Leeds man turns cold calls into cash with 0871 number

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Sick of marketing calls about PPI and offers to install solar panels on his house during important Coronation Street viewing, a businessman from Leeds has turned cold calling into cash.

Lee Beaumont has set up an 0871 line at his house and now any sales calls cost the cold caller 10p a minute, from which Beaumont receives 7p.

He told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours that since November 2011, the line’s made him £300.

Working from home, he’s been able to keep the sales people talking to bring in even more money. Unsurprisingly, the number of unsolicited calls to Beaumont has dropped from 20-30 a month to 13 last month. Although the unintended consequence of being able to make money from the marketing calls is that Beaumont was starting to want them.

He admitted that a number of companies had asked why he had such a number and he explained that he was “very honest” about it and if they’d rather not dial the 0871 number, they could email him.

Phone Pay Plus, the agency which regulates premium phone numbers has however discouraged people from following suit. It said that anyone with such a number had to set out from the very start of the call how much it would cost, otherwise they could face fines.