Phone Book Follow Up
FINALLY! How to opt out of phone books. Sort of.
In November I wrote about the frustrations of having useless fax machine size yellow dinosaurs constantly dropped off at my door. I wrote about it in November of ’06 too.
Most readers agreed that these are about as relevant as an eight track player. I also found another story about RETURNING phone books, (not just recycling them,) that was done up in Seattle by alternative weekly “The Stranger.”
Anywhere a phone exists there’s most likely internet access or WiFi, making your product obsolete. Even in my office at work I don’t see phone books in cubicles or workstations anymore. They’re as useful and as relevant as cassette tape answering machines, VCRs, and Blockbuster Video.
Stop publishing these. It’s a waste of paper, and a waste of the plastic used to wrap them in. (Actually those make decent dog poop bags.) Also the only revenue these bring in – which is advertising, is sold under false pretenses. Just like magazines, phone book publishers base ad rates on circulation. So my handling of this book for five seconds between lifting it up, walking it to and heaving it into the recycle bin counts as an impression and/or user. Yeah right.
This prompted a passionate copied and pasted response from “Yellow Pages Industry” leader Ken Clark:
The other myth is that the Internet is all we need. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that the broadband market is about tapped out. There will always be a good percentage of the population that will never have access to the industry’s Internet products. Barely more than 50% of households in the U.S. (about 56 million homes), currently subscribe to a high-speed Internet service. An additional 21 million households still use dial-up connections (yes, you read that right dial-up connections).
This week 9News/KUSA ran a story on cumbersome phone books, where to recycle them, and most importantly how to opt out:
Call 1-877-243-8339 to opt-out of receiving DEX phone books. Call 1-800-929-3556 to opt-out of receiving Yellow Book directories. If you want to opt-out of the Verizon phone book, you can call 800-555-4833.
The catch however? You MUST provide your phone number, so they can call you back next year to make sure you still hate phone books. Well at least its a start. I’d still rather drop them off at Ken Clark’s house.