A guy in England figured out a way to make money off those annoying telemarketers who call.
Lee Beaumont set up a number through a phone pay service, so when others call him, they end up paying him 16 cents a minute for the calls. (Via BBC)
BEAUMONT: “I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls.”
REPORTER: “So how much money are you making from this?”
BEAUMONT: “Well, I’ve been doing this since about 2011, November time, and made just over 300 pounds.” (Via BBC)
That’s almost $465. Not bad for just answering phone calls. So how does it work?
He set up an 0871 line with a company called PhonepayPlus, which forces callers to pay 10 pence — or 16 cents — per minute, about 11 cents of which goes directly in Beaumont’s pocket.
Then, “He gives that number to banks, utilities or any other company. His friends have his regular number.” (Via KTVK)
It might sound a little sneaky, but as Gawker points out, Beaumont says he’s honest with callers. “Beaumont insists he makes sure every telemarketer knows up-front that they are being charged to harass him, and they are fine with it.”
It also decreased the number of random calls he gets. He used to get 20–30 a month. Now he says he only gets about 13 per month. Another change: Now that he knows how to make money from those calls, for once he’s actually wishing more telemarketers would call him. (Via Ars Technica)
This sounds like a sweet deal, but the company he used, PhonepayPlus, does clearly say its service is not meant to be used in this way and those who go against the company’s code could be fined.
There’s a similar service in the U.S. called “900 numbers,” but the Federal Communications Commission has guidelines regarding those numbers. However, a writer for Yahoo! says, “Those rules seem to provide wiggle room for anyone who wants to follow Beaumont’s lead as long as they are doing so transparently.”
Ehhh … could be risky. We’d advise thoroughly doing your research before giving that a try.
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