More than two thirds of UK companies regularly miss important telephone calls and lucrative business opportunities because they have too many contact numbers, and the growing volume of email exacerbates the problem.
A Quantum Group survey of 200 medium to large companies and 200 residential consumers revealed that 70 per cent of business people and 67 per cent of consumers have more than three contact numbers. Sixty-six per cent of business people said they tend to give only one rather than several numbers, and that figure rises to 77 per cent among consumers.
More than two thirds of both groups stated they wanted one single contact number.
There appears to be a latent demand for consolidated communications, and Internet startup coms.com has a new service that provides subscribers with a single-number service catering for voice, fax and email.
The system will trace customers by trying one number after another until it tracks them down. It will store faxes and emails until subscribers are ready to retrieve them.
Coms.com says that call rates will cost less than a mobile phone call - only 24 pence per minute at peak time, 16p off-peak and 8p at weekends.
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