Normal bloke turns tables on corporations and gets himself a premium rate number
Sick of cold callers ringing you up while you’re watching the telly, building a matchstick model of the Eiffel Tower or taking part in a potentially lethal solo sex act?
You might as well play the system and try to make some extra money out of it. That’s what keen-minded Lee Beaumont did, setting up his own premium rate number and raking in some pence each time someone rang him on it.
Lee got himself a personal 0871 number for just £10 plus VAT back in November 2011 and he says he has made more than £300 since then from calls made by Shelley Levene types all over the land.
He said, ‘I was getting annoyed with the PPI calls when I'm trying to watch Coronation Street for instance, so I'd rather have an 0871 so I can make 10p a minute. I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls.’
After researching the different types of numbers that he could have, he settled on an 0871 one because, ‘I could make a good chunk of money’. Which is as it should be.
Lee gives his premium rate number out to utility companies but has another number for people who he likes. He said, ‘Some companies are fine with it. Sometimes they won't call me, and I say fine, you've got my email address - email me. And 99% of the time they will use my 0871 number.’
He’s also noted that fewer companies are calling him these days, which is great in terms of peace and quiet but not so great in terms of the profitability of his crazy scheme.
But premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus aren’t as impressed and told Radio 4’s ‘You And Yours’ that, ‘premium-rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we 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.’
Ooooh! That’s you lot told, in case you were thinking of pulling a similar stunt…