50 international phone booths vandalized
PHUKET: More than 50 public telephones for international calls have been jammed in what appears to be a campaign of deliberate vandalism. Plastic cards, cut in half, were jammed into the phone card slots in booths around the island. Some would-be callers, angry at not being able to make overseas phone calls, added to the damage by venting their frustration on the distinctive yellow phone stands. Thanawat Suracheskomson, Managing Director of P. Southern Network, which has been the sole sales agent for international phone cards in Phuket for the past eight years, said the company’s service image and business had been damaged, because customers felt deceived after buying cards only to find that they could not make calls. The main telephone control system in Bangkok first spied the problem and a check by staff in Phuket discovered the jammed slots. Vice Governor Manit Wattanasen, alerted to the issue by representatives of P. Southern and its affiliate, Lenso Phonecard Co, urged the public to be on the lookout for people acting suspiciously near phones. Damage was random throughout the island. The phones are being repaired rapidly, and Phuket Town police are investigating leads suggested by the companies.
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