Can YouMail Really Put an End to Robocalls?

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Robocall review: Phone in hand
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Whether you have a mobile phone or a landline, nuisance calls have gotten pretty unbearable. To do something about it, I signed up for YouMail to see if I could stop unwanted calls. 

I’ve used YouMail for more than a year now to avoid telemarketers and scammers.

YouMail Review: Does It Stop Spam and Robocalls?

In this article, I’ll review the pros and cons of YouMail’s basic plan and tell you whether it does what it’s supposed to do: stop spam calls.

What Is YouMail and How Does It Work?

YouMail describes itself as being in the business of “visual voicemail services.” That’s a fancy way of saying that the company records, logs and transcribes voicemails so that you can see them in your email inbox.

YouMail forwards your missed calls, including those identified as spam, to an access number, which YouMail answers.

“Once we receive your missed call, we play your designated voicemail greeting and deposit the message in your inbox,” YouMail’s website says.

Spam callers should hear an “Out of service” greeting when they dial your number, which should discourage them from calling again.

How Much Does YouMail Cost?

YouMail has a basic plan that is free to use. The service’s other four tiers are paid packages. Here are the main features from each package:

Personal Plans

  • Free: 10 voicemails a month transcribed and 100 messages saved forever
  • Plus: $5.99 a month billed annually / $7.99 billed monthly with 1,000 messages saved forever and 50 voicemail/month transcribed

Professional Plans

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  • Solo: $10.99 billed annually / $13.99 billed monthly with three numbers and 360 monthly minutes of message transcription
  • Growth: $24.99 a month billed annually / $29.99 billed monthly with six numbers and unlimited transcription
  • Small Business: $44.99 a month billed annually / $49.99 billed monthly with 15 numbers and unlimited message transcription

Can You Use YouMail With Your Phone?

Although I originally tried out the service on desktop, YouMail recommends that you download the app on your phone from the Apple App Store or on Google Play, so that’s what I did.

You can use YouMail with your phone. To operate properly, the service will need your phone number so it can block calls directly.

How to Set Up YouMail to Block Spam Calls

On your desktop, go to YouMail.com to sign up.

1. Sign Up at YouMail

Youmail sign up screen: Register for YouMail

Enter your phone number to use the service. Using YouMail with more than one number is available only with a paid Professional Plan.

2. Input Your Plan Information

Once you sign up with your phone number, YouMail will either automatically detect your carrier or ask you to enter it and select whether you have a prepaid or traditional phone plan.

Youmail asks your phone carrier to sign up

3. Get Your PIN

Next, YouMail will generate a four-digit PIN that you’ll need to log in. Keep this number somewhere safe. It will also prompt you to open the app on your phone to complete setup.

Youmail sign up page

4. Go Through the Activation Codes

Once I opened the app, it instructed me to “call” three numbers that act as activation codes to unlock many of YouMail’s features. After each “call,” a new screen listed the many features I had enabled.

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Youmail activation codes during setup

Once you go through those steps, you’re in business: You’ve got YouMail!

Now you’ll be able to access your inbox, conferences, greetings and more from your desktop. Here’s how the YouMail navigation menu looks:

Youmail navigation menu on desktop

On your phone, you can enable Smart Blocking in the YouMail app.

For Android:

  • Tap on the three bars in the upper left corner.
  • Select History.
  • Tap on the number you want to block.
  • Tap on the three bars in the upper right corner.
  • Select Report Spam/Block.

For iPhone:

  • Tap on the clock icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap on the number you want to block.
  • Tap the X icon (blacklist).
  • Tap the Report Spam button.

Once you’ve set up YouMail’s Smart Blocking, spam callers will be greeted with a message such as “This number has been disconnected.”

You can also take advantage of several features including:

  • Voicemail to text features: You can enable Voice-to-Text features by accessing Settings from your phone.
  • Default greeting: Also in Settings, you can choose from among six greetings. Just click the audio at the bottom of the screen to hear each one.

Clark’s Take: Is YouMail Any Good?

Money expert Clark Howard says that YouMail is invaluable to him when he’s on the go.

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“What makes YouMail so great is that your voicemails come to you in an app,” he says. “So for me, when I travel, instead of having to call in, I can listen to them three different ways using the app.”

He adds that he loves the fact that YouMail lets you access your voicemails with an internet connection.

“The best thing about it is, if I’m traveling outside the United States, I can listen to my voicemails over Wi-Fi,” he says. “On the data side, I don’t have to make a phone call to listen to my messages.”

Final Thoughts

After using YouMail’s Free Plan for a while now, I’ve noticed there are some definite positives about the service, but there are also a few drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons that I’ve identified:

YouMail Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Easy-to-use interface You get to read only the first 15 seconds of your voicemail.
You can get your messages via phone and desktop. Collects your contact list and other personal info.
Has reverse phone number lookup built inside app. Machine transcriptions can be off a bit.

Here’s the bottom line: Because it transcribes only part of your messages, YouMail’s free version has its limits.

But if you want to get rid of unwanted calls and robocalls, YouMail does offer a solution.

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