Create White and Black Lists for Your Virtual Phone Number
When calls are forwarded to your global virtual numbers, costs accrue by the minute with rates varying by country. What happens if someone calls your virtual number from an expensive country? What about calls from other countries that are wrong numbers? Unfortunately, unwanted calls can and do occur no matter what type of call forwarding plan you have. Fortunately, you can use white and black lists to allow and block access. Here’s a quick look.
Using White Lists enable Selective Call Blocking
White lists are lists of phone numbers or area codes that you want to reach your virtual number at all times. For example, if you establish a global virtual number in Italy so that your Italian grandmother can dial a local number and reach you no matter where in the world you are, you could place your grandmother’s Italian phone number in your white list and set up your account to block all other calls. This prevents you from being charged for misdialed calls made to your global virtual number yet it allows your grandmother to reach you.
If you operate a local business and serve customers within just a few area codes, you could also use white lists to allow calls from within your designated area codes. This ensures that local callers can reach you while blocking access from callers that you cannot help. For example, if you operate a window washing service in Portland, Oregon, your website could attract potential window washing clients from Portland, Maine. If you receive an excessive amount of phone calls from Portland, Maine, or if you want to avoid that scenario altogether, use a white list to allow phone calls only from the area codes in which you do business.
Using Black Lists with Virtual Numbers
Black lists are the opposite of white lists, though they can be used to accomplish similar effects. Instead of creating lists that allow specific phone numbers or area codes to ring through to your global virtual numbers, you can use black lists to specifically block certain phone numbers or area codes. For example, if your business is constantly being contacted by a disreputable salesperson who won’t take no for an answer or take your number off the list, you could use the black list to block that salesperson’s known phone numbers. You could also escalate your complaint, but blacklisting calls may be faster and more effective.
Similarly, you could block calls from specific area codes. For example, if you have a toll free call forwarding number for the United States, but only serve customers in the continental United States, you could block calls from callers located in Hawaii and Alaska by blacklisting those area codes. You may also want to blacklist area codes such as 876 (Jamaica) that are linked to scams.
Whether to use white lists are black lists or a combination of the two is a personal decision based on how you use your global virtual numbers. It may be easier to whitelist the few area codes or callers that you want to hear from than it is to blacklist all the ones you don’t want to go through. On the other hand, if you only have a few undesirables, then it might be easier to blacklist those and let all other calls go through.