Fed up with calls from telemarketers, Richard Herman of the U.K. issued an ultimatum: Call again and he would start charging 10 pounds (about $16) per minute for his time.
Herman's warning went unheeded. He continued to receive calls, despite being on the U.K.'s Telephone Preference Service (similar to the Do Not Call list). So he started keeping track of the minutes and recorded each call on his computer. Then, true to his word, he sent an invoice to the offender.
The invoice went ignored. But Herman would not go gentle into that good night. He took the marketing company to small claims court and won for 19 minutes and 30 seconds of annoyance. Multiply 19.5 by 10 pounds and you'll see that Herman took home about 195 pounds for his troubles, not to mention the righteous thrill that comes with sticking it to the man.
After the ruling, Herman told the BBC, "It cheered me up to think that actually instead of being the victim of these calls I can actually defend myself against them to put the boot onto the other foot." But Herman isn't done yet. "I continue to receive further telemarketing calls, albeit from other companies. And I say to them every time now, that I will charge them 10 pounds a minute if they call again."
Now that he's an expert on stopping the calls, he's sharing his knowledge. He's started his own site: Say No To Cold Calls. The site, which may be down at the moment, features tips and tricks on how to sue telemarketers who won't take, "Please, for the love of God, stop calling me" for an answer.
Listen to Herman recount the story:
- Richard Herman
- Telephone Preference Service