He had the “eureka moment” for his new business at the launch of Vodafone Live: “I asked a salesperson to show me how to send a picture message. She didn’t have a clue. I thought, ‘If she can’t do it, the general public doesn’t stand a chance.’” So, in 2003, he and his brother Geremy set up TMTI [Take Me Through it] using £500,000 of their savings. The early days were tough: “At first we were losing £50,000 a month,” he says. “That made it difficult to sleep at night.” The company now works with a string of retailers across the country. If you’re struggling to get to grips with your new Motorola camera phone or you can’t work the remote control for the plasma-screen TV you just bought from Tesco, these are the boys to call. Thomas describes the company as a “returns doctor”: “If we can help consumers use their new gadgets, we can stop them taking things back.” TMTI launched its new online service gadgethelpline.com in September last year. For a monthly fee of £2.99, you can speak to someone every time you hit a technical stumbling block. It’s already attracted 70,000 members. Sales at this Somerset-based firm have rocketed at an annual rate of 145 per cent over the past four years making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the country.
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