Yellow Pages phone book name change catches Hawke’s Bay residents off guard

Hastings retirees are upset with the new format of the Hawke’s Bay telephone directory. This year there are the usual yellow pages, but if you want the white pages you have to ask for them as they are printed separately.

Hawke’s Bay residents have been caught off guard after a change in the way the traditional phone book is produced, with many wondering where hundreds of home numbers are.

Hawke’s Bay today – listed on page 238 of the new Yellow Pages business directory which was distributed in the region last Friday – received a slew of calls from people confused as to why they and their friends were not listed.

Terry Kapene was one of many to wonder why so few numbers were in the white section of the new Yellow Pages book.

“I looked at all my family and saw they weren’t there and wondered why. My neighbor thought the same.”

However, directory publisher Yellow said that as part of a rebranding venture, business and residential numbers are now listed in separate books.

Hawke’s Bay residents will need to “sign up” this year if they want to receive a traditional residential telephone directory, as it is now delivered separately from the yellow business directory.

Yellow’s general manager, Darren Linton, said that in an effort to make it quicker and easier for consumers to find business information in the White Pages section of the Hawke’s Bay Yellow Book, residential listings will be published this year in a separate book from blank pages and will have a 10% increase in standard font size.

Everyone would continue to receive the Yellow Business Directory (which now only lists businesses alphabetically in a White Pages section).

“With the majority of print searches looking for business information, we decided to separate residential listings into their own book, which consumers can order online or by calling Yellow.”

Deliveries of the Hawke’s Bay Yellow Business Directory, which also featured a new front cover, featuring successful local businesses on the front cover.

For Hawke’s Bay, Lynley Boyce of Boyce Podiatry Foot Care Clinics is on the cover.

Age Concern Hawke’s Bay director Deborah Gibbs said she had been contacted by “a lot of people”.

“We find that a lot of people just don’t understand what’s going on and when we explain it they’re horrified.”

The concept of having to request delivery of a telephone book was “completely foreign” to older residents, she said.

Dawn Pearson, 91, from Hastings, said the yellow pages were useless for older people who didn’t have a computer.

“I just feel like we’ve been deprived of something else that older people need.”

The new opt-in approach would be phased in to Christchurch, Waikato, Wellington, Otago, Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Bay of Plenty.

A spokeswoman for Yellow said there were more than 700 calls to its customer support team on Monday, with 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds.

“In Hawke’s Bay alone, more than 100 community groups received posters and flyers, including Gray Power, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Age Concern Hawke’s Bay, as well as libraries, RSAs, Rotary and Lions Clubs, election offices , SeniorNet and community centers alerting people to the new membership option.”

Yellow’s digital and print directories manager, Rob Jane, said that this year elderly residents or anyone else who does not wish to receive the Yellow business directory may also opt out of receiving it, if they simply wish to receive the residential book.

“When they sign up, and they only need to do it once, each year thereafter, they automatically receive the Hawke’s Bay Residential White Pages delivered directly to them and they will not receive the yellow book.

“It’s a matter of choice. It’s for this very reason that our older users say we don’t use the book to research business information, we use it to research residential information, and that’s why we made that change.”

So far, the changes have been welcomed, the spokesperson said.

“The other thing people who receive will notice is that the font size is bigger this year. One of the biggest complaints from seniors was the readability of our telephone books. increased the white pages font size by 10% so when they sign up and receive their book, they will see that the text is much more readable than it was last year, which, I think, is another fantastic improvement for them.

To opt in to receiving a residential telephone book, residents of Hawke’s Bay can visit www.ypgbooks.co.nz and provide their contact details, or telephone Yellow on 0800 803 803.

People choosing to receive a residential directory would receive books after January 4, 2019.

Calvin W. Soper