Letter: Telephone peep-holes

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Sir: It is time indeed that BT offered us the choice of being able to see a caller's number before we answer the phone (17 December). For someone such as myself, who lives alone and regularly receives silent calls, it would remove the anxiety I feel whenever I hear the telephone ring.

I find it staggering that Sue Bloomfield, of the Consumers' Association, believes that people should be able to opt not to have their number displayed. This would render the scheme useless. If someone is making a phone ring in your own home, you have every right to know where that call is coming from. No one would ever dream of objecting to the installation of a peep-hole in someone's front door on the grounds that it invades a visitor's privacy, yet this new device would be the telephone equivalent of this.

If ex-directory customers are worried that the information may be misused by companies, perhaps the device should be available only to private phone users. In any event, I look forward to 1994 when I can purchase my add-on unit.

Yours faithfully,


London, W2