Two complaints recently made me realise that no one is better placed than phone companies to hide their contact details.

Iain Lyall emailed from Glan Conwy General Stores to say he had been trying to order blank top-up cards for the Orange network by calling the advertised number (08700 400400). “It’s a national call rate rip-off,” says Iain, who has never managed to get past the ‘your message is important to us’ recorded message (I tried the number and it has around half a dozen variations on the ‘we are currently very busy’ theme. You quickly lose the will to live).

He tried to order on the website. No luck there either. He eventually discovered that he had to order from his provider PostTS although the dispenser advertises the Orange number which is on a loop.

Pravin Patel, who runs Cambridge Off Licence at Enfield in Middlesex is trying to contact T-Mobile to get £20 back for a voucher gone wrong. The customer keyed in the PIN but it didn’t work. He brought it back and he and the retailer followed the instructions by contacting T-mobile on his mobile. Customer services told the retailer to give the customer his money back. The mobile then promptly ran out of credit and Pravin has since been trying to contact T-mobile for his refund. Anybody know?

A couple of retailers have also told me that the Vodafone voucher system has been switched off for three weeks but they haven’t told customers, so they spend hours trying to make the thing work. Hello! What’s going on?

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