Seniors call new phone book into question
‘ You need a magnifying glass’
There’s little to like about the new edition of the Cape Breton phone book according to a number of local seniors.
The 2015 edition of the phone book, published by Yellow Pages and distributed earlier this month, is two inches smaller both in width and length, and has also undergone numerous format changes, including font sizes and styles.
Beverly Joseph of River Ryan doesn’t like the smaller book size and describes the print size of the directory listings as being way too small.
“You can’t read it. You need a magnifying glass,” she said. “People that don’t have eye problems are going to have eye problems. They cut the book down to a child size.”
Joseph said the new phone book is useless.
“I’m not using it,” she said. “I put mine in the garbage, I’ll keep my old one.”
Bernie Larusic, vice-president of the Cape Breton Council of Seniors and Pensioners, said he’s hearing similar complaints from a number of local seniors about the new phone book.
“It looks nice and colourful on the front and it says ‘enjoy and discover’ and all that good stuff, but once you look inside, for seniors anyway, the font size is terrible,” he said. “The difficulty (people) are having with this is unreal.”
Larusic said he doesn’t understand why the company made the changes when the traditional format and fonts were working fine.
“It’s not one of their smarter moves,” he said. “They should be aware that this isn’t a good thing for people who are our age — I’m 80 and my wife is going to be 80, so it’s problematic.”
Larusic said seniors use phone books frequently to reach government departments, businesses and individuals across the region.
“We still rely on the good ol’ telephone book,” he said. “Way less than 50 per cent of seniors are using the Internet and things like that.”
In an email, Fiona Story, a spokeswoman with Yellow Pages, said the new sizing is part of a format change that’s been rolled out across Canada over the last several years. The company said the changes to the print directory were designed to make them more compact and were part of an upgrade of its print products.
“These changes are permanent, however, the directory does continue to evolve with the introduc- tion of new covers and increasingly localized content and neighbourhood information,” wrote Story. “Many of these changes were made based on user feedback and research, aligned with our efforts to ensure we’re meeting the needs of print directory users while making sure we’re being efficient in our use of recycled paper resources.”
Story said Yellow Pages is now primarily a digital media and marketing solutions company, with 55 per cent of its revenues stemming from digital products and services.
“Print, however, remains a part of our product offering as it continues to address specific needs of both users and businesses alike,” she wrote.
Beverly Joseph of River Ryan is not happy about changes introduced in the 2015 edition of the Yellow Pages phone book, at left. She prefers the size, style and print that had been used in phone books for many years, like the one at right.