consultants are sandburs

Monday, September 02, 2013

If Beaumont's idea grew legs here, Stateside, big money would be made by telemarketers' lobbyists in DC running to Congress to put down any such citizen self-help movement...

Ars Technica, here, writing of BBC coverage of a Lee Beaumont brainstorm. Headline and opening paragraphs:

Cold call victim forces telemarketers to pay him by using premium number -- "I want cold calls," says man previously annoyed by telemarketers.

by Jon Brodkin - Aug 29, 2013 3:29 pm

A British man fed up with cold calls from telemarketers set up a premium phone number in November 2011 and has made £300 by accepting calls and keeping the annoying marketers on the line as long as possible.

Lee Beaumont, who works at home in Leeds, UK, was getting calls at all times of the day. "I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls," he told the BBC. He searched on Google and found a small company that charged him £10 (about $15.50) to set up an 0871 line (equivalent to a 900 line in the US), which forces people who call him to pay 10p per minute. Of that, he receives 7p (about 10.9¢).

The BBC has an article and radio segment on Beaumont here. He now gives out his 0871 line to any business that might cold call him, while giving friends and family a different number. The BBC writes:

Because he works from home, Mr Beaumont has been able to increase his revenue by keeping cold callers talking—asking for more details about their services.

He admitted the scheme had changed his attitude, saying: "I want cold calls," and that he had moved on to encouraging companies to make contact.

After a recent problem with his online shopping, he declined to call an 0845 number but posted his number on Twitter in the knowledge that the number could be picked up by marketing companies.

[BBC link in Ars original] Arguably it beats shouting obscenities at a taped message where you broke off something that mattered for a phone call that you thought might matter. But it takes a level of discipline I will avoid. YOU do it, however, to help me and others to kill off that monstrosity. Consider it as a public service volunteer effort. YOU do the fight. I will hold your coat [paying any phone fee, however, goes beyond coat holding].

Finally, the reporting makes one appreciate our founding fathers. They successfully revolted against people who have lived on their island and produced Shakespeare, Chaucer, Newton and Dirac, as well as thinkers such as Lee Beaumont. That rebellion took special political acumen, which now, unfortunately, is largely concentrated in DC on K Street in the most counterproductive ways.

A comment was left (you can review it), by another blogger, posting here, and concerned about nuisance telemarketing, in particular political phone spam, with the blog titled, "Stop Political Phone Calls."

1 comment:

theikmarket said...

Hmmm... How you do do that? So that I can charge all those telemarketers who call me, despite my being o the DNC. I've been reporting them to in an attempt to raise my concern to the proper authorities and making them pay for their calls would be an excellent idea.