When we read the original story on BBC we couldn’t believe it. A gentleman by the name of Lee Beaumont setup a pay-per-minute line, known as 0871 line in U.K, and advised telemarketers that called to call him back on the 0871 number instead.
Even though Mr. Beaumont was upfront about the 0871 number many of the telemarketers disregarded the warning and literally paid the price, which is about 17 cents per minute.
At the time the story was written the profits from the line were about 500$ USD.
When the story first appeared on our facebook page it became very popular and as per Mr.Beaumont he’s received a lot of letter of encouragement from people all around the world.
Before you is a follow up interview we did with Mr. Beaumont to get an update about his original idea.
Q: First of all, I’d like to say that it’s a pretty genius idea and first question is if you’re still using the number that you have setup?
A: I am still using it, although I have made one change. Up until last month I had the 0871 number directed to my home phone. But as I no longer have a home phone due to me now trying to save even more money on my normal household bills. I now have the 0871 number directed to my Skype number, this means I can accept a skype call while I am working at my laptop, out working the day via my mobile, shopping, even laying in bed, so I have managed to get it to work better for me now.
Q: Have you had a lot of positive feedback from people that are constantly bothered by telemarketers?
A: The feedback has been amazing. In-fact 99% of people have said Well Done and asked if they could do it too. I have been careful and said ONLY do it if you fully read our UK code as you can get in trouble if you make mistakes. But as with anything I have had a far bit of hate saying I am evil and all that, but it’s all gone over my head.
Q: Did you get any backlash from telemarketers? Did anyone try to sue you or threaten you with legal action? If so, what was the backlash?
A: Nothing at all, apart from 1 company, when I was talking on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine I did mention an energy company who I managed to make a good bit of money from via my 0871 number, but I posted the letter on my twitter and as by magic the legal threats never came to anything.
Q: Have you come up with any other novel ways of dealing with telemarketers apart from the number that you have setup? If so, what are they?
A: Not really. If I do come up with anything else I will be sure to let you know.
Q: How many telemarketing calls do you currently receive?
A: It’s gone up since the BBC broke my story and I getting around 30 a month now and I am really enjoying it. I should make clear that using my 0871 number for cold callers is a hobby of mine. Yes it makes me some money, but I also really enjoy making telemarketers PAY to call ME. It’s a crazy old word we live in.
Q: How much more money have you generated from this venture if it’s not a secret?
A: To date I have made just over £700. It was £300-£400 when the news first came out in August 2013 (6 months ago)
Q: What piece of advice do you have for people that are constantly bothered by telemarketers, but are not able to setup a line like you did?
A: Ditch the normal home-phone. I know it’s a big step, however most of the feedback I have had from other people is they have stopped using the normal home phone and use a mobile for everything now.
If you are in the UK you can sign up for the TPS, but that does not work 100% still due to the various loopholes surrounding it.