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Nuisance Calls?

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Nuisance Calls?
« on: April 03, 2018, 05:33:48 am »
Hello everyone  :D  - this is my first post here, and I'm hoping you can help!

I've got two echo devices - an echo in my kitchen and a dot in my bedroom.  I use the drop-in feature to communicate between the two fairly regularly, but never use the calling feature to call contacts.  In fact there's only one contact in my list (my sister) - we don't make calls, but we do occasionally send messages between our devices.  The other skill I use regularly is Lifebot, particularly its "call my phone" feature to find my phone when the kids have hidden it!!  ;)

And so to the problem.  For the last couple of days I *think* I've been receiving nuisance calls to the dot in my bedroom.  (I say "think" - the green ring pulses, and the echo makes a chiming noise.  But there's no alert on my phone, or record of the call in the app history.  The device doesn't announce the identity of the caller and - as far as I know - there's no ability to see any caller history to try to understand who is calling.  The only think I can say with certainty is that it isn't my sister - she is currently on holiday.)

The calls are often in the early hours of the morning, which is obviously unpleasant on a number of levels.  I haven't answered the calls - the first couple of times it happened I had no idea what the chime meant! I assumed the kids had set an alarm! Now I know, I'm nervous about answering to an unknown caller.  I don't tend to answer the house phone if a number is withheld and - particularly when it has happened in the middle of the night, in my bed - I've felt pretty intimidated.  (Seems silly in the light of day, I know, but that's how I feel   :-\ )

Now from what I've seen online, there's basically nothing I can do about this - I know Amazon released a blocking feature last May, but as I don't have contact details for the caller, I can't block them.  In fact, as I understand it, my only options are to completely de-activate calling and messaging, and thereby 'miss out' on all the functionality of this feature.  Alternatively, I can put 'do not disturb' on, but I assume this will prevent me from 'dropping in' between my two devices? 

Is that right, or am I missing something?

I'm after a solution that allows me to stop having unwanted calls, but still allows me to do three things: (1) drop in between my devices, (2) use the Lifebot App to 'find my phone' and (3) message my sister. 

Is that possible?  I could live without the third thing if needed, but 1 and 2 are killers for me - without these I would question why I have the devices tbh.

Any help or advice gratefully received. 

PS - I know I should probably 'man up' and take the damn call.  I know it's probably nothing to worry about.  But I would prefer to avoid that, if possible. 

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 05:37:37 am »
One other thing that may or may not be relevant - I'm in the UK. 

Offline AlanH

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Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 06:46:56 am »
Have you tried setting a schedule for 'Do Not Disturb' during the night/early morning hours?
It might prevent the nuisance calls disturbing your sleep, but not of course during the day.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 06:57:09 am by AlanH »

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 08:36:52 am »
They may be notifications rather than calls. Try saying "Alexa, what are my notifications" to see if this is the case. To disable these you can go to Settings > Notifications in the Alexa app.
This will show all the skills you have enabled which support notifications. Go into each of of those and disable notifications if they are enabled.
You may want to leave the Amazon Reminders one enabled as this one simply controls whether you get a notification in your phone for your reminders.

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 09:04:29 am »
Thank you both for your replies. 
I've got no notifications, so it still looks like it is a call  :-\
I could schedule DND nightly.  But this won't stop daytime calls which - while less 'scary', are still a pain I'd rather avoid. They also pose another type of concern - I've got young kids who love interacting with Alexa - but I don't want to run the risk that THEY might answer unwanted calls.  I keep the house phone out of their reach, but can't stop them accessing the echo if it rings and I'm in the bathroom or something.
It's absolutely mind boggling to me that you can block contacts (ie people you know), but not complete strangers, or nuisance callers.   

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2018, 09:17:06 am »
I don't know if this is helpful or not but last week I had a call from myself, somehow activated by something on a music programme despite the extraordinary coincidences required of getting the wake word AND my name in this random utterance. It was also despite my not having enabled Calling and Messaging. Amazon insisted I had but since it requires more than a random click to do that and I was actively alert to not enabling it, I doubt this very much. In a week when laughing and some other apparent breach took place, I suggested this might be another and that they should look into it. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a similar issue so, if you haven't contacted them, I'd suggest you do so. Ask them what it is, how it's happening, and how you can stop it without losing the other facilities you value. I'm also in the UK, which may or may not be relevant :)

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 09:59:17 am »
I don't know if this is helpful or not ...

Now this IS interesting, and isn't something I'd considered.  Thinking back, every time it has happened, the radio has been on.  I tend to sleep with Radio 4 chattering away in the background.   So there is  a possibility that something on the radio said what sounded like 'Alexa, call [me]'....    :o :o :o 

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 10:03:31 am »
Actually, scrap that. 
Nothing in the history that suggests Alexa heard and responded to a command from my end. 
Back to square one ... :(

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2018, 11:38:04 am »
There's nothing in mine either, just the note attached to the device that activated saying "call ***". No recording, no nothing. But mine was supposedly an outgoing call, albeit from me TO me, while yours was incoming so probably there'd be nothing in the history. Which brings us back to square one as you say - it didn't originate with you.

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 10:56:11 am »
I don't know if this is helpful or not ...

Now this IS interesting, and isn't something I'd considered. 

Same here! I have yet to experience this, but it definitely sounds really annoying. My incoming calls all go to my cell phone or landline. None of them cause Alexa to ring and offer me the opportunity to answer them. In fact, even though this should have been an obvious feature and convenience of Alexa, it actually never even occurred to me to set up Alexa so I could receive incoming calls with it.

I do make a lot of outgoing calls with Alexa, but I have yet to receive one. When someone calls my cell it only goes to my cell.

Reading this thread, I am not sure I want to try and activate this feature, though. My Dot is in the living room, but I can still communicate with and hear it from the bedroom. I think that AlanH suggested the best solution, which simply requires a user to put Alexa into Do Not Disturb mode when going to bed. I may investigate adding this skill to Alexa. If nothing else it has a certain cool factor.

Edit: Actually, I just remembered something from when I first set my Dot up. I don't think Alexa can receive calls unless the caller on the other end is using Alexa, too. Is this correct? I think I remember that Alexa can only answer "Alexa to Alexa" calls? I just did a Google search, and it seems to confirm this.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 11:03:32 am by ChiroVette »

Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2019, 02:11:05 pm »
Hi I'm in the UK and we've been getting calls just to one of our amazon devices but the annoying thing is the times they are either late or early hour of the morning and other than unplugging them I don't know what to do

Offline jwlv

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Re: Nuisance Calls?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2019, 08:20:23 pm »
You can set up a "do not disturb" time on your Echo. It's in the app.