Man texts Gumtree fraud entire works of Shakespeare
A man ripped off by a Gumtree seller has sought his revenge by texting the fraudster the entire works of Shakespeare
A graphic designer who was ripped off by an internet seller got his revenge by texting him the entire works of Shakespeare.
Edd Joseph, 24, was furious when he bought a PS3 games console on Gumtree for £80 and the vendor failed to deliver the goods.
So he decided to take his revenge by texting the entire works of the Bard to his nemesis - all 30,000 words.
Mr Joseph discovered he can simply copy the words from the internet and paste them into a text message - without costing him a penny on his unlimited mobile phone package.
He sends it as one text but his victim can only receive them in 160 character chunks - meaning the 37 works of Shakespeare will buzz through in 29,305 individual texts.
So far Mr Joseph has sent 22 plays including Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello which have been delivered in 17,424 texts.
He reckons the remaining 15 works will take another few days to send - meaning his adversary's phone will have been constantly beeping for nearly a full week.
Mr Joseph said: "I was really annoyed and I was trying to think of ways of being more in the position of power because I felt so helpless about it.
"My first thought was that I could try and pretend I had found out where he lived but it was all a bit of a cliche and it wasn't going to worry him really.
"Then it just occurred to me you can copy and paste things from the internet and into a text message. It got me thinking, 'what can I sent to him' which turned to 'what is a really long book', which ended with me sending him Macbeth."
Mr Joseph bought the console and bundle of games from a seller two weeks ago via direct bank transfer - giving him no protection when the seller failed to send the goods or provide a refund.
He complained to the police who said his chances of catching the crook were slim, and Gumtree who said bank transfers were against its terms and conditions.
Last week he found a Shakespeare play on his iPhone internet browser and then copied and pasted it into a text message with just a few presses of a button.
Despite the length of the text, he only has to press 'send' once for each play and his phone then processes them into individual texts. His unlimited texts and calls package with O2 at £37 a month means he does not have to pay excessive charges for the multiple messages.
He started sending them last Thursday and throughout the weekend - often at night to cause maximum disruption.
The average Shakespeare play - at 22,600 words - will be delivered in an annoying 792 texts to his rival's phone.
The longest play, Hamlet, took 1,143 text messages and defiant Mr Josepth has also sent Macbeth (600 texts), romance Cymbeline (847) and All's Well That Ends Well - a pleasing 861 messages.
But the graphic designer, who lives with his girlfriend in Bristol, started getting abusive replies from the seller.
"I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that," he said. "His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours.
"But recently he has taken to calling me and giving me abuse on the phone. I tried to ask him if he was enjoying the plays, but he was very confused.
"I'm going to keep doing it. If nothing else I'm sharing a little bit of culture with someone who probably doesn't have much experience of it.
"I'm not a literary student, and I'm not an avid fan of Shakespeare but I've got a new appreciation you could say - especially for the long ones."