Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Washington Post Features

October 22, 2012

What if you could permanently block telemarketers and debt collectors?

PrivacyStar, a new smartphone app, lets you block calls and report violations to the feds

I swear, sometimes bill collectors can be like the Mafia when it comes to tracking you down and making threats, and when you receive call after call, you wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up next to a bleeding horse head one morning.

Telemarketing calls can be even more annoying, because with bill collectors you probably suspect you’ll get a call at some point, but sales calls always seem to fall out of the clear blue sky and always seem to find you when you’re most relaxed, eating a meal, or spending time with family.

But a new smartphone app called PrivacyStar wants to help you in your battle against the invasive phone call, and with its varied and interesting list of features, the company looks to properly arm users against calls that bother us.

We spoke to the CEO of PrivacyStar, Jeff Stalnaker, to get an idea of just how the app will assist consumers in blocking debt collectors, telemarketers and the ever-growing problem of robocalls.

PrivacyStar also blocks text messages and has other unique features too.

“The most liked and used service is the ability to just easily block a phone number from calling you again,” said Stalnaker in an interview with ConsumerAffairs. “We also offer blocking text messages, we added that later at the request of our user base.”

File a complaint

Probably one of the coolest and most useful things about PrivacyStar, says Stalnaker, is the feature that allows users to immediately file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their smartphone.

Many times after an unwanted call is received, we get upset for a few moments; complain how annoying it is, then go back to what we were doing. The ability to send an immediate complaint could potentially put more pressure on the telemarketer or debt collector, Stalnaker explains.

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