actual cell number. Let's just say that I tested my own cell number which is similar to the one given in the example in the same way and got the same results.

The wildcarding for the 2011 model you have only functions for country and area codes and not exchanges and trunks which are the last 7 digits on a number. However, our upcoming 2012 model will have this depth of wildcarding reinstalled since our 2010 model.

Digitone Communications
USA 1-877-610-5693
"The Standard in Call Blocking"

----- Original Message -----
From: "x" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 10:21 AM
Subject: wildcard blocking at exchange / phone bank level?

> Hi -
> Digitone Call Blocker 10 works great for wild card blocking at the area
> code level and I assumed wild cards would also work at a more detailed
> level, say just the last 2 or 4 digits of a number but it does not
> appear to. For example the command 4061292436##* and 40612924####* let
> my cell phone at 612-924-3604 ring on through but 40612#######* will
> block it. Can you verify this operation? If that is in fact the way it
> works, then that would be a feature to add in the future - I get a lot
> of calls from a phone bank at my alma mater asking for donations - I
> would like to block them but I don't want to block everyone else that
> lives in the same city. Thanks!
> x

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