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Hacked-off punters keen to turn the tables on companies that "fail to deliver the goods" can now use a new phone recording service that fingers businesses with poor customer service records.

Not only does the Registered Call service give punters the chance to record conversations with calls centres and other "customer help operatives", it also provides a forum for punters to pool their complaints against shoddy operations.

To use the service, punters have to dial the Registered Call number before being connected to whichever business or organisation they are calling. Those receiving the call are played a short message informing them that their conversation is being taped. The calls cost 10p a minute, which is how the company makes its cash.

Once connected, calls are recorded and stored as tamper proof copies for six months. Calls can be retrieved either by phone or downloaded from the site using a .wav file recording. These can then be emailed to businesses, lawyers and consumer groups as proof of disputes or poor customer service.

David Hume, the founder of the company, came up with the idea after being stranded overseas following a car accident.

Said Mr Hume: "After a serious car accident in the Namibian desert, I tried calling my medical insurance provider's hotline only to be put on hold for fifteen minutes, after which my calling credit expired and I was left stranded. All the while the recorded message was sweetly repeating that my call was important to them.

"Many people have had similar experiences of appalling service but there is no proof that any of these incredible situations ever happened, until now."

This service sends a message not to fob off consumers with false promises and to treat people with more care, he said. ®

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