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Debunking myths: call reputation, spam labels, and branded caller ID

As we navigate through the modern landscape of communication, numerous myths have popped up surrounding call reputation, spam labels, and branded caller IDs. In this post, we aim to dispel some of these misconceptions and to empower businesses and individuals alike to understand the dynamics behind the phone interactions we engage in every day.

Myth #1: A number will always carry a spam label until it has “cooled off”

This widespread belief is far from the truth. Contrary to a common assumption, spam labels, once they show up on an outbound call, aren't fixed and immutable. In fact, they are quite dynamic and depend on a multitude of factors that are part of a complex algorithm.

These factors can include the call history associated with a particular number, the density of calls being made from that number, the time of day when calls are made, and how users respond to these calls. As a company offering branded caller ID services, Hiya provides visibility into these data points to our customers within our console. A number that is flagged as spam on one call might not necessarily be labeled as spam for the next.

Myth #2: Spam mitigation services will automatically improve the reputation of numbers flagged as spam

At first glance, it might appear spam mitigation services offer a handy solution. However, when we delved into the mechanics of how these 'mitigation' services work, we found that their primary strategy revolves around 're-registering' numbers.

This is where the myth begins to unravel. The effectiveness of re-registering a number is overstated. After the initial registration, subsequent re-registrations have little to no impact on a number's reputation. Moreover, the Free Caller Registry offers this as a complimentary service.

Many of these 'spam mitigation' services seem to operate on a smoke-and-mirrors basis, leveraging inaccurate data and failing to deliver on the promises they make to their clients.

Myth #3: Clearing a number's spam label will resolve call performance issues

Again, this is a misconception that stems from a simplistic understanding of call reputation dynamics. Clearing a spam label doesn't automatically catapult a number into the 'trusted' category. Instead, it merely moves it into the 'unidentified' status.

Interestingly, according to Hiya’s State of the Call 2023, 72-87% of call recipients perceive 'unidentified' calls as potential spam, thereby choosing not to pick up. This means that simply clearing spam labels does little to improve call performance, as the perception of spam isn't just about labels, but also about the reputation and identification of the caller.

In conclusion, understanding the dynamics of call reputation, spam labels, and branded caller ID requires us to look beyond the common myths. It's about delving into the details, making sense of the data, and adapting strategies accordingly. As we bust these myths, we move closer to improving our communication strategies and ensuring that our calls reach their intended recipients without the shadow of unwanted labels.


Author Alex Salkin