FROM employment insurance to solar panels, telemarketers were always trying to sell something over the phone to British man, Lee Beaumont.
Now he can’t wait for their calls, because for every irritating second he can keep them on the line, Mr Beaumont is making money.
After getting bugged for years by telemarketers, Mr Beaumont, a businessman in the northern English town of Leeds, decided to convert his home telephone account into a money maker.
He converted his home line into a premium hotline by setting up a new number through Phone Pay Plus.
Now telemarketers who call Mr Beaumont have to pay 17 cents (ten UK pence) a minute for the privilege of speaking to him.
And when a bank, gas or electricity supplier ask him for his details online, he submits the hotline as his contact number.
Since installing his 0871 line back in November 2011, Beaumont has earned himself $520 in mad money thanks to intrusive telemarketers.
“I don’t use my normal Leeds number for anyone but my friends and family,” he told BBC Radio 4.
Informed of Mr Beaumont’s money making strategy, Phone Pay Plus told the BBC 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 Mr Beaumont insists he makes sure every telemarketer knows upfront they are being charged to harass him, and they are fine with it.
Asked what he tells cold callers when they inquire about why he has a hotline, Beaumont said: “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.”
Instead of getting irritated, Beaumont now looks forward to getting cold calls, and goes out of his way to encourage companies to call him and talk as much as they want.