Android has got to be a telemarketer’s worst nightmare


The country I live in, Norway, has a lot of laws regarding advertisement and telemarketing. Unfortunately, as laws tend to be, they're not entirely idiot proof. There's the odd loop hole to allow someone to contact you by phone even though you have registered to not be available for such calls, and then of course there are more than a few firms who simply ignore the law completely. 

For the last few years, there hasn't been much I could do about it when some random company has started calling me several times a week. I had an iPhone, and there isn't much you can do on iOS to help rid you of annoying telemarketers. Now however, I have an Android phone, and after just a few minutes of looking around for various apps, telemarketers will never be a problem again. 

The exact apps I use are for Norway only and won't help others any, but basically I use one app for automatically looking up known but legit (belonging to people) phone numbers as the calls come in, and another one for looking up numbers that are blocked in the national databases but have been put in a database of telemarketers by a third party. When a call comes in, these apps will check online, and tell me who's bugging me. That way I know if I should pick up or not. 

The anti-telemarketer app also has auto-reject built in, but so far I haven't activated that as I'd rather make the decision to block someone myself than have an app block thousands of numbers. What I have done however is add the latest idiotic company that called me to my Galaxy S II's built in blacklist, auto-rejecting every call coming from them. I see some rejected calls in my log as we speak, as the company apparently tried to call me twice yesterday. I didn't even know they had until I checked the logs. 

You might ask why I don't just pick up the phone and politely ask them never to call me again. They're people after all, right? This particular company has a lot of complaints online from people who have been sent products despite having told the representatives "no". Between the hassle of sending something back and the fact that most people don't record incoming calls, fighting them can be annoying and hard – unless of course your phone logs prove that you never picked up the phone to begin with.

I also occasionally get calls from companies (normally magazines) that I used to be a customer (subscriber) with, where they're trying to get me back. This is technically a legal way of getting around me being on the "no thank you"-list that all telemarketers are bound by law to check, but I told them explicitly "take me off your lists" years ago without any result. That makes it illegal for them to call.  

There probably is the odd telemarketer out there that has something I want, or perhaps just some survey being conducted that I could easily have contributed to without problem. For the most part though, telemarketers seem to be evil people who have no respect for privacy, the law, or anything else – and that ends up ruining it for everyone. The way my phone is set up right now, the only thing it doesn't do is insult them before hanging up. If someone knows an app to do that, let me know. In the mean time, I wish that company that has been trying to contact me repeatedly to sell me lottery tickets the best of luck trying to get in contact with someone whose phone automatically rejects all calls from them, and checks all new incoming numbers against multiple databases. Perhaps you should try someone with an iPhone instead?

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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7 thoughts on “Android has got to be a telemarketer’s worst nightmare

  • Avatar of Sebastian

    Hvilke apper bruker du? :) Har en kompis som får telefoner hele tiden XD selv har jeg iPhone, så det er ikke mye jeg får gjort :P

  • I use AntiTelefonTerror for the telemarketer look-up. that one is free. 1881’s app is 39 NOK/month and looks up normal, non-telemarketing numbers. I use my galaxy S II’s built in feature for blacklisting numbers, I don’t think that feature is standard android, but there should be plenty of apps to do it if AntiTelefonTerror’s system doesn’t do it for you :)

  • I said I didn’t want any telemarketing at Brønnøysundregisteret half a decade ago, and since then I’ve gotten 2-3 calls from telemarketers, I think. All of which have apologised for calling me when I pointed that out. So I’m really quite confused as to why it seems to be such a problem for you.

    Do you have an enmannsforetak? Because I don’t think you can reserve yourself against them if that’s the case.

  • As I said in the post, I’m registered too. Have been for, oh, has to be at least 7-8 years now. But as I wrote, that doesn’t stop them, as there are loop holes. Charitable organizations are apparently exempt, allowing them to call and bug you to buy lottery scratchers as much as they want. That’s what this last idiotic caller was. The one before that simply ignored the list completely. There’s also the “you were a customer with us 10 years ago and by doing so agreed to a fine print contract saying we could contact you” where they don’t give a rat’s ass if you revoke that privilege, and finally the “is this (person who owned my phone number a decade ago and still owns it in their registers even though absolutely no other register lists that)”.

    And as I said, I don’t even want to answer, as some of the companies I’ve been contacted by lately have an online reputation for sending you stuff without your permission.

    It’s not like I get calls every hour, and except for these times when certain companies call again and again it’s fairly quiet. However many of them are calling me illegally, others are just annoying, so a few apps to keep them is well worth it.

  • As a matter of fact, apple iphone is still the most popular in terms of sales, it is very obvious in the announcement that apple manage to surpass the profit vs the projected one. And one of the contributor of that success is from the iphone line.

  • First of all, telemarketers are evil people? If you want to fight telemarketering be an intelligent person and fight the people who employ them, you shouldn’t be insulting or trying to hurt the people who have to sit in a tiny cubicle for 8 -10 hours a day making minimum wage getting screamed at insulted an called the worst things you can imagin all day to feed their children, having become wage slaves for the people who employ them. You think telemarketers are using poor innocent people to get rich? That’s a joke! The only people getting rich is the owner of the company!!!! So next time you picture that person in the other end of the phone as a greedy evil manipulating demon trying to exploit you, remember that it’s actually an unwed mother or a broke kid trying to pay for college with no other jobs available in the area because our economy is shit. So fight the fat cats not the starving strays trying to keep the lights and heat on and food in they’re mouths. Jerk.


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