Our Which? Convo regular Lee Beaumont’s story of using a premium rate 0871 number to charge nuisance callers has gone global. How do you deal with nuisance callers?
Many of you have told us about the creative ways you handle nuisance calls, from blowing whistles down the phone to telling tall tales to confuse callers.
And last week we gave Lee Beaumont our Comment of the Week for sharing how he has turned the table on cold callers:
‘I have a 0871 as my home number. I have this so I make money when PPI/cold callers phone me.’
After paying for his premium rate number, Lee gets paid by the minute for cold calls. Now, while it’s not something we’d recommend, Lee told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme how it works for him:
‘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.’
Separate number for family and friends
Since he set up the number in 2011, Lee says he’s made around £300 from the calls he’s received. But don’t worry, he told us that he has a separate number for family and friends:
‘My 0871 numbers sits on top of my normal Leeds 0113 number. Two people have my 0113 number and that is my mother and my best friend. There is no need to give anyone else the number as I speak to other people via text or on Skype for free.’
However, setting up such a number is something Phone Pay Plus (the premium number regulator) warns against. It told Radio 4:
‘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.’
Make sure to report nuisance calls
Lee’s tactic isn’t something we’d recommend – we don’t think you should have to set up a premium rate number to get back at nuisance callers. It might reduce the amount of money Lee makes with his 0871 number (as a regular, we’re sure he’ll forgive us for this), but we don’t think you should have to put up with nuisance calls at all!
So if you get interrupted by a nuisance call, make sure to fight back by reporting them with our simple tool. If more of us complain, it will send a clear message that more needs to be done to stop this menace.