Man Gets Upper Hand on Telemarketers By Turning Landline Into Hotline

Like most of us, Lee Beaumont gets dozens of calls from telemarketers each month. Unlike most of us, he loves it.

That's because telemarketers who are foolish enough to call Beaumont have to pay 16 cents a minute for the privilege of speaking to him.

After getting bugged nonstop by telemarketers looking to sell him insurance or solar panels, Beaumont decided to convert his landline into a premium hotline.

The Leeds native set up a new number through Phone Pay Plus which he has since been giving out to banks, public utilities, and any marketer who asks him for his personal details.

"I don't use my normal Leeds number for anyone but my friends and family," he told BBC Radio 4.

Since installing his 0871 line back in November of 2011, Beaumont has brought in a cool $465 in mad money thanks to chatty telemarketers.

Informed of Beaumont's clever shenanigans by BBC Radio, Phone Pay Plus released a statement saying it "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."

But Beaumont insists he makes sure every telemarketer knows up front that they are being charged to harass him, and they are fine with it.

Asked what he tells the cold callers when they inquire about why he has a hotline, Beaumont told You and Yours, "Because I'm getting annoyed with [payment protection insurance] phone calls when I'm trying to watch Coronation Street so I'd rather make 10p a minute."

The grand irony of it all is that telemarketers have been phoning Beaumont less often since he got his new number, but because he stands to get paid when they do, Beaumont admits he enjoys getting cold calls now, and goes out of his way to encourage companies to call him and talk as much as they want.

[photo via Shutterstock]