I tried to ring mum and dad this morning (like most Tuesday mornings) but, unfortunately and through no fault of their own, they have the number 3 in their phone number. This has never been a problem before but today, I just couldn’t get through.
I tried ringing our phone with my mobile but calls in were working just fine.
At first I thought it was the international cheap calls provider we use but their website didn’t say anything was wrong. Next I checked BT, using their online testing facility. It told me the line was fine.
It then occurred to me that maybe it was just mum and dad’s number so I tried the flat, knowing Mirinda was on her way to work but this returned the same annoying woman telling me she didn’t recognise the number. Next I tried my mobile with the same sad result. It was getting really frustrating.
I figured it MUST be something to do with BT and, without thinking, I rang their helpline. This worked and I was quickly through to the lady robot telling me I’d be recorded for training purposes. I hung up. There was clearly nothing wrong for which I could easily blame them. Damn, I muttered under my breath.
I am always spouting Occam’s Razor whenever someone else has a problem but just when I need to apply it myself, I forget. Actually, my rendering of the Razor is that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one so try the simplest solution first. While this isn’t exactly what it means it generally serves me quite well. For the real meaning, there’s quite a good Wikipedia entry here. Mind you, it only serves me well when I actually apply it.
It was when I tried returning a call using the 1471 facility that I finally worked it out. It didn’t work. The reason it didn’t work was because, in order to return the call, one needs to press the number 3. The lady robot just ignored me every time I pressed it. And then I realised. All the telephone numbers I’d tried previously, contained the number 3. Except the BT helpline…which worked.
We needed a new phone. I went and bought one. It now works perfectly.
All of which means that I’ll be ringing mum and dad on Wednesday this week.