It’s every single person’s nightmare: You’re on a date, it’s a disaster but there’s no way out.

With Valentine’s Day looming, a mobile phone company in Australia has come to the rescue with a service offering an escape from the date from hell.

All you have to do is discreetly dial three numbers and then hang up without saying a word.

“Virgin Mobile will call them back a minute later with a perfect excuse to get them out of there. We’ll even talk them through what to say,” the company, a joint venture of the Virgin Group and Optus, said in a statement.

A survey of 402 people by Virgin Mobile found that 53 percent arrange in advance to have a friend call them mid-date to check they are all right or if they need an excuse to get out.

The results showed women were twice as likely as men to use the tactic.

More here.