Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Where's the Number?

Finally,I got my grubby little paws on the latest telephone books, hoo-bloody-ray. For me gentle reader the telephone book, especially the Yellow Pages, is my life line in my pursuit of an income. When a service or a product is required I let my fingers do the walking.

I also use the internet for searches for suppliers but it is a technology that Philippine businesses have yet to embrace seriously. Listings are few and far between and those who have websites, including government departments, are littered with out of date information, dead pages and phone numbers with the dreaded “this number is not in use” recorded message – aaargh.

Thus getting the books was long awaited. The four volumes distributed on behalf of PLDT are a tad on the slim side with the residential listings coming up with just a few thousand over a quarter of a million listings in a city of ten million people.

Interesting? Is it like the internet that the telephone is a technology yet to be embraced by Filipinios? I think not, in our compound there are 4 land lines and up to 12 cell phones. I suspect that in the PLDT phone book only PLDT listings are included. Which would explain why, as a Globe customer, we are conspicuous by our absence.

Now in my experience PLDT is not the brightest light in the harbour and only listing their subscribers in their telephone book confirms this suspicion. They make their money from people making phone calls and it stands to reason that the more choices available the more calls can be made and the more revenue generated. By only listing their own customers they are shooting themselves in the foot.

If this methodology is also applied to the business listings the situation becomes even more ludicrous. If as a PLDT subscriber I am looking for a supplier who happens to use a different telco their existence will never be known to me and my potential conversations and faxes to them will be more lost business for PLDT. Not to mention the hindrance that this puts on business growth in a macro sense as business is all about communication.

This would seem to be the case, as the PLDT business directory is a slimmer one than the residential which is the direct opposite of my experience of other telephone directories where the yellow pages are double the thickness of the white. It will be interesting to see if the newly released Globe phone book applies the same limitations?

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