We bought a BT phone (BT8500) which comes with “Advanced Call Blocker” because at the time TalkTalk our landline provider didn’t offer this as an option, although they do now.
It is good because it is quite flexible in that you don’t have to choose between accepting or rejecting a whole “class of call”.
So for example we can still get calls from genuine “withheld numbers” such as the NHS but the dodgy ones fall at the first hurdle.
How it works is that calls from numbers saved in your Phone Book come through.
As do calls that you have added to a separate “accept” list which is for callers where you don’t know the actual number they are calling from as it is withheld but you want to always accept the call or you just don’t want them in your phone book.
And any calls on your “block” list are ended automatically.
But if you get a call from an unknown number which isn’t on any of your lists then they are asked to announce themselves and if they do this your phone rings alerting you to the call. You pick up the handset and you then hear what the caller has said.
So if you want to talk to them you accept the call and you can chose “once only” or “always” (which it then adds to your accept list).
However if you don’t you can either Block them (which adds it to your “blocked” list or you can send it to the answer machine.
So as most unwanted callers don’t bother announcing themselves - and of course the automatic diallers can’t - then the phone very rarely rings.
But even if it does you don’t have to actually engage with them.
Since we have had it it has been a godsend as some days we have had 10 calls rejected - you can see them on your missed call list - without the phone ringing once.