THE PHONE BOOK: What the Telephone Company Would Rather You Not Know by J. Edward Hyde

THE PHONE BOOK: What the Telephone Company Would Rather You Not Know

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Because Ma Bell is right up there on everyone's bureaucratic hate list, this book will be appreciated by a lot of beleaguered customers. Hyde, writing under a pseudonym, tells why all those billing foul-ups, snarling operators, crackling noises and banshee-like wails on the line. He writes with the accumulated spleen of an exemployee, which he is. His documentation wouldn't satisfy the Nader squad, but there's enough here about company malfeasance, political slush funds, harassment and wiretapping of customers, mysterious charges (they appear under O.C.C. on your bill and you are urged to question them) to make the telephone company very unhappy. And when the phone company is unhappy it retaliates--read the account of l'affaire Ramparts. One poor chap in Texas, a longtime company man, was driven to suicide when Ma turned on him; he left a note which said, among other things, ""Watergate is a gnat compared to the Bell System."" Essentially Hyde is not telling you anything you don't at least suspect: Bell Telephone is a cartel which can act against consumer interests with impunity. Still, a lot of fed-up people will relish every snide word.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1976
Publisher: Regnery