14 NOVEMBER 1992, Page 34

Rejects of the system

Sir: Alexander Chancellor's lament (Diary, 17 October) needs, I feel, some reinforce- ment. I share his fate, the two telephone numbers of my house having been omitted in the 1992 telephone directory though they had always been correctly entered in the past. The same Mr Jim F. Jones who answered Mr Chancellor's letter of com- plaint to the 'Phone Book Manager' sent me a similar wishy-washy letter of apologY. According to him, 'a few entries were rejected by the computer'. As it is common knowledge that computers do what they are told by the programmer, it is adding insult to injury to be taken for a fool. As to obtaining telephone numbers by Directory Enquiry, this is not only expensive but also impossible without knowledge of the address. Though BT 'could not hope to ensure against any such errors or omissions occurring', as a freelance art historian I feel I should be able to claim compensation for professional damages.

Susanna Swoboda

34 Rawlings Street, London SW3