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Easy... don't answer the phones

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Irish airline Ryanair has come up with a novel way of turning itself into an e-commerce business -- it's stopped picking up the phones. After starting its online booking system rynair.com just one month ago, the no-frills airline boasts the site is already responsible for about 23 per cent of its traffic (does it mean bookings?). Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary claims £3.7 million in online sales since mid-January –- that's 35,000 bookings a week. However, online sales have been propelled by glitches in the Dublin-based company's new telephone system, according to today's FT. Apparently, customers have had to endure delays of 15 minutes or more in trying to get through to the recently installed central reservation service by phone: they turned to the Web site in frustration. ®

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