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How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

samzenpus posted 1 year,4 days | from the hoisting-with-his-own-petard dept.

The Almighty Buck 227

First time accepted submitter georgeaperkins writes "A man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own premium-rate phone number. So far he's made £300 profit following a £10+VAT initial investment. The premium rate regulator has 'strongly discouraged' the practice, as it violates the code of practice. Nevertheless, the novel idea is sure to resonate with everyone worn down by mindless cold calling!"

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227 comments

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So Full Of Win! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704545)

This is epic win.

Re:So Full Of Win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704635)

Epic it is!

Re:So Full Of Win! (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704967)

It's just a shame he could only make 7p/minute from it. What happened to £1/minute premium rate lines?

By the way, my free time is worth approximately £100/minute, in case anyone wanted to call me about PPI insurance.

Re:So Full Of Win! (5, Informative)

Zarjazz (36278) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705041)

It's just a shame he could only make 7p/minute from it. What happened to £1/minute premium rate lines?

This isn't a new trick to me since I work for a telco that provides the infrastructure for a lot of these cold callers, I've seen it before.

The premium rate 09 lines you are talking about are separately regulated and abuse is prosecuted. However the guy missed an opportunity here. He should have actually chosen an 070 number which is allocated by Ofcom for use of Personal Numbering Services, these can cost 50p - £1 to call. But since they start 07 most people think it's just another mobile number.

I think the rigged call in shows kill most of the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705273)

premium numbers.

Re:So Full Of Win! (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705409)

Fantastic, how do I sign up? £1 is only 1/100th my normal rate but still better than 7p.

Re:So Full Of NobodyCares! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705589)

£1 is only 1/100th my normal rate

if you try i'm sure you can work that into EVERY post and not just 2 of 2

Re:So Full Of Win! (4, Informative)

shortscruffydave (638529) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705167)

It's just a shame he could only make 7p/minute from it. What happened to £1/minute premium rate lines?

Actually, going for a cheaper rate is a smart move. A lot of companies block outgoing calls to >=£1/minute numbers, but something in the region of 10p/minute could slip through those filters....that allows him to get - and make money from - calls that he might not get if he'd gone for a more expensive line. And yes, I agree - epic win

Re:So Full Of Win! (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705253)

It's just a shame he could only make 7p/minute from it.

7p per minute is 60 x 7 = £4.20 an hour (US $6.52). That's only two-thirds of the UK national minimum wage of £6.19 and below even the lowest US minimum wage of $7.52.

Of course, if he could leave them hanging on the phone at that rate, or not bothering him, that'd be different.

Re:So Full Of Win! (2)

hoboroadie (1726896) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705507)

I often tell them I'm off to get whomever they claim to be calling, then get busy, back to doing whatever it was before the interruption. For that level of service, $6.5 is almost reasonable.

Billing bill collectors? (4, Insightful)

dicobalt (1536225) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704599)

Now that's an idea.

Code of practice? (5, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704605)

Well I guess even whores have a code of practice.

Re:Code of practice? (5, Funny)

voss (52565) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704923)

Comparing regulators to prostitutes is really unfair to prostitutes.

Re:Code of practice? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44705095)

taking pot-shots at the monumentally, epically difficult jobs of regulators is lazy comedy.

/ no, i am not a regulator, but I know what they do.

Re:Code of practice? (5, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705147)

taking pot-shots at the monumentally, epically difficult jobs of regulators is lazy comedy.

/ no, i am not a regulator, but I know what they do.

I would have more sympathy if the regulator's response to flagrant law-breaking wasn't always simply to write a "stongly worded" letter to the company responsible, reminding them of their legal obligations. I dunno, but if I personally broke the law, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get a letter reminding me that what I did was illegal and told not to do it again, especially if I'm doing the law breaking on a large and organised scale...

Re:Code of practice? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705257)

They just haven't noticed he's a person not a business.
If you personally broke the law, you get bubba up inside you for five to twenty years.
If a business does it on a large and organized scale, bad, bad business. shouldn't do that. Feel bad. Feel bad? Good, we're done here, you can keep doing it now. Campaign contributions maybe? awww, so sweet, thank you.

Conversation (5, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704617)

"I'm calling because I'm selling this great new product that can save you time and money."

"Now that sounds very interesting! Could you hang on for a moment, I'll be back in a minute."

** leaves phone off hook **

Re:Conversation (4, Interesting)

StripedCow (776465) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704637)

Now, premium rate phone number or not, if this is how ALL people treated markteers, then there would be no more cold calling.
Quite simple if you think about it.

Re:Conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704647)

We need this for email.

Re:Conversation (0)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704655)

I send back an email with an invoice for using my machine if they persist to send me emails.

Re:Conversation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704689)

I send back an email to confirm to the spammers that this is an active email account

FTFY

Re:Conversation (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704891)

Since the "From" address rarely is the true spammer's address, the answer mail will not inform the spammer about anything. If the mail address works, it will likely go to someone completely unrelated.

Re:Conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705315)

Unfortunately since they already delivered a message to an SMTP and got a 250/OK response to begin with, they already know its a real account.

Re:Conversation (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705049)

as TFA says, after implementing this the number of cold calls dropped from 30 per month to 13.

The regulator says you have to be transparent about the cost, so personally, I'd always make sure I read out a pre-written information sheet that informed the caller that he was being charged, and why, and what my policies about charging were, and how they didn't impact on the rights of the caller, and... well you get the idea :)

Re:Conversation (2)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705123)

That's what my dad does. He doesn't say "hang on a minute", when they start their spiel he puts the phone down and when it finally goes BEEP BEEP BEEP he hangs it up.

I don't have a landline so I get few of these. I just curse them in the vilest language for calling cell phones when it may cost the person they're calling. I never leave my cell # with any commercial entity, but leave my work # instead. Not sure what I'll do when I retire.

Re:Conversation (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705519)

Let them know that your number is 966-gay-pr0n (966-429-7726). You weren't looking for a cut of the fees were you?

Re:Conversation (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705659)

How does 0 translate to 2?

Re:Conversation (1)

schwit1 (797399) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705465)

If this became the norm the cold call lobby would influence their legislators to force the telcos to give them an exception.

Re:Conversation (5, Funny)

marcansoft (727665) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704707)

I started doing this after getting a dozen Vodafone marketing calls. Except instead of just leaving the phone off-hook, I said "please hold while I transfer you" and then treated them to an endless random shuffle of Never Gonna Give you Up, Friday, Trololo, Caramelldansen, and Nyan Cat, played via a voice modem.

They stopped calling after they got that a couple of times.

Re:Conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44705071)

D'uh, you forgot Leekspin.

Re:Conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705497)

Isn't this fraud?

Re:Conversation (5, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704789)

"Hang on I'll just get my credit card" is likely to keep them waiting for longer

Re:Conversation (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704835)

I left the phone 'off the hook' once after I had said "no thanks, not interested" 3 times. Half an hour later I get a call from my mom saying this guy had called several people with the same last name because he thought something had happened to me.......

Re:Conversation (2)

Defenestrar (1773808) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705127)

Yes - they are humans on the other end of that line working in what I believe is the highest turn-over industry out there (at least I think that's true for the US, and I think the highest turnover sub-set among cold-callers is those who are on the debt-collection calls). I don't know what the turn-over rate is in the UK, but I suspect it's probably about the same.

Re:Conversation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705649)

No they aren't humans. They gave up their humanity when they took a job where they got paid for causing people harm.

100% of the products advertised through telemarketing (and other direct advertising) are scams.

These practices should be illegal because they take a public good, modern communication systems, and decreases their value by increasing the noise/signal ratio for personal profit.

Re:Conversation (1)

nine-times (778537) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705663)

Or transfer them to a recording of you saying, "Ok, I'm back!" followed by silence interspersed with an occasional "Ah" or "uh-huh" or "yes, I see...."

and why not? (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704619)

Anyone understand how this violates the 'code of practice' and if such a violation is just frowned upon or is actually illegal ?

Re:and why not? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704643)

Premium numbers must always be accompanied by pricing information (consumer protection laws). This guy probably just puts his premium number into forms without giving pricing information.

Re:and why not? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704663)

the forms don't have a space for the prices. They don't care about the price.

Re:and why not? (3, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704817)

the forms don't have a space for the prices. They don't care about the price.

Then it would be against the code of practice to put your premium number on such a form.

Still... if it wasn't _your_ number, then I guess you couldn't get into trouble. You wouldn't receive a cut, but the idea of them trying to sell something to the girl on the end of the "naughty nun spank hotline" might give you a smug sense of satisfaction.

Re:and why not? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704909)

:0 but that is my number?

Re: and why not? (1)

skovnymfe (1671822) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705047)

Writing other peoples information on forms is probably identity fraud to some degree or another

Re:and why not? (2)

eth1 (94901) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705201)

the forms don't have a space for the prices. They don't care about the price.

Then it would be against the code of practice to put your premium number on such a form.

Still... if it wasn't _your_ number, then I guess you couldn't get into trouble. You wouldn't receive a cut, but the idea of them trying to sell something to the girl on the end of the "naughty nun spank hotline" might give you a smug sense of satisfaction.

So just pair up with a buddy. You put his number on forms, and he puts yours.

Re:and why not? (1)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705445)

So just pair up with a buddy. You put his number on forms, and he puts yours.

How does that fix anything? Your number is still getting dispersed into the wide, wide world of telemarketers. It's just your buddy doing it, instead of you.

Re:and why not? (1)

frootcakeuk (638517) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704847)

Where?? Because I see premium rates all the time and rarely if ever is there an accompanied price structure. Also, what exactly constitutes as a 'Premium Rate' number? I see on the Phone Pay Plus site that 0871, 0872, 0873 are and 090 but that a very small piece of the pie. Are 0844 numbers premium? If so the Maplin is in violation, and their number certainly charges more!

Re:and why not? (2, Insightful)

dominux (731134) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704877)

0844 is national rate, not premium. Our office number is one digit away from the Maplin number.
You can get a bit of revenue from an 0844, we don't from ours, but we get it for free as a SIP trunk and we get pretty much free outbound calling. We don't use phones much anyway really, nasty noisy things.

Re:and why not? (1)

frootcakeuk (638517) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705051)

But it's still a higher rate number. Do you have to advertise the raised price? Or does the fact that it begins with "0844" denote that it's a special rate number? Seems there's not a lot if difference between the two.

Re:and why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705329)

No, it's not a higher rate number. It's the exact same rate as calling any other land line that doesn't have the same area code as you.

Re:and why not? (1)

frootcakeuk (638517) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705383)

Link?

Re:and why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705403)

From Ofcom : "0843 and 0844 How much do calls cost? Calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers. Calls from mobile phones are typically charged between 20p and 41p per minute, depending on the provider and the number called. "

You're chatting shit mate.

Re:and why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705475)

I can find evidence of this for 0870 numbers but not 0844, and AC below seems to show that 0844 indeed is a higher rate number! 'Special rate' is in fact the term coined by ofcom.

Re:and why not? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705073)

then just put the pricing information on the form, anywhere you like, maybe on the back or in the margin.

If the company wants to transcribe that into a computer system and discard the pricing info, that's their choice. And if they want to sell on your number to other marketing companies, that's their lookout, not yours (best to include a disclaimer saying they cannot do this, then its a potential lawsuit too!)

Re:and why not? (2)

namgge (777284) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705191)

Marketing companies making cold calls are not, AIUI, 'Consumers' and are thus not entitled to much in the way of protection.

Re:and why not? (2)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704649)

Yes, because I RTFA. Try it.

Re:and why not? (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704823)

Where is my "+5 Underrated" mod when I need it?

Re:and why not? (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704791)

Businesses have often lobbied for codes of practice to be unenforceable so that nothing comes of them if they breach them so I doubt this is illegal, he'll just get a telling off from the regulator - as if he gives a shit.

It breaks the code of practice supposedly because you have to list pricing information alongside premium rate numbers and when he fills in the forms for his phone number etc. there is no form field to do this.

But I'm not convinced the code even applies, because the pricing information is meant for consumers and he's only giving these details to businesses who tend not to be covered by consumer protection laws (they're not protected by the sale of goods act for example).

I think this is more the regulator trying to avoid a headache than him actually doing anything wrong. I'd be surprised if any enforcement could actually be taken against him successfully which is presumably why the regulator has said "We advise against this" rather than "We're going to have a word with him and make him stop because he's breaching the code" - I suspect they're "advising" and not "acting" because there's actually fuck all else they can do about it but we'll probably find out before long.

Re:and why not? (1)

Threni (635302) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704893)

I spent some time on that site and couldn't work that out. Note though that they didn't say he was violating anything, just that he needs to handle complaints and requests for info according to their rules.

Re:and why not? (2)

RDW (41497) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705031)

The summary is misleading. In the BBC article, the regulator is claiming anyone who does this will be liable IF they breach the code ("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.").

I've done the same for years (4, Interesting)

Captain Hook (923766) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704627)

I've got a personal number which costs more to ring than a standard mobile line, I set it up for the similar reasons, after entering details of an accident when I renewed my insurance I got bombarded by ambulance chasers.

The only difference is that I don't get a cut of the call costs, I just wanted a way to give a telephone number on websites which comes through to my mobile phone but could easily be rerouted to voicemail off when the frequency of spam calls gets too high.

Family and friends all get my real number while all companies get the forwarding number so I know that sending everything from the forwarding number to voicemail isn't going to affect people I actually want to talk to.

Re:I've done the same for years (2)

memzer (2033838) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704697)

I have a second prepaid mobile sim card for this purpose. It costs ~$30 for a year (au) and it's worth every cent.

Re:I've done the same for years (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704765)

The nice thing about the personal number system is it's free for me, the cost of the service is paid for through the higher call charges, thats why I don't get a cut of the increased charges like the bloke in TFA.

You take my time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704633)

I take your money.

There should be a number prefix reserved for personal use without the requirement to give pricing information with the number. A "don't call me unless you're willing to pay me" number prefix.

Re:You take my time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704669)

Which would be used by scammers immediately to rip off unsuspecting people...

Re:You take my time (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704705)

You could require that the operator plays a message with the pricing information and only charge and connect to the callee if the message is acknowledged by pressing a key. This way the number could be given out like any ordinary number, but the caller would still be informed of the premium price.

Re:You take my time (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704787)

It's a bit of an odd requirement, because all 0871 numbers are premium-rate lines that cost 10p/minute. Simply advertising the prefix is enough. It's even more silly, because the rate that you're supposed to advertise is the rate of calling from a BT landline, the cost of calling from a mobile or a non-BT landline may be very different.

Re:You take my time (1)

mrbester (200927) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705075)

This. The rates for NGN are posted on BT's website, so there is no legal requirement for you to declare it. If you want to know how much it costs go look it up.

Every talent show *does* declare, however, with a "Calls from mobiles may cost *considerably* more". They can't say how much because they don't know. I'm pretty sure that 0800 (free) numbers still attract a premium charge from shit carriers as well.

Re:You take my time (1)

nospam007 (722110) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705675)

"Every talent show *does* declare, however, with a "Calls from mobiles may cost *considerably* more". "

But they _tell_ you to call, while he does the contrary.

I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704665)

...he should patent the idea!

Clear something up? (3, Interesting)

Justpin (2974855) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704679)

In Hong Kong it costs money to receive calls, they call it a connection fee. Which means that people simply never answer calls to unfamiliar numbers. It there such a thing in the US? As far as I know there is no such thing as a connection fee in the UK.

Re:Clear something up? (3, Insightful)

BlacKSacrificE (1089327) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704701)

That's going to be a great precedent and standard to set, especially when your daughter needs to use her friends phone to call you for help because hers just got trashed/out of credit/stolen.

"I don't know this number, fuck that!"

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704747)

That's going to be a great precedent and standard to set, especially when your daughter needs to use her friends phone to call you for help because hers just got trashed/out of credit/stolen.

"I don't know this number, fuck that!"

I very seldom answers unknown or caller ID blocked calls, but I have a voice mail that immediately texts me if someone leaves a message. In my experience sales or marketing survey calls never leave a message, but people who need to get in touch with me do, so I find this a very effective filter.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

ragefan (267937) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704851)

Similarly, I will generally answer unknown numbers that are of local origin. I cannot think of a time I received a telemarketing call from within my area code, as less local prefixes.

Re: Clear something up? (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705529)

Good thing there is SMS.

Re:Clear something up? (5, Informative)

heypete (60671) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704745)

For landline phones in the US, the recipient does not pay unless they have a toll-free number (e.g. a 1-800 number). There's no connection fees for receiving a call.

Mobile phone numbers in the US are no different than landline phones for the calling party: there's no extra fee or anything for calling a mobile number. Calling a mobile costs precisely the same amount as calling any other phone number in that area code. The person with the mobile phone will be charged on a per-minute basis (unless they have an unlimited calling plan or it's during the "free nights and weekends" time that many plans offer) regardless of whether they are making or receiving a call.

This is different from, say, Europe, where mobile phones are assigned numbers in special mobile-only prefixes. The person calling a mobile phone pays a slight premium, while the person receiving a call on their mobile pays nothing.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44705027)

Wait what!?

Your mobile numbers have geographic area based prefixes?

That's why you're charge to receive a mobile call, as there's no way for the dialler to tell the difference and so it's unfair on them to pay the extra?

Assuming that's all correct, what part of "mobile" did you guys not understand?

Captch: Disdain

Re:Clear something up? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,4 days | (#44705063)

Wait what!?
Your mobile numbers have geographic area based prefixes?

They didn't used to. Formerly they would create new prefixes and hand those to cellular companies. But now we have number portability. You can take your land number to a cellphone, or maybe even go the other direction. I don't care enough to know because I don't consider the phone to be the best way to reach me.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Politburo (640618) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705531)

With the exception of toll free numbers (originally just 1-800.. now 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 in a few months), everything has geographic area based codes (prefixes are used within area codes).

But this is not the reason why you are charged to receive a mobile call. You are charged to receive a mobile call (unless you have unlimited or in a free period) because you are using the mobile network. If you don't want to pay for that, do not answer the call.

Re:Clear something up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44705061)

I think this is similar to the old 1-900 area code or the local 976 prefix.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705161)

This is different from, say, Europe, where mobile phones are assigned numbers in special mobile-only prefixes. The person calling a mobile phone pays a slight premium, while the person receiving a call on their mobile pays nothing.

Yes, but at least here in Norway it's only cheaper to call a landline from another landline as the cell phone operators only offer you one price per minute for both. This means there's no incentive to have a landline, you can't control how others can be reached (so people prefer the cell phone for convenience) and you pay nothing to recieve either way. Result: 5.7 million cell phones (113% coverage), a total of 1.5 million fixed lines of which 0.5 are broadband phones and 1.0 genuine landlines (PSTN/ISDN). And the fixed lines have been dropping with >100k/year for the last 5 years, even if you have a landline the chances of you calling another landline is dropping year for year. Personally I have fiber + cell phone and that's redundancy enough for me. If I can't reach anyone on fiber (where I don't have a broadband phone but email and skype) or on my cell phone then the world must be truly fucked as those are two very separate sets of infrastructure.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705319)

Ah nice, so the telecoms provider gets to charge twice for the same call. Just what you'd expect from the home of capitalism.

Re:Clear something up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705677)

Yes - yes it is. I first thought the salesperson was joking when I went to get a mobile contract after moving to Canada from Europe. _I_ need to pay when someone is calling me? Thats just bullshit. But not a great deal one can do about it, except get one of the unlimited minutes contracts.

Re:Clear something up? (2)

MrDoh! (71235) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704759)

In the US, you pay for calls made and received (all part of your call allowance). In the UK, anyone calling you pays, after all, why should you pay for them to get in touch with you, you didn't ask them too. A far better way to handle it. Alas, in the US, you get charged both sides of the equation because... they can. *some networks mask this, offer free calls at certain times, or on same network, but you never know if the person calling you is going to cost you or not, after all, how do you know what network they're on?

Re:Clear something up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704905)

You pay for calls received? I assume you mean cell because landline that'd be preposterous. And in the case of your cell? Find a better plan, I haven't paid for incoming minutes in 10-15 years. You're getting hosed

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704929)

In the US, you pay for calls made and received (all part of your call allowance). In the UK, anyone calling you pays, after all, why should you pay for them to get in touch with you, you didn't ask them too. A far better way to handle it. Alas, in the US, you get charged both sides of the equation because... they can.

While that is true the reality is most consumers don't have to worry about charges because of all the "free minutes" exceptions. With free nights, in network and out of network calling not charged minutes, rollover minutes, etc. (depending on the carrier) most caller's calling patterns mean they probably don't use much of their base minutes and probably should check their usage and lower their plan tier.

Re:Clear something up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44705103)

On both my home line and mobile, I've unlimited calling. The mobile is unlimited text messages and data also. The plans to do so aren't even all that much pricier than the metered lines.

International rates are metered, of course, but that's why the Invisible Pink Unicorn invented Skype and Google Voice.

This is for US lines, of course.

Re:Clear something up? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705155)

In the US, you pay for calls made and received (all part of your call allowance).

That depends on your carrier and plan. Some charge for all minutes used, some give you a number of "free" minutes. The one I'm on is a flat $40 per month, no limits on anything except I'm not allowed to tether..

Re:Clear something up? (1)

Politburo (640618) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705551)

" In the UK, anyone calling you pays, after all, why should you pay for them to get in touch with you, you didn't ask them too. "

Don't answer the phone then.

I've never understood the concept of making other people pay because I want the convenience of a portable communication device.

Where I'm from..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704699)

Where I'm from you need to have an automated message before the actual call, that tells how much the call is going to cost per minute.

I doubt this scheme would work in this northern country.

Re:Where I'm from..... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704809)

Good requirement. When I'm paying a premium rate billed per minute, I really want to have to spend 20-30 seconds listening to a recorded message telling me how much I'm paying...

In the UK, the 0845, 0870 and 0871 prefixes all have fixed costs. The exact cost of calling them depends on your phone company - it does me absolutely no good to be told how much it would cost me to call the number from a BT landline, because I have never had a BT landline.

Re:Where I'm from..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704931)

The payment kicks in AFTER the message.... and you can optionally make the waiting time free of charge if you want. You have to inform this to the caller too.

Re:Where I'm from..... (1)

Tom (822) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704935)

Good requirement. When I'm paying a premium rate billed per minute, I really want to have to spend 20-30 seconds listening to a recorded message telling me how much I'm paying...

Might differ per country, but in my country, that message must be free by law, so you are only starting to pay after it has played.

The Irony (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704837)

Oh my god, the Irony that BBC is asking for the reader's phone number below the TFA...

Guys a Legend (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | 1 year,4 days | (#44704871)

But, now hes told everyone how to make money with cold calls. Every marketing company will simply block 0871 numbers.

Great job for making some cash, but did you have to tell the whole fkin marking world have to prevent it?

Re:Guys a Legend (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705227)

But, now hes told everyone how to make money with cold calls. Every marketing company will simply block 0871 numbers.

Thats a good thing isn't it?

Surely the point it to stop the marketing calls, the making money off them is just a side benefit.

Re:Guys a Legend (1)

frootcakeuk (638517) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705669)

They didn't tell you who he registered with either. I know who it is (2 mins google), but they only told you who the regulatory body are. I'm very tempted myself as we are TPS registered and still get 30+ calls a week. We're into the very bad habit of just ignoring the phone unless we're expecting a call. I have missed countless calls because of this and registering a premium number would be a double win.

I don't really get this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44704955)

I joined the Telephone Preference Service. I get almost no cold calls; those who do call me are generally breaking the law and don't tend to call back when they are told that. I do get a few calls from companies dodging TPS by calling from outside the UK, mind you, but maybe once every week.

I like this guy's style but it's scarcely necessary.

Re:I don't really get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705565)

That only works so far as if you're giving a landline number.. if you only have a mobile, TPS does not apply.

Re:I don't really get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705671)

Right. But then it's a landline we're talking about here. You can't have an 0871 number on a mobile, can you?

I have a mobile, though, and I never get calls on that.

Are you saying (you may be -- I am interested) that TPS applies to my preferences at these companies because I've listed a landline number, so they aren't calling my mobile either if they have it, but such protection wouldn't apply if I couldn't list a landline number with TPS?

Re:I don't really get this (1)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,3 days | (#44705681)

"I get almost no cold calls"
" I do get a few calls from companies"

You can never truly opt out of telemarketing calls. As you point out, they will call even if it is against the law, and they will find ways around the law. So, given that they are going to call you anyways, why not have them call a number that makes them pay you money?

Best way (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,3 days | (#44705687)

I got called about 4 times a week and after repeated requests to them to stop calling me, I made up a false name and had their representatives go to a derelict house for 'me' to sign the documents. They called me back pretty quickly and I explained that this is what would happen every time they called my number from now on. Miraculously I have not had a call since.

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