The strange death of the company phone number

As anger rises over clueless customer service, there has never been a better time to offer a human, instead of an online form

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"We have removed our telephone number," said a note on the website of a photography business I needed to contact in a hurry last week. "It's because we've noticed customers prefer to chat online, via e-mail or by filling in the form below," it added.

Yeah, right, I thought, as I grumpily filled in the online form and hit "submit", sending my query off to some digital netherworld where I doubted it would be seen by anything as costly as a human.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2022, with the headline The strange death of the company phone number. Subscribe