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April 16, 2020
One of the things we love at Worldpay is getting to know our customers’ businesses so we can help them to grow. From huge online enterprises to the nichest of the niche, we’re payment partners to every kind of company you can think of – and quite a few that you can’t.
For example, take a guess at what Malcolm Percival’s company does, based on his farm nestling amid the splendour of Devon’s Exmoor National Park. It will probably take you quite a few tries before you stumble upon the answer: Europe’s largest dealer of antique and specialist telephones.
Take a virtual trip into yesterday’s telephony by visiting telephonelines.net and you won’t be disappointed. From the “skeleton telephone” of the late 19th century (Malcolm’s personal favourite) to candlesticks of the 1920s, elegant 50s Bakelite, to groovy 1960s objects d’art and beyond. You can even buy a telephone kiosk (we know you’re curious – for anything from £300 to £3,000).
Malcolm’s customers are all over the world, so it’s vital that they are able to pay easily regardless of where they’re based. By using Worldpay Online Payments – which accepts payments in no fewer than 116 of the world’s currencies – Malcolm can be confident they can.
Telephone Lines have been trading in antique, retro, designer, kiosks and fun telephones for almost 50 years and it all started by accident. Malcolm’s lodger at the time didn’t have enough money to pay the rent and offered Malcolm an old telephone in lieu of the cash. By doing so, he ignited a passion which still burns fiercely in Malcolm today.
And it wasn’t always about looking backwards. Malcolm’s company was at the very vanguard of telephony when the telecommunications industry was deregulated in the 1980s. During this telecoms boom, Malcolm’s company got into the business of selling telephone systems. “We were only the second company to get approval for a cordless telephone,” Malcolm recalls. “Only BT was ahead of us.”
Today, he’s enjoying a more “dialled down” pace of life and is back to the core business of selling collectable telephones. Instead of the 40 people he once employed, there’s just him and his engineer, Mike.
With landlines increasingly overlooked in the age of mobile phones, Malcolm’s business is now very much aimed at niche markets – renting handsets to film companies, selling to collectors around the world (Australia and Spain are enthusiast hotspots, for some reason), supplying parts, and carrying out repairs.
If you’re inclined to dismiss old phones as “museum pieces” you’re actually overlooking one of Malcolm’s increasingly core customer segments: “We recently sent consignments to the Morocco Telephone Museum in Rabat and the Lascaris War Rooms in Valetta, Malta,” he reveals.
His relationship with Worldpay began just a few years ago. Malcom felt his previous provider became too focused on large enterprises and lost interest in small businesses.
Malcolm was also surprised that the process of moving payments provider to Worldpay was surprisingly painless.
You always have questions when you move to a new platform because things work differently. But one of the great benefits of Worldpay is the 24/ 7 support they provide from their Contact Centre. The first time I had to issue a refund to a customer, I called up Worldpay to find out how. The agent was really helpful guiding me through the process when I need some extra reassurance.”
So, would he recommend Worldpay to other online businesses? “I would,” he says. “In fact, I often do.”
Telephone Lines Higher Tippacott Farm, Brendon, Devon EX35 6PU
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