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Yellow Pages Companies Team Up To Offer Opt-Out

from the save-some-yellow-trees dept

It's pretty much a national joke these days that every few months, yet another totally useless giant phone book gets dumped on your front doorstep. We don't even let them get into our house before they're tossed in the appropriate receptacle, and if you walk into some apartment buildings, you've probably seen lobbies littered with stacks of ignored phone books. There have been some (slightly controversial) legal fights over attempts to get the various phone companies to stop delivering these giant wastes of paper. Clearly sensing the writing on the wall, and trying to avoid more strict legislation, apparently a bunch of Yellow Pages companies have teamed up to let people opt-out of receiving the useless book. Whether or not the site, YellowPagesOptOut.com actually works may be another question. And some may worry about having to provide information to the very companies whose entire goal is to market to people. But, it's at least a project worth watching to see if it can be effective in stopping such a massive waste.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Lets do an experiment ...

    Lets opt out everyone in a couple of apartment buildings and see if any phone books get delivered that year.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Lets do an experiment ...

    probably, i get 4 a year.

    I have found just leaving them outside the door makes a good deterrent(sp?) for the rest. Kind of like ye olden time when you would hand pirates up to deter new pirates from showing up.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Papier-mâché to the rescue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    bdhoro (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Its not useless...

    Since I don't get a physical newspaper anymore, when I wanna paint I obviously don't have any newspaper to put down on the table. The yellow pages are nice because all the scrap paper is nicely stored in 1 book instead of saving all the newspapers which always gets ugly and disorganized. The cover works really well as a pallet also.

     

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  5.  
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    Ed Kohler, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Distribution fail

    I've been following this issue closely over the last few years, and have made a solid effort to remove myself from the three directory companies that print spam my home annually (with a total of 5 books combined). So far, I've continued to receive books I have unsubscribed from.

    The system breaks down at many levels, starting with the opt-out requirement rather than an opt-in system. Contract delivery services don't appear to be held accountable for over delivery (spam).

    Frankly, they just don't seem to care about the people who have to clean up their mess, and pay for disposal via local taxes. It's a disgustingly tone deaf industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Lets do an experiment ...

    I tried that a few years ago. AFAICT nobody was deterred and when I moved out of that place there was a stack of phone books nearly 3 feet tall next to my door.

    Once I even drove to a local office, walked in and gave them their phone book back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    I bet you it would cost them more (since it will take longer) for the deliverers to figure out who has opted out when they go to make their deliveries. They would need to carry a list and read form it. I don't see what their motivations would be. They have dumb money coming in from ad customers that encourage this behavior. They will probably just stop all together at one point and maybe even just sell books. Check out the photo of the mountain of phone books in this post: http://open.salon.com/blog/scanner/2010/11/22/the_death_of_the_phone_book_omg

     

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  8.  
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    kosmonautbruce (profile), Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    I signed up for the opt-out service but don't have high hopes. How depressing is it that I will be pleasantly surprised if it actually does work?!?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    Re:

    You're right! Without newspapers and phone books how will we do the mâché?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Pixelation, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 10:05pm

    Ban the internet

    I hope you all realize the internet has killed the phone book. We better ban the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Pete Austin, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 1:40am

    There's a Business Opportunity Here

    Please can someone develop a Website that opts out of all major spam. You enter your details once and it connects to all the individual Websites and opts out of everything, including new marketers as they arise.

    There could be a free, ad-funded version that opts out for a month at a time, or a version with a small subscription that opts-out forever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    John Z, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Nothing new

    Been around for a few years. If this was actually helpful, suspect more folks would sign up.

    http://www.thedeets.com/2009/08/14/yellowpagesoptout-com-is-nothing-but-a-domain-name/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Nick Dynice (profile), Feb 4th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re: There's a Business Opportunity Here

    This is logistically impossible. Sorry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Simon Flummox, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    Better this time around

    Past opt-out attempts failed miserably, but I signed up through yellowpagesoptout.com this year and it seems to have worked. One of the publishers called to say that their directory had been sent out to customers the previous week, and to let them know if we incorrectly received a copy. They did go on to say that I could request a copy if I wanted one, and touted their online directory and mobile app, but it was kinda nice to get that call.

     

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  15.  
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    Jes Lookin, Feb 4th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Another POV

    As someone who can't/won't afford to stupidly spend $50/75/99+++/month on computer or phone access, I retain the ability to look up and read printed information much faster than fiddling with annoying e/i-devices and their UIs. I'm pretty sure the majority of people priced out of 'high' speed comms feel the same.

     

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  16.  
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    Brandon (profile), Feb 4th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re: Another POV

    That certainly sounds like a good justification to keep them as an opt-in system. Perhaps the number of people who are online all the time has not quite yet reached critical mass but I have no doubt that we'll get there eventually.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Feb 4th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Firewood

    I tend to tear them up and use them along with kindling to light the firewood when my kids want to roast marshmellows, so they aren't totally worthless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    I recall when I was a kid we used to relish the days when the NEW Yellow and White pages arrived. We could see from the thickness that our city was growing. Thumbing through the Yellow pages was fun just to see new additions. Wow, times do change.

    BTW - Don't like 20 percent of homes OPT OUT of Internet? They might like and appreciate the books. Just sayin' :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Ed Kohler (profile), Feb 6th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Switch to opt-in

    The easy way to avoid over-delivery without having any negative impact on small businesses would be to switch to an opt-in system. That way, people who really plan to use the books would receive them and the rest of us wouldn't have to waste our time and tax dollars cleaning up the yellow pages industry's litter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Tarheel, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Yellow Pages Companies

    It is not difficult to say that the yellow pages companies trying to expand their servics through out the world. I think it is the cheapest way to online marketing through yellow pages.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Sendil, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 4:31am

    business

    nice but.... i saw one Business Listing Directory webbeez.com this web site is easy way to submitting our bussiness and article Submission it is very helpful to all……. thank u….

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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