Your browser is out of date. Some of the content on this site will not work properly as a result.
Upgrade your browser for a faster, better, and safer web experience.

How to make money from cold callers

Our first book, ‘How to be evil’, is the collected cartoon works of Evil Stick Man, our Machiavellian doodle whose get-rich-quick schemes have featured in Delayed Gratification since the very first issue.

Here’s Evil Stick Man on how to make money from cold callers. For more of his nefarious how-to guides, order a copy of ‘How to be evil’ from the DG shop.


Set up a premium rate phone number which gives you a large one-off payment and per-minute fee for each call received.


Update your bank, utilities providers, pay-TV company and insurers with your new premium rate phone number.


Sign up for every free quote callback service you see advertised online. Give your number and details freely to companies who stop you in the street.


Get your landline to forward to a mobile headset. Start receiving calls.


Begin each call by making the caller listen to you practising “chopsticks” on the piano.


Keep the salespeople talking for as long as possible by speaking slowly, getting them to repeat everything and asking them to spell “PPI”. Experiment with different accents.


Field calls while making tea, reading Russian novels or playing arpeggios. If you get bored, buy a parrot and train it to say ‘mmm hmmm’ and ‘sounds good!’ at random intervals.


When an automated robot calls with a pre-recorded sales message, take a well-earned break from your headset and perfect your Beethoven sonata.


Use the money to bribe your way on to the bill at the Last Night of the Proms.

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”
Creative Review

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”
Creative Review

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”
The Telegraph

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”
El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”
The Telegraph

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”
Qi podcast

The UK's second-best magazine” Ian Hislop
Editor, Private Eye
Private Eye Magazine

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme