From Cold Calls To Cold Cash

From Cold Calls To Cold CashA man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own premium-rate phone number.

‘Getting annoyed with PPI phone calls’

In November 2011 Lee Beaumont paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 line – so to call him now costs 10p, from which he receives 7p. The Leeds businessman told BBC Radio 4′s You and Yours programme that the premium line had so far made £300.

Mr Beaumont came up with the plan when he grew sick of calls offering to help him reclaim payment protection insurance (PPI), or install solar panels. Once he had set up the 0871 line, every time a bank, gas or electricity supplier asked him for his details online, he submitted it as his contact number. He added he was “very honest” and the companies did ask why he had a premium number.

He told the programme he replied: “Because I’m getting annoyed with PPI phone calls when I’m trying to watch Coronation Street so I’d rather make 10p a minute.”


‘Think twice’

He said almost all of the companies he dealt with were happy to use it and if they refused he asked them to email. The number of calls received by Mr Beaumont has fallen from between 20 and 30 a month to just 13 last month. 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.

But the premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus says the public should think twice before setting up their own lines. They say phone line providers must meet consumer protection standards, which include transparency, fairness and complaint handling, which would mean clearly setting out the cost of each call to any organisation that rang.

Do you dislike getting cold calls from marketing companies? Would you do the same thing that Lee Beaumont did?

Source: Joe Kent | BBC News

Image: Mirror

How Tokyo’s Giant Tunnels Protect City From Floods

How Tokyo's Giant Tunnels Protect City From FloodsOn the outskirts of Tokyo, behind a small government building, underneath a soccer field and skateboard park, sits a remarkable feat of engineering. It’s an example of how Japan’s capital, which lies in a region at high risk from flooding and tropical cyclones, is trying to figure out how to contain the elements to protect its 13 million inhabitants.

‘Underground Parthenon’

Built between 1993 and 2006 at a cost of nearly $3 billion, the Water Discharge Tunnel is far more impressive than its name suggests. Winding down a series of stairs, you soon come upon a massive hall, resembling an underground Parthenon, or a scene out of a science fiction film.

The initial water tank stretches more than 320 feet in length and towers higher than a five-story building. When you add it all up, the complex features five massive shafts, or tanks, that are able to move water along a tunnel that stretches nearly four miles.


‘Incredible drain system’

In this area of Saitama prefecture, heavy rains would often flood the Naka River Basin. But now, that valuable farmland has an incredible drain system sitting below. When the tanks and tunnel fill, engineers are able to turn on the heart of the system, which is a series of four turbines powered by jet engines similar to those used in a Boeing 737 airplane. The turbines are then able to rapidly funnel floodwaters to the nearby Edo River.

The engineers here are the first to point out that their system, while remarkable, is meant to deal with heavy rains — and that it would struggle to cope with a Sandy-type storm surge.

Do you find Tokyo’s Water Discharge Tunnel an amazing engineering feat? Feel free to share your feedback with us!

Source: Alex Zolbert | CNN

Image: Shine Your Light