Lee Beaumont Gets His Own Back On Cold Callers By Setting Up Premium Phone Line

Lee Beaumont set up his own premium rate phone number
Lee Beaumont set up his own premium rate phone number

A man from Leeds has managed to get his own back on cold callers interrupting his evening television, by setting up his own premium rate number.

Lee Beaumont was so annoyed at callers disrupting his time that he paid £10 to set up his own 0871 line.

The businessman told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme: "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."

So far Lee has made £300 from the phone number, which he set up in November 2011. He makes 7p out of every 10p paid to call his number.

He said it was "extremely easy" to carry out research online into how to go about it, and looked into setting up an 0845 or an 0844 number.

"The best one I found was the 0871 as I could make a good chunk of money," he said.

Mr Beaumont said he gave out the 0871 number when he needed to talk to utilities companies but had a separate line for his friends and family to call him on.

"Some companies are fine with it," he added. "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 said he was "very honest" if any of the firms asked him why he had done it, but added that the companies were not phoning him as often now which meant he was not earning so much money.

Last year he was getting 20 to 30 calls a month but only received 16 so far this month, he said.

"I want cold calls," he added.

Premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus warned against others taking the same measure as Mr Beaumont.

They told the programme: "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."