Unsolicited sales calls are the worst. They come in while you eat dinner with your family; they come in while you’re watching your favorite show; those telemarketers really don’t care what you’re doing.
So why is Lee Beaumont thrilled to accept a call from a telemarketer?
Well, you see, they pay him to chat. You heard that right.
After growing sick and tired of getting so many unsolicited sales calls, Lee Beaumont, who lives in the UK, changed his cellphone number so that incoming callers have to pay him a small fee to connect.
Yahoo! News has more details:
Since changing his number in November 2011, Beaumont says he’s made about 300 pounds ($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.
However, PhonepayPlus says that is not the proper way to use their service.
“[W]e 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,” a company spokesperson told the BBC.
Beaumont doesn’t seem particularly worried because he says he is transparent about the charges. Plus, he claims he has a private number for all personal calls.