2 MAY 1992, Page 20

High-pitched buzz

FROM British Telecom (who else?) comes a fine example of Patrick Hutber's law: Improvement means deterioration. Ask for the telephone number of someone who has moved house, and you will be told that it is not listed. Could it be found in the new numbers list? 'We no longer have a new numbers list. Everything is on the comput- er.' Everything except the number you need? `It takes at least three weeks to get on to the computer.' With computers, Hut- ber's law doubles in force.