Special Callers

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The specification for caller id (the telephone system implementation, not this program) mentions two special types of calls.  These are:

1) When the caller's information is not available to the local phone company's central office

2) When the caller has invoked the privacy capability


In these cases, Ascendis Caller ID reports a phone number and name of

1) "Out of Area"

2) "Blocked"


When installed, Ascendis Caller ID includes these callers in the Contact list.  The action for both of these contacts is to speak something appropriate.


"Out of Area" Calls


Many phone calls currently come through with a caller name of "Out of Area" and a phone number.  This may mean that the person in control of the originating switch has configured it to pass "Out of Area" as the name, or that the name is not available to the local phone company's central office but the phone number is.  These calls are often seen from callers using long distance calling cards.  It's important to understand that these "Out of Area" callers are different from the "Out of Area" contact that appears in the Contact list by default.  Let's refer to calls where the name is "Out of Area" but a phone number is specified as pseudo out-of-area calls.  It's easy to recognize pseudo out-of-area because the phone number is provided.  True out-of-area calls appear in Ascendis Caller ID with a phone number of "Out of Area".  This distinction is important because the action for the true out-of-area contact will not be applied to pseudo out-of-area callers.


It's also helpful to know that pseudo out-of-area callers may have a different phone number each time they call.  This makes it hard or, in some cases, impossible to configure Ascendis Caller ID to reliably recognize these callers.  This is almost certainly the case if you have two people calling you who use the same long distance calling card.  In this case there's nothing you can do to distinguish between the callers unless you get one of them to switch calling cards.  (Maybe you can offer a unique calling card as a gift.)



"Blocked" Calls


Ascendis Caller ID indicates private or anonymous calls as "Blocked".  This means the caller has entered the appropriate privacy code on their phone before calling you.  Most people with caller id service from the phone company automatically receive "Anonymous Call Rejection" (ACR) service which prevents anonymous callers from ringing the phone in the first place.  If available (and free), this is almost certainly a better option than using Ascendis Caller ID to hang up on these callers, because you don't have to hear the phone ring.