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.

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