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Valentine's Day SMS refund nipped in the bud

Complaint line dealing with other complaints

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Punters who paid £1.50 to send an anonymous Valentine's Day message to the object of their affections (assuming they had a suitably equipped and configured handset) were disappointed to find that a technical fault prevented its delivery.

They were also disappointed to find that Eckoh, the operator currently taking flack for its involvement in premium rate scandals on X-Factor and Richard & Judy, has not been forthcoming with a refund.

Senders received a notification that their MMS love note hadn't been sent, and a number to get a refund. A month later, however, that phone number has been commandeered to take complaints about X-Factor voting.

A representative from Eckoh told us that complaints lines are generally held for a couple of weeks, and ITV urgently needed the line to appease X-Factor voters.

Anyone still waiting for a refund for their secret message can call the line and explain they were trying to seduce via MMS, rather than trying to vote in X-Factor - though which is more embarrassing is open to question. ®

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