Man makes cold callers pay by setting up premium rate line

Lee Beaumont took action against cold callers who were interrupting his evenings Photo:

A man who was fed up with cold callers interrupting him while he was watching his favourite soaps has got his own back.

Lee Beaumont, from Leeds, paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 premium rate line in November 2011, and say it has netted him £300 from the calls he has received since.

He told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme:

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.

– Lee Beaumont

Mr Beaumont said he gave out the 0871 number when he needed to talk to utilities companies but had a separate line for his friends and family to call him on.

"Some companies are fine with it," he added. "Sometimes they won't call me, and I say fine, you've got my email address - email me. And 99% of the time they will use my 0871 number."

Premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus has warned against others taking the same measure as Mr Beaumont.

They said: "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."