How One Man Turned Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash


In November 2011, Lee Beaumont got so fed up with cold calls that he paid £10 ($12.62) plus tax to set up a personal 0871 number. In the UK, an 0871 number is a non-geographical premium rate phone number that’s not linked to any location in the UK. All calls to numbers starting with 0871 are charged at a premium rate, which makes them popular as a way to make money from a phone number. Each call generates a rebate of 12p (0.15¢) per minute. It wasn’t long before Beaumont had earned a quick $375. Now, each time a bank, gas or electricity supplier, or a pesky window installation company calls him, he lets them talk as long as they want. In fact, if he’s being sold something, he asks for more details about their services, just to keep them on the phone longer. This is definitely a case of what goes around, comes around.