Hats off to James O'Neill for a display of true, world-class pedantry to which I could only aspire. It drives me nuts to get emails with badly formatted phone numbers which can't be dialled on Smartphones without first editing them, and now that I've started using Office Communications Server 2007 (more later) as the backbone for my real office phone, it impedes the usability of that too.
James' beef is that a lot of people incorrectly write a UK phone number which would be defined as 0118 909 nnnn (where 0118 is the area dialing code, and 909nnnn is the local number, the last 4 digits of which form an extension number in this specific example, available through DDI).
Here are some examples of number crime:
The only correct way to write this number is +44 118 909 nnnn, or for the truly pedantic, +44118909nnnn. Maybe you wouldn't publish an E.164 formatted number (as the scheme is called) as your primary customer services number, and it doesn't make sense to use it for numbers that won't be dial-able from abroad (eg some 0870 numbers or 0800 numbers). But for everything else, I'd encourage everyone to please make sure your email signature has a properly formatted number (either simplifying it by dropping the +44 or losing the brackets and leading zero). If your company publishes your number in its online address book, then make sure that's formatted correctly too so that people using telephone-aware systems (like Windows Mobile or Outlook Voice Access) can correctly call you.
In my profession, if someone doesn't figure that +44 118 909 nnnn is my phone number and that if they're in the UK and not in the Reading area, they need to drop +44 and add "0" if they're dialing from a plain old phone system, then I'm quite happy to have them not phoning me up...
This week, I unplugged the telephone on my desk and put it on the other pile of stuff on my desk that
I was talking to a customer earlier today who was envisioning frustrations around using click-to-dial