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The Big Number change claims a casualty. K'snurk!

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The clock is ticking – on 22 April phone numbers in many parts of the UK will change. Among those affected will be businesses in the Greater London area. One of those is Compaq UK. We got a press release from Compaq this morning and noticed it had changed its letterheads to accommodate the new phone number – 0181 is gone and in its place is 0208. But 0181 isn't the only thing that's gone. The new phone number has a digit missing. It used to be 0181 332 3000. According to the new Compaq headed paper it is now 020 8332 000. Spot the missing 3 – if you see what we mean. Dial the number as it appears on the letterhead and you get a dead tone. Oh dear. For a long time Compaq was stuck with a reputation for being aloof and unwilling to speak to anyone other than huge multinational customers. It went to great lengths to improve relationships with smaller customers, including setting up a call centre in Glasgow where the smallest of businesses and even home users could buy Compaq machines. Funny thing, irony. ®

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