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Business engaged in phone battle

DESPITE a long-running awareness campaign ‘6’-prefixed phone numbers are still causing confusion in Perth.

Covenant Group managing director Glen Buckley said his problems started when his business moved from Wembley to Subi Centro.

Because the relocation took the business into a new exchange area, he had to get a new phone and fax number.

When the new numbers were issued, Mr Buckley found both numbers began with a ‘6’ instead of the ‘9’ most Perth phone users are accustomed to.

“At the time I wasn’t too impressed but was told there wasn’t anything I could do about it,” he said.

However, the ‘6’-prefixed number was not just confusing to Mr Buckley.

People responding to his business’ advertisements were replacing the ‘6’ prefix with a ‘9’.

The number went through to a direct office line, causing an unrelated person to be inundated with calls.

“We put up with it for more than two months. I was concerned about the amount of business I could be losing and the confusion it was causing,” Mr Buckley said.

After some difficulty, the business was reissued with old Subiaco ‘9’ numbers for both the phone and fax.

Mr Buckley’s colleague Nicola Adams said they were told ‘9’ numbers were fast running out.

Telstra spokesman Richard O’Connell said increased subdivisions and increased phone number demand was responsible for the number exhaustion.

“It’s not uncommon for homes to have three lines now – one for the phone, one for the fax and one for the Internet,” he said.

Mr O’Connell said ‘6’-prefixed numbers had been operating in Perth for about 12 months.

“The first suburb to get the new numbers was Bassendean,” he said.

The changed prefix problem is not limited to Perth with similar difficulties encountered in Melbourne and Sydney.

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