Back in the day, savvy email server admins use to respond to email spammers with a nouser command. That would then get bounced back to the email spammer and some spammers would drop that email off the list. It was basically detecting spam emails and faking that your real email account was not valid.

I just received a call from someone I rather not talk to. It happens occasionally, be it telemarketers or annoying people. It occurred to me, why don't I do the same for those people. I.e. pretend that my phone is no longer active.

So I found a sound bite that says:

We're sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. if you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again.

Here is the sound byte:

Now, if you use a PBX like service, including something like Google Voice, you can set this up to work easily. I use it with Fonality, my Astersik based PBX (is it an open source PBX system) to set it up. But I figured more of you have Google Voice (aka Grand Central), so here is how to do it on Google Voice.

Stopping Annoying Calls with Google Voice:

  1. Go to Google Voice
  2. Add a new "group" to your contacts named "Annoying People"
  3. Add a new contact(s) and assign that contact to the "Annoying People" group
  4. Then go to Settings >> Groups and "edit" the "Annoying People" group.
  5. Where it reads "When people in this group go to voicemail" add a new voicemail greeting by clicking on "Add."
  6. It will ask you to dial a phone number, enter your phone number and Google will call you.
  7. Answer the phone and play this voice byte (the one above) in the speaker of the phone
  8. Save the voice prompt.

Here is a screen shot of the group edit page:

Stopping Annoying Calls with Google Voice

Here is a video of me dialing a Google Voice number I own but do not use. I added myself as an "annoying people" contact, to demonstrate how this actually works.

Now, it appears that Google will eventually allow you to port your main number to Google Voice. Plus, Google will soon open Google Voice to everyone to use. When that happens, I assume there will be greater adoption of Google Voice. This may come in handy for me in the future or possibly yourself.