Any time Congress makes it illegal to robocall you, they exempt political calls. That makes it hard to stop unwanted political calls and it pretty much means your phone is going to ring off the hook in the runup to the election. But you can still get peace regardless. Here’s how to stop phone calls from political parties if you don’t want them.
Most robocall services or apps block political robocalls along with all the others. Many of them work with landlines and cell phones. If you have a landline phone that doesn’t work with robocall services, you can still use a device to block the calls.
Why block political robocalls?
Your phone exists for your convenience. It doesn’t exist for politicians to narrowcast propaganda at you. They won’t make it illegal for them to call you, but they can’t make it illegal for you to block the calls. During election years, your evenings will be much more peaceful, with fewer interruptions, if you block political calls.
And the measures you take to block the political calls will also block scam phone calls, which protects you from fraud.
During the runup to the 2018 election, I was dealing with a number of family emergencies. I didn’t have time for political phone calls interrupting me. And the last thing I needed was the stress. I started blocking those types of calls in the late summer. And I got zero political calls in October and November. Yes, in October 2018, at the peak of perhaps the most intense election cycle in my lifetime, I got zero political phone calls. And without taking the phone off the hook even once.
Sound good? It should. Here’s how I did it.
Stop phone calls from political parties on a cell phone
The cheapest way to stop phone calls from political parties on your cell phone is to load an app called Hiya. Hiya works on both Android and Apple phones. Even Hiya’s free plan blocks enough calls that I can simply manually block the few that get through.
I literally have two numbers blocked for political reasons. I manually block more numbers than that to stop unsolicited offers to buy my house. That’s a pretty good track record, especially considering how intense the 2018 political season was. I was getting multiple calls per night, and Hiya put an end to it.
If Hiya isn’t enough, you can switch to its paid plan, or complement it with Nomorobo. Nomorobo is a paid service on cell phones. Both Hiya and Nomorobo block more than 90% of calls, but not necessarily the same 90 percent. In a best case scenario, the combination of the two would block 99% of unwanted calls. You won’t get that, but you’ll probably block half the unwanted calls that get through by having both services.
Stop phone calls from political parties on a VOIP phone
If you have high speed Internet service and have phone service through the same provider, there’s a decent chance they use VOIP. If they do, you can sign up for Nomorobo, free of charge. Nomorobo is free on VOIP phones; they charge businesses and cell phone customers. If you have VOIP, there’s no reason not to use it.
Nomorobo doesn’t block all political calls but it blocks a good percentage of them. On my VOIP line, I complemented it with a blocking device, the CPR V5000. The V5000 will block broad categories of calls, provides a big red button to push to hang up on a call and block it from now on, and allows you to block entire area codes. For example, if my phone rings and it’s the 417 area code, it’s a political call. Tons of political calls originate from there. Between Nomorobo, what the V5000 can do on its own, and blocking one area code, I don’t get political calls.
The V5000 is fairly expensive, but you can get a used model for around $40 and a refurbished one for around $55. I bought a refurbished one and it’s worked fine for me. Looking back, it was a small price to pay to preserve my sanity.
Stop phone calls from political parties on a landline
If you have an old school landline on a pair of copper wires, your options are more limited. Your best bet is to get a CPR V5000. I don’t think the V5000 blocks as much as the services do, but it’s still effective and it’s convenient. You get the big red button, and chances are most of the political calls you get come from one or two area codes. Block those area codes, and you’ll regain your sanity.
Like I said above, the V5000 is fairly expensive, but you can get a used model for around $40 and a refurbished one for around $55. I bought a refurbished one and it’s worked fine for me. If you’re on a fixed income, consider picking up a refurbished one.
There are other call blocking devices out there on the market, including some that are cheaper, but they are tricky to set up and tend to fail after a year. The V5000 comes with a good instruction manual and good technical support, so if you run into any problems setting it up, they’ll help you.