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British man charges telemarketers to call him

england unsolicited sales calls small fee phonepayplus subsequent fines

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#1 Hum

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 14:18

These days, Lee Beaumont is perfectly happy to get a call from a telemarketer. In fact, he’s the one making a profit from the unsolicited sales calls.

The BBC reports that Beaumont became so sick of getting calls from marketing companies that he changed his phone number settings so that incoming callers have to pay him a small fee to connect.

Since changing his number in November 2011, Beaumont says he’s made about 300 pounds :p ($464) from the calls. Using a service called PhonepayPlus, Beaumont charges incoming callers 10 pence to connect and additional charges for the longer he stays on the line.

"Because I'm getting annoyed with PPI phone calls when I'm trying to watch Coronation Street so I'd rather make 10p a minute," he told the BBC. “I want cold calls.”

Beaumont receives 70 percent of the take from such calls, adding that he now goes out of his way to keep telemarketers on the line for longer periods of time.

Beaumont says he fully discloses the charges when companies ask for his number. The “0871” line does raise some eyebrows with company representatives, but many still elect to pay for the chance to make a sale.

PhonepayPlus, the company Beaumont enlisted for his pay-to-call numbers, said it discourages individuals from setting up similar lines. "Premium rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we would strongly discourage any listeners from adopting this idea, as they will be liable under our code for any breaches and subsequent fines that result," the company told the BBC.

For his part, Beaumont said he keeps a separate, private number for personal calls.

"I don't use my normal Leeds number for anyone but my friends and family,” he told the BBC.

There are various options for setting up similar pay lines in the U.S., although most are targeted to individuals setting up a small business for ventures such as psychic lines or adult chats. Skype used to offer a service called Skype Prime, which allowed it to charge for incoming calls but that service has since been discontinued.

The Federal Communications Commission has established guidelines regarding “900” numbers in the U.S., but those rules seem to provide wiggle room for anyone who wants to follow Beaumont’s lead as long as they are doing so transparently.

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#2 yakumo

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 14:24

So what exactly ARE grossly overpriced numbers meant for?

 

Just lining the pockets of companies?



#3 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 14:27

So what exactly ARE grossly overpriced numbers meant for?

 

Just lining the pockets of companies?

They are meant for businesses in general, not personal use. Of course, he could just register what he does as a business. It is a service based company that "charges telemarketers for asking stupid questions." :laugh:



#4 jakem1

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 14:36

So what exactly ARE grossly overpriced numbers meant for?

 

Just lining the pockets of companies?

 

That and to discourage people from calling.

 

I think this guys strategy is perfect though - it's the first reasonable use of premium rate numbers I've ever heard of.



#5 +zhiVago

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 14:57

Brilliant!



#6 AJerman

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:16

That's smart. If I had ever gotten a telemarketer call in the last 10 years I'd try to do the same. Who gets telemarketer calls anymore though? I thought they all moved to spam email now.



#7 Charisma

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:20

That's smart. If I had ever gotten a telemarketer call in the last 10 years I'd try to do the same. Who gets telemarketer calls anymore though? I thought they all moved to spam email now.

I don't since I gave up the land line at the house, and they don't call mobiles... but my work phone gets them sometimes. It seems to come in waves. I think whoever has the number sells/gives it to a company or a group of them and then they all try the number within the same week, or something. I'll go months without one and then get ten cold calls in a week at the office. Whee..



#8 OP Hum

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:24

^ I've gotten SPAM text messages :/ and I think I used to get a few recorded calls on my cell phone.



#9 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:26

I don't since I gave up the land line at the house, and they don't call mobiles...


Same here. No longer have a landline and the calls stopped dead. Some of my friends are getting half a dozen spam calls to their house phone a night though.
Always joked we should set up a premium rate number, looks like someone actually did!

#10 jakem1

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:30

I don't have a landline any more either but I never really got any nuisance calls when I did.  A combination of being ex-directory, not giving my phone number out to companies and registering with the TPS did the job. 



#11 Aergan

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:32

That is a fantastic idea!



#12 psionicinversion

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 15:48

i get PPI calls on my mobile phone but it took a while before they started calling



#13 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 16:00

I've been getting calls from those scammers in India lately. Guy named "Mike" with a heavy Indian accent says that there have been reports of Windows using experience slow downs. Tells me that I may not know it, but every time I get online I download malware which is why my computer slows down and sometimes freezes and I can visit the "official" site to check for that. I have a speech sitting at my phone now that I read off every time they call. It involves explaining that I have 16 gigs of ram and a 6core processor so good luck slowing my computer down, but also I have two bachelor degrees in computer fields and I work for a software company as a Manual and Automation Software QA and Testing Engineer, so I make more money in a day than he does in a week. That usually does the trick but maybe I will add something at the end of it saying that this is a premium line and they have been getting charged the longer the call went on. May just scare them off.

 

It is amazing how many people in India are called Mike though. They were clearly different people since each had a different sounding voice.



#14 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 16:04

Oh, the way to deal with those people, if you have time, is to just string them along and act like you believe it. Pretend to do everything they say, but when they ask if you can see x or y, just say no you see a or b... Really confound the buggers. :p

 

If you -don't- have time, just tell them to f-off and hang up.



#15 HardyRexion

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 16:13

Or ask them to hold because someone is at the door then leave then leave them hanging for ages.