Cold Call Victim Forces Telemarketers to Pay Him by Using Premium Number
A British man fed up with cold calls from telemarketers set up a premium phone number in November 2011 and has made £300 by accepting calls and keeping the annoying marketers on the line as long as possible.
Lee Beaumont, who works at home in Leeds, UK, was getting calls at all times of the day. “I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls,” he told the BBC. He searched on Google and found a small company that charged him £10 (about $15.50) to set up an 0871 line (equivalent to a 900 line in the US), which forces people who call him to pay 10p per minute. Of that, he receives 7p (about 10.9¢).
The BBC has an article and radio segment on Beaumont here. He now gives out his 0871 line to any business that might cold call him, while giving friends and family a different number. The BBC writes:
Because he works from home, Mr Beaumont has been able to increase his revenue by keeping cold callers talking—asking for more details about their services.
He admitted the scheme had changed his attitude, saying: “I want cold calls,” and that he had moved on to encouraging companies to make contact.
After a recent problem with his online shopping, he declined to call an 0845 number but posted his number on Twitter in the knowledge that the number could be picked up by marketing companies.