SOURCE: WhitePages

WhitePages

April 16, 2014 08:00 ET

From Stalkers to Spam, WhitePages Study Breaks Down Reasons Americans Block Calls

Telemarketers Number One Reason People Block Calls, Finds National Study

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2014) - According to the new Consumer Call Blocking study released today by WhitePages, the leading provider of contact information for people and businesses in the U.S., and conducted online by Harris Poll, smartphone owners who use call blocking apps or features have many people they block calls and texts to their devices from, whether it's an unknown number (60%), such as a scammer or spammer, an ex (20%) or even a friend (15%) on the other end of the line. Among those adults who have used a call blocking feature or app, nearly two in three (65%) say one of their main reasons for blocking calls is that they don't like talking to telemarketers.

The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of WhitePages in December 2013 among 1,001 U.S. smartphone users, of whom one in five (22%) have used a call blocking app or feature. Call blocking apps allow users to control the incoming calls and texts they receive on their mobile phone, by sending future calls from specific numbers or general area codes straight to voicemail or simply disconnecting the call.

"As mobile phones have overtaken landlines, Americans have had to deal with a lot of unwanted calls going to their cell phone," said Lori Roth, Director of Mobile Products, WhitePages. "Whether it's telemarketers or spam, one of the recent phone scams like One Ring, or simply unwanted calls from people you know, these calls can feel particularly invasive on mobile and we're seeing the need for call blocking, from basic to extreme, continue to steadily increase."

Findings from the Consumer Call Blocking study include:

Not Buying What You're Selling
Sadly, putting yourself on the "do-not-call" list doesn't always work. Unknown calls or telemarketers (both 60%) are the top people those who use call blocking apps or features on their smartphone have blocked calls from, with reasons why they block including:

  • Because they don't like talking to telemarketers (65%)
  • Due to spam (44%)
  • To avoid prank calls (26%)
  • Because they're receiving calls for the old owner of their current number (21%)
  • To avoid changing their phone number (20%)

Avoiding the Ex
While it may not be possible to dodge a former flame at all costs, one in five adults (20%) say they have blocked calls from an ex. Additionally, though it may not be from a past romantic interest, 22% of adults say they have blocked calls because they are being stalked. In addition:

  • Nearly one in ten have done so to avoid an awkward conversation with a friend or avoid discussing a family matter (8% each)

No Time to Talk Now!
There are certain conversations in life you can't hide from forever...but that's doesn't mean people don't try. Among those who use call blocking apps or features on their smartphone...

  • 60% have blocked calls from an unknown number(s)
  • 17% said they have blocked calls from a debt collector
  • 15% have used the feature or app to block a friend
  • 14% have blocked calls simply because they didn't have time to talk

Those with children under 18 in the household were more likely than those without to have used a call blocking app or feature on their smartphone (30% vs., 18%). Similarly, younger adults, age 18-34 (28%), were more likely to have used a call blocking app or feature on their smartphone than those aged 55+ (14%).

For more information on avoiding unwanted or potential scam calls, visit: http://blog.whitepages.com/2014/04/14/if-they-wont-stop-calling-block-em/

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of WhitePages.com from December 6-10, 2013 among 1,001 smartphone owning adults ages 18 and older. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jenny Davis at jenny@dottedlinecomm.com or 925-935-2558.

About WhitePages
WhitePages is the leading provider of contact information for people and businesses in the U.S. With over 50 million unique monthly users and powering over 2 billion searches per year across sites that include WhitePages.com and 411.com, WhitePages offers consumers one-click access to more than 200 million adults and also provides them with the ability to edit and control their own listings. The company's suite of mobile products includes a top-50 mobile website and popular Android and iPhone apps with over 17 million active monthly mobile users.