Google gaffe gives tourists hair salon number as V&A Museum contact

The Victoria and Albert Museum in central London - not to be confused with a hair salon. Photo: PA

The Victoria and Albert Museum in central London - not to be confused with a hair salon. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Imagine your confusion if on a holiday abroad, you called a museum for information only to be offered a wash, cut and blow dry.

This listing on Google confused a fair few tourists.

This listing on Google confused a fair few tourists. - Credit: Archant

This was the predicament facing thousands of tourists when Google mistakenly listed the phone number for a South Woodford salon as a contact for the Victoria and Albert Museum in central London.

Searches returned the usual listing for the famous V&A with the correct address but callers were directed to the unconnected Victoria and Albert Hair Parlour.

For four days, the salon was inundated with calls from would-be museum visitors including one from France and even Australia.

Sarah Jane, who works at the parlour in High Road, estimated that staff answered the phone to more than 100 confused callers.


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She said: “We called the museum to let them know but they just gave them their number to pass on - that’s not in my job description.

“I tried Google for three days but I couldn’t get through.

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“By Saturday I didn’t event want to answer the phone.”

Sarah said the blunder hit business by blocking the line with tourists and leaving clients unable to get through.

Without explanation, the mistake was corrected on Saturday (5) and the calls stopped as suddenly as they began.

“We didn’t get a call to say sorry or anything,” Sarah said. “We still don’t know what happened.”

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