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Llanelli pensioner 'too old' to have phone contract

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

Eric Hales who says he has been refused a contract with TalkTalk because of his age

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A LLANELLI pensioner claims he was told he was "too old" for a new telephone contract — despite having a girlfriend more than four decades younger than him.

Eric Hales, 77, of Llangennech, said he felt upset and vulnerable after TalkTalk representatives denied him a new home telephone and broadband contract due to his age.

The semi-retired chartered engineer believes he has been the victim of ageism.

Mr Hales said that TalkTalk representatives visited his home — which he shares with his 34-year-old partner Tamara — to try to sign him up to a contract.

But on revealing his age, Mr Hales claims he was told he could not finish the deal.

He said: "We were about to sign it, but we were informed by one of the salespersons that I was not able to have a contract on my name with TalkTalk because I was too old. They had to check that you were older than 18 and younger than 75."

Mr Hales said that despite his age he is still an active man and resents being excluded for no good reason.

He said: "I am still driving my car, paying my bills, going out very often for a good piece of steak — I have teeth in my mouth.

"I work regularly in my engineering workshop and also have a girlfriend years younger than me. I am happy to be able to do all the things I can do at my age.

"As you can see I live a life like any other human being."

He added: "For the first time in my life I faced such disappointment. I am feeling vulnerable and very sad with the way companies like TalkTalk look at elderly people.

"I am completely sure I have all my faculties and have enough money to pay my bills.

"The way they treat us over-70s they presume that we are going to die tomorrow," he added. "What the company forgets is that any time anyone at any age can die."

A TalkTalk spokesman said: "We are sorry we were unable to provide Mr Hales with the information he needed. We would urge him to get in touch so we can discuss getting the right package for him."

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