Skype coughs to phone number cock-up

Numbers already allocated

Skype has been forced to recall a batch of geographic UK telephone numbers after issuing them by mistake. The London telephone numbers were made available on the VoIP operator's web site last week.

Owners of the new London numbers beginning 020 7 would have been able to have their calls routed to their PCs while anyone calling them would think they were phoning a regular London number.

But it seems the numbers issued by Skype were already in use - in one case to a London company that became increasingly irritated by the snafu. One of those who bought a number told us: "I've just purchased a UK number so people can call a landline number and it comes to my PC. Turns out the number they supplied is owned by a company in London already."

Internet telephony outfit Skype played down the incident claiming that only a handful of people were affected by the cock-up. In a statement a spokeswoman told us: "An error occurred and a small number of UK geographic numbers were issued to Skype from our carrier partner that proved to be faulty.

"The Skype customer support team reacted quickly to stop the batch of faulty numbers from further assignment, so few numbers were affected. Skype has compensated each of the affected customers with a credit to their Skype account in recognition of the inconvenience, and issued a free voucher for a new number."

Skype said the mistake wouln't happen again. ®

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