In most cases, you can. However, it seems there is a small minority of customers who cannot get BT Call Protect, because even with a modern fibre line they’re stuck on an outdated piece of technology – for the time being, at least.
BT Call Protect is a pretty useful service that keeps the ‘have you been in a car accident?’ and ‘I’m calling from Microsoft’ calls at bay. It does so by applying a banned list of nuisance callers and lets you add any miscreants who slip through the net to the block list yourself. You can also choose to send certain types of number – such as international calls or those where the number is withheld – straight to voicemail.
However, it was brought to my attention by my former Sunday Times colleague and now bestselling author, David Hewson, that not all BT customers can get this handy service if they’re on a full fibre broadband connection (ie. no longer have a copper telephone wire running to the house).
I checked with the BT press department and it’s true – there is a “small number” of BT customers who can’t get BT Call Protect, because they’re on an older fibre product called Fibre Voice Access (FVA) that isn’t compatible with Call Protect. “We are working to migrate all existing FVA customers to Digital Voice over the next year,” the BT spokesperson told me.
Those customers aren’t left to fend off the nuisance callers by themselves, BT insists. FVA customers can still avail themselves of BT Halo Nuisance Call Blocker – which screens calls before the phone rings, only allowing those numbers you’ve previously added to your phone book to connect first time.
FVA customers can also apply Anonymous Call Reject, which stops calls from people who’ve withheld their number – although that’s likely to snare a number of legitimate calls too. Finally, FVA is also compatible with Caller Display, allowing those with a compatible handset to see the caller’s number before deciding to answer.
Missing out on BT Call Protect is clearly a pain for some customers, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer before the problem is fixed.