Spam: a telco's best friend?

A Skype user reports his first telemarketing spam:

While having a conversation with my friend, Joe Klein, of the PodcastVoiceGuys he told me that he had another call coming in and asked me to hold for a moment. A couple minutes later he came back on the line and told me that the call was a recorded message that appeared to be a telemarketing pitch-in Spanish!

Joe said he couldn't believe that he just received what he thought to be a telemarketing call on Skype. I jumped out of my skin, realising that this ghastly plague may already be affecting the vast Skype community!

It has long been obvious that the price of telephone calls between people who know and trust each other was heading towards zero. The good news is that not everyone knows or trusts each other. Here lies a possible replacement revenue stream for the metered minute.

Unlike with email, telephony has traditionally always come with a bill attached. That billing could be used in new and innovative ways. When Alice wants to connect with Bob, Bob may set a toll price before someone requests to become a buddy. If Bob accepts your request, Alice pays nothing. If Bob rejects it, Alice loses her stake, with a commission to the telco.

There are many other possible variants of the scheme by which Alice and Bob establish their relationship and excluse those who would otherwise abuse our attention. No matter which one is the right one, you know that by the time the talk starts, the opportunity for a telco to make money has stopped.