What If Telemarketers Had To Pay You To Annoy You?

Imagine if, instead of just getting annoyed when the phone rings and it’s a telemarketer or robocaller, you were delighted. Not because you were eager to speak with them, but because you gave out a toll number instead of your real phone number, and telemarketers had to pay to call you. One man in Leeds, England is living that dream.

First, he registered a phone number with the area code 09, the equivalent of a 900 number here in the United States and Canada. Whenever a company he did business with asked for his home phone number, he gave them that one. They didn’t like it? Too bad. If they didn’t want to call it, they could contact him through email.

Then he waited for the marketing calls to come in. Only they don’t come as often as they used to: he used to up to 30 a month, and now gets maybe half as many. Working from home, he can keep them on the line chatting in order to rack up more fees. For every minute he keeps them on the phone, he gets about eleven cents. That adds up to $6.60 an hour…not a full-time job, but not bad either if he’s able to multi-task. He’s earned $465 from the scheme so far.

The entity that hands out premium numbers is discouraging other consumers from following his lead, though. Boo.

How one man turns annoying cold calls into cash [BBC]