Sometimes we forget that not every phone is a mobile phone. In the US, 37% of households still have a landline phone. You know, the phones that have the old-fashioned copper lines connected to them. That adds up to something like 40 to 50 million phone numbers, and a lot of people with active landline phone numbers who are getting driven crazy with robocalls.
That’s because there have been few good solutions for those with landline phones to help avoid annoying robocalls. While some people just give up and cancel their landlines and rely on a cell phone, that’s not always possible for people with lousy cell phone coverage, who like crystal clear audio, who want very reliable 911 service, or who have unreliable power in their area.
So what should landline users do?
Unlike cell phone users, landline users can’t easily download the YouMail app to protect themselves Further, many people with landline phones have them for the reliability of their phones and/or to help them with emergencies, which means it’s not always an option to just turn off the ringer and let the calls roll to a voicemail service or an answering machine to deal with them later.
The main approach to addressing landline phones has been special purpose caller ID devices that can be easily inserted between the phone line in the wall and the phone. The challenge is that these devices tend to be somewhat expensive, and most people now expect caller ID to be available in their portable handset, which often moves around the home.
However, there’s now an interesting solution for landline users. Panasonic has a landline phone, easily available at Costco, that has automatic robocall blocking built in. That is, this phone has the “worst of the worst” built right into it for automatic blocking – the worst behaving numbers in the US are completely unable to ring your phone. You don’t have to do anything. Just plug it in and the phone does the rest.
And guess where they get their list of numbers to block? That’s right – from YouMail! We’re super excited that YouMail is now helping protect a ton of landline users, on top of the millions who are using YouMail on their mobile phones.
It’s not a panacea. But if you’ve got a landline it’s a very reasonable way to have your phone ring a lot less.