Hewie's Views & Reviews January 06 2011
++++ Phone Book Delivery Opt-Out
Throughout the year I find Telephone Books left at my front door. I haven't used a phone book in years. Before the Internet was a part of our lives, these huge books were a necessary part of our lives. We had to pay extra to have our name, address, and phone number left out. The Yellow Pages were huge revenue streams for the phone companies.
Now I maintain my important numbers on my computers and my phones, including my cell phone. If I need to search for a business phone or address, I do so on line and get the latest information and quickly. Many of my friends no longer have a land line, so they do not have a home phone number to be listed in the white pages, anyway.
Where I live, there is not recycling, so as soon as I get the new phone books delivered, I deposit them in the dumpster. I want to stop delivery and wasting all of that paper. There are ways to opt-out. To find what companies publish local directories, I went to http://YellowPagesOptOut.com and enter my zip code. I got a list that tells me how to contact the publishers to stop delivery or, if I prefer, change the number of copies that I receive.
In my area, there are 3 publishers. Since I am in the AT&T area, I went to their site first. There is a form to fill out and set the desired copies to zero, thus opting-out. However, and this is a big however, I am required to enter a phone number & email address. I can understand the email address so that verification could be made. I don't have a phone number in the directory and do not want to give them a number that they may add to the directory. I did not complete the form.
Some of the websites that explain how to opt-out suggest that calling is a better way to do so. I called the AT&T number listed and again I was asked for a phone number and was told that their system works off of that number. I cannot opt-out by phone, without giving a phone number. I then tried DEX which leaves 4 different books throughout the year. They also require a phone number on line or by phone, in order to opt-out.
The lady at DEX said that "we are a publishing distribution company, not a phone company, so we do not use your phone number." My response was to ask why it was needed and she stated that their system is set up that way.
My only solution will be to use one of my virtual phone numbers and take me off the delivery list. One of the websites that I visited said that even doing that may not make a difference, as the delivery people seldom look at a list and drop books in front of every door anyway. It looks like the old way wins.