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Mediation where mediation isn’t required

Before I woke up this morning, I missed a phone call. I put my phone on silent overnight, so it didn’t ring. I called the person back just before and the response was silence then the person ended the call.

This makes it pretty clear to me that this was a prank call. Someone trying to call my phone and wake me up or something stupid. I think I recognised the voice too and, if it’s who I think it is, it’s someone who clearly hasn’t grown up from high school.

My response was to call up 2degrees and request that they block the phone number. Pretty simple, right? I want a phone number to not be able to contact me, they shouldn’t be able to contact me. Well, it’s really not that simple.

See, 2degrees doesn’t allow you to just block a phone number. They have to see that there is four instances of unwanted contact. How do they define unwanted contact? An instance of contact where there is no response.

Surely, if I want to block a number, that’s my prerogative. If I don’t want to hear from someone, I should be able to block the number if I want to. It’s like they’re looking to mediate the situation. Mediation is not what’s required. If I want to block a number on my account, I should be able to.

Looking into other mobile companies, it looks like you can block text and MMS messages on Vodafone using Vodafone Blacklist. As far as I can see, this does not block calls though. Telecom and TelstaClear have the same process as 2degrees – once you have four instances of unwanted contact, they can look at blocking the number.

At least Vodafone allows you to partially block a number. 2degrees, Telecom and TelstraClear really think about the stupidity of this.

UPDATE: I’ve had responses from 2degrees and TelstraClear on this.

TelstraClear

Hi Daniel. We take nuisance calls seriously and we have a process to assist our customers who are receiving these which aims to ensure that the calls stop. ^HL

2degrees:

Requesting 4 examples of nuisance calls is industry standard – bit.ly/hmxi8a. We work with the other providers to warn the caller/texter that they can be disconnected if it persists. IMEI blocking is another step that’s on radar. ^POB

While I stand by the fact I should be able to block numbers if I want to, and it really should be without question, I respect that 2degrees and TelstraClear have responded to this. Good work! Though, in response to 2degrees, industry standard doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Until 2degrees entered into the market, it was “industry standard” to charge over-the-top for mobile services. Now, thanks to 2degrees, it’s not as bad any more. That “industry standard” was wrong, and so is this one.

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