Chris Silver Smith wrote a post on saving the yellow pages over at Search Engine Land last week. He outlined 10 points that could help the yellow pages industry. Though I have tremendous respect for Chris Silver Smith I disagreed with almost each point he made. This post is about his first point:
1. Come up with some way to stop distributing books to people who no longer use them. Thereâ€™s no way to explain to people why they should be getting these if they donâ€™t use the books, and it irritates the environmentally-conscious even if the books are printed on recycled paper like youâ€™ve been telling everyone.
This one I disagreed with because the ability to opt out of phone book delivery has been around for over a year now and the cynic in me believes that most people care about the environment only when it is convenient for them so nobody took the time to do it.
Then I did a search on the internet and couldn’t find the number to call and no one commented on his blog post like… Hey Chris, diid you know that you could do that for over a year now! So I was forced to consider the possibility that no one knows about this or how easy it is to do.
So, let’s find out. Here are the numbers to opt out of Yellow Page delivery for each major publisher. Is Chris right? Will the environmentally-conscious take the time to call? Or was the cynic in me right all along?
Idearc 1 800 888 8448 Option 2 (Opt Out Of Verizon Yellow Pages)
At&t 1 800 922 0008 Option 3 (Opt Out Of the Real Pages)
Dex 1 877 243 8339 (This will also work for Embarq)
Yellow Book 1 800 888-8448 Option 2
The funny part about this is how cleverly the phone companies disguised these numbers. Each one is published in their own directory as the number to call to order a phone book. I swear you can’t make this stuff up.
I would also like to assert that just because I disagree with what he wrote on that one post in no way diminishes how much respect I have for Chris Silver Smith as a leader in the local search industry. A lot of what I know about local search I learned reading his blog.
In future posts I will discuss the other 9 points.