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Telco sets honey pot for nuisance marketers

Call centre spivs get dose of their own medicine

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A small telco has decided to turn the tables on irritating unsolicited calls by setting up a block of dummy phone numbers that play messages to trick marketers into lenghty and pointless sales pitches.

The wheeze is the work of Andrews and Arnold (AAISP), a small business provider, and was prompted by a deluge of unsolicited calls to its office lines over the past month.

The firm has reserved a block of four million VoIP lines for the prank. All are registered with the Telephone Preference Service, so any unsolicited marketing calls they get are likely to be the result of illegal use of autodialler software.

AAISP has adapted its anonymous call reject service so customers can use the honey pot message too. Today it kept one marketer punting "free calls" on the line for more than three and a half minutes.

The firm's boss has posted a recording of the call on his blog. The marketer is told the message is a recording and that she has called a honey pot line about one minute in, but stays on the line for a further two and a half minutes. ®

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