Omissions in the phone book consistent with the policy, according to the company

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The changes and omissions from the latest phone book have raised concerns among residents of South Canterbury, but the phone company says these are based on policy.

Timaru resident Jimmy McGuinness said he was disturbed when he couldn’t find a friend’s phone number in the latest phone book, which was delivered last month.

“I was looking for a friend, but she had been abandoned.”

When he told her about the omission, she didn’t believe him.

McGuinness said once she saw for herself she no longer existed in the book, she was quite upset but didn’t know who to call about it.

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“At least the writing is bigger in this one (phone book), I don’t need my magnifying glass,” he said.

Her friend said she found it annoying that her number was no longer listed.

She said she assumed she was taken off the book because the number was listed under her husband’s name and he was deceased.

“I haven’t done anything about it because the people calling me know my number.”

Another resident of Timaru has a number listed in the new phone book, but it is incorrect.

Carolyn Sandrey said she had the same phone number for 40 years and then changed telecom provider and therefore had to change number. He was assured that his new number would be listed, but it was not.

Carolyn Sandrey is

JOHN BISSET / Stuff

Carolyn Sandrey is “annoyed” that the wrong phone number was listed in the latest edition of the phone book, while others are upset that they were completely missed.

When she complained, she was told it would be in the new book, but it isn’t.

“It’s very annoying that people think my phone has been cut off,” Sandrey said.

Spark spokeswoman Cassie Arauzo said the company provided a free standard white page list to customers with a Spark landline, which they passed to publisher Yellow NZ.

“When a new customer joins Spark, the default is that their information is not listed. This is to help protect the security (eg being the target of scammers) and privacy of our customers.

“However, during the registration process, our customer service agents will ask the customer if they want their information listed and if they choose to do so, we will organize that for them. They are also given the option if they register online with us. In the future, the customer can manage their ad online through their MySpark account or contact us by chat or phone to change the status of their ad.

When existing customers change their address, number or name, their enrollment status will revert to the default (not listed) for protection, as they may not want their new information made public, Arauzo said.

“There is also a reminder sent to customers who change their address that reminds customers that they are automatically set to unlisted and what to do if they want to change that. “

For customers with confidential lists, their contact details will remain private even if they make changes to their account, Arauzo said.

“It is important to note that Spark takes our customers’ personal information seriously, which is why we choose to set directory listings as’ unlisted ‘by default unless the customer decides otherwise.” she declared.

Magnifiers may no longer be needed to read the phone book because the font size was increased in the latest edition.

JOHN BISSET / Stuff

Magnifiers may no longer be needed to read the phone book because the font size was increased in the latest edition.

Yellow NZ print manager Rob Jane said the listings in the book were a combination of those from previous years and updates from telecom companies, Spark, Vodafone and Trustpower.

There were over 16,000 residential listings in the last blank pages of the Timaru and Oamaru book. He said there had been a slight decrease in registrations at Timaru of around 2% from 2020, but he did not give exact numbers.

“Our guess is that this would likely be due to households that no longer use landlines and choose to go mobile only,” Jane said.

He said Yellow NZ distributes books nationwide as part of an agreement with the New Zealand government to ensure fair access to essential information.

“The book offers an alternative for those without access to super-fast broadband and supports vulnerable members of our community to ensure they stay connected, or for those who need quick access to local information.

“According to Nielsen data, the yellow / white book is used regularly in the Timaru and Oamaru area, with more than 10,000 searches performed each month in the area, and 76% of these result in some form of contact.”

Jane said when Sandrey’s details changed, the company received an automated feed from the new telecom company and their list appeared to be unlisted, so it was not changed, he said.

He said there could be a number of reasons someone was left behind from the residential white pages.

“(The omission) could be initiated by the person, or the adoption of broadband or the change of provider.”

He said that when people change providers, they often face a myriad of decisions and one of them could be whether they wanted to be listed in the phone book.

“They get a lot of information at once and sometimes inadvertently say ‘don’t worry’. “

The publisher receives service order updates and people can request to be reinstated, but since the last book has been printed, any book changes will have to wait until next year’s edition, Jane said.

He said if anyone who wants to update their information can be included in the 018 voice directory and the digital version of whitepages.co.nz. Then the next edition of the directory would include it.


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