Local businesses still brandishing their old seven-digit phone number in some of their advertising are secretly doing it to prove that they’ve been around for ages. The older readers among us will remember that, up until the mid-1990s, Melbourne used to have seven-digit phone numbers, mostly starting with a 4. 

Occasionally you’ll spot one of these shorter phone numbers on the front door, or on the signage, of a longstanding business. In extremely rare cases you may even see the seven-digit number on a business card, which arguably serves the counterproductive purpose of suggesting that you haven’t done much networking in the last 20 years, or you got a ripper printing deal back in the 90s.

Despite this conjecture over the message sent by keeping the old number, one local businessman told us that he definitely keeps it just to show how trustworthy his business is. Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, the man said “Yeah, I know some people reckon it makes me look like a dinosaur, but secretly I’m proud of it you know. I’ve been in business for over 30 years, and I like to remind these young upstarts of that fact. Mate, I was a bloody entrepreneur before the word existed!”