‘I’ve not got the internet and don’t want it - I just want my phone book’

Photo Neil Cross
83-year-old Frederick Iredale, of Bamber Bridge, is furious his phone network Talk Talk won't supply him with a phone book
Photo Neil Cross 83-year-old Frederick Iredale, of Bamber Bridge, is furious his phone network Talk Talk won't supply him with a phone book
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SILVER surfers might scoff, but off-line pensioner Frederick Iredale has struck a blow for golden oldies in a scrap over the humble phone book.

The 83-year-old got so hung up when his annual directory didn’t arrive that he took his case right to the top.

Now, after hearing the 
“unobtainable” tone from both BT and Talk Talk, the telephone industry’s watchdog has stepped in to connect him with an up-to-date edition.

“There’s still a lot of people who don’t have the internet and don’t want to have it,” said Frederick, who prefers to flick pages rather than click a mouse. “So this is a very useful book to have.”

Frederick was left feeling cut off when he called BT to ask why he hadn’t received a new telephone directory to replace the 2013 one he was using at home in Stephendale Avenue, Bamber Bridge.

BT denied responsibility and told him to dial his phone 
provider Talk Talk.

They insisted they didn’t produce one and asked him to ring BT back. So in desperation Frederick phoned Ofcom for help, and suddenly he got through.

Ofcom said Talk Talk were in breach of regulations and, after a frustrating wait - and the intervention of the Evening Post - he finally got the call he had been waiting for.

“The thing is I’ve been denied a phone book,” he said. “The only one I’ve got is from 2013 and it’s out of date - a lot of numbers have changed since then.”

Talk Talk said: “We are really sorry we gave Mr Iredale the wrong information when he asked us for a phone book.

“We are posting one out to him and are updating our 
processes to make sure we do not make the same mistake again.”

BT said in circumstances such as this, it is usually for the service provider to supply the book, but they offered to arrange one for Mr Iredale if he was still having problems.