No sign of phone book reprint despite outcry

By AMY SHANKS


There has been no movement from Yellow after requests for the phone book to be reprinted as a solution to a large number of local listings being left out.

Phone lines at Hawke's Bay Today have been running hot about the omissions with an unprecedented number of more than 50 calls. Among those omitted were businesses, residences, club members, marriage celebrants and everyone in between, all of them frustrated.

Some also had issues with the company's handling of complaints, saying a different offshore customer-service representative answered each call they made, and that Yellow referred clients to their telephone provider.

However, Yellow said its job was to process listings based on information provided by the telephone company, "which we accept as being the customer's request".

"If we are told to make a number unlisted, we do so. We take this request very seriously as there are often sensitive reasons as to why people ask for an unlisted number," a spokeswoman said.

But that was no consolation for those who used the book as a means to stay in touch or who lost business through their omission.

One Hastings woman, who did not want to be named, said not having a listing affected her husband who was a marriage celebrant, worked for Corrections psychiatric services, and acted as kai karakia for their church.

"With his main job, he needs to be by the phone, he is also a kai karakia and he has a lot of people ringing him for that service, to go to their homes if someone is sick and say a prayer," she said.

"As a celebrant, a lot of the referrals are word of mouth, so that is another thing. It's a bit of a shock to be missed out after 40 years. We did change to Telstra Clear recently but I asked them at the time if that meant we would still be in the phone book and they assured me that we would."

Callers to Hawke's Bay Today related similar problems with Telecom, AirNet and Vodafone.

Yellow again advised Hawke's Bay residents who had been been omitted from the white pages to contact their phone provider and find out if they had been marked as unlisted.

"If the telco has marked a number as unlisted, they need to receive instruction from the customer to reverse that.

"This means that we will get a written instruction from the telco to make that number listed, and it will appear on whitepages.co.nz and for people who call 018, as a first step."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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