What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

superfluous yellow pages directory

on September 29, 2014

When I got home from work yesterday after a very long day, a telephone directory lay in the drive. I knew its source: three or four times a year, a pickup truck comes slowly along the street, and someone in the back tosses out a bundle at each address. But they shouldn’t at ours, because I’ve told the publishers we want to opt out.

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Indeed, I’ve opted out (or tried to) several times, three different ways. A few years ago the yellow pages publishers, in the face of consumer backlash, claimed they would police themselves and established a website for one-stop opt-out requests. “This is good,” I thought. It bothered me a bit to have to create an account there to use it, but I did so, and clicked all the buttons to stop the flow. I was hopeful enough to write a post on my old blog recommending the site.

Well, I was the sucker born that minute. The directories kept coming. I e-mailed the contact info at opt-out service asking why, but got no answer. So I phoned customer service at the publisher of the most recent unwanted directory to express my concern. Oh, the representative said, they hadn’t heard anything from their industry association for months. She thought it was defunct. They were handling it in-house now. I observed that the front matter of their directories didn’t say so, but gave her my name and address and told her I chose to decline their product.

Still another directory arrived. That time I used the opt-out link on the publisher’s website. I just did so again moments ago (it’s the last option on the “contact us” page). I’ve asked in the comments field why this keeps happening. I never get an answer. I can guess why: we’re not their customers; their advertisers are. We’re their prey.

At least our municipal recycling stream accepts the books. I wish that we taxpayers could charge the directory publishers for the costs of disposal … such measures have reformed other polluters.

shedding style: refuse (I wish), recycle
destination: municipal recycling stream

Comments welcome … if we collected enough of them do you suppose we could build (grin) a shed?

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