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Should the Yellow Pages be allowed to print their directories? Options · View
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:11:29 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 29,271
I don't know about you, but I haven't looked in the Yellow Pages directory for at least a decade. I can't recall when I last looked at it online either.

Should they be allowed to print their directories? I see them stacked up outside my apartment block, nobody has taken one. They will all end up being recycled.

What a disgusting waste of resources, and damage to our environment.

I think instead of having an opt-out scheme, people who really want them, should have an opt-in scheme, that way, only those that really want them, will get them.

What do you think?

US Citizens can opt out here: http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/
UK: http://www.stopjunkmail.org.uk/guide/paper_directories.php

If you live elsewhere, go to google and type in, "Yellow pages opt out" - you should find a way to do it fairly quickly.
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:19:57 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/29/2011
Posts: 709
Location: South Florida, United States
The Yellow Pages are definitely on their way out. I still have clients who say they work for them for advertising and I know that older folks still use them. The Yellow Pages here are experimenting with a Yellow Pages online.

You are invited to read Passionate Danger, Part II, a story collaboration by Kim and ArtMan.

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:34:04 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 926,652
The answer to this question is clearly a resounding no!

Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:34:58 PM

Rank: Matriarch

Joined: 12/6/2006
Posts: 29,271
They print something like 200 million in the US alone each year.

Sure, a few elderly people might still use them, but people of the age 65+ make up only 12.8% of the US population. If they all wanted a copy, that's still only around 25 million that should be printed. I would say that most of those don't want one either.

They should be stopped.


Looks like they will be out of business soon anyway.
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:12:51 PM

Rank: Smiley Guru

Joined: 7/16/2008
Posts: 551
Location: United States
nicola wrote:
Should they be allowed to print their directories?

In the US the answer to that question is addressed in the first amendment. It is simply free speech.

Whether they are profitable or useful as an information source or as an advertising medium is the real determining factor. Though we may not realize it being "plugged in" constantly, there are still many people without internet access.

This Article says that in 2009 80% of people had computers and only 92% with computers had internet access. So roughly 26% of people had no internet access.

Ironically since advertising drives the production and value of phone books in the above article it states that, "Internet access is correlated with education level and a household’s combined annual income. As they increase, so does the likelihood of internet access."

That means that an advertiser is paying to be available to a diminishing group of people, with lower purchasing power. I suspect that the simple economics of the situation will sort this out in a relatively short period of time and phone books will go the way of the rotary phone, and the manual switchboard operator.

I could even imagine that the conclusion of this trend is a phone book with only Wal-mart listed.
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:11:32 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 926,652
Pretty sure market dynamics will take care of this. Thousands of people will be without jobs and a renewable resource which we have an almost limitless supply of will finally be free from man's cruel wastefulness. However, the scarcity of rare-earth metals concerns me more than the diminishing capital return of yellowpage advertising. Rare-earth metals don't grow on trees, and causes more environmental harm than their end users are willing to admit.
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:32:23 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 926,652
Phone books are on their way out. Not only has internet access aided in diminishing the need but so have "smart phones". With so many apps available and the easy to access phone numbers via a smart phone the need for phone books will drop drasticly over the next few years. More people are using cell phones and the number of people not having land lines opting for cell phone only use, is a big factor. I actually use to carry a phone book in my car. Now there is no reason to with almost unlimited access to the internet with smart cards and such. My laptop goes everywhere with me and I find I tend to look up and discover more about a place I am considering going before placing a call to that business. Cut back on phone book printing and save a few trees and stop polluting with the toxins in the inks. Plus if people set up their computers to accept faxes, you will save on ink and paper useage but only printing what you need to print. No I am not an extreme tree hugger, just know how to use what I have wisely. Penny smart, dime richer right?
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:37:06 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 926,652
A friend of mine asked almost the same question, something to the affect of, 'got this big yellow book with a bunch of names and numbers in it on my stoop, what do I do with it.'

My response was that you could use it to prop up your computer screen making it more comfortable to view while using google maps/yahoo, maps.

A waste indeed. But if people actually cleaned up after themselves you wouldn't need custodians.
Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 2:50:02 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/29/2010
Posts: 125
Location: Canada
Call me old fashioned, but I use phone books every single day. But if ones don't use them, no need to waste paper. A good idea would be if ones want them, to call the phone company and ask for one. If you don't call and ask for one, you won't be given one.
Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012 5:13:07 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/2/2011
Posts: 212
Location: Tirphil, United Kingdom
In the UK, I quote:

Royal Mail's Door-to-Door Opt-Out is a free service that will stop unaddressed junk mail delivered by the postman. Signing up to the scheme is the single most effective measure you can take to reduce junk mail.

This is patently misleading on three counts. To start with, most junk mail is delivered locally by hand for local businesses (e.g.take-away food outlets) who find it cheaper to pay kids a pittance than to use Royal Mail. Second, the local council and other bodies use the unaddressed mail service to send out non-junk, eg local news letters, service interruption notices. Finally, the postman often forgets (or ignores) which houses are excluded.

It needs to be stopped at source. If the Royal Mail did not offer this unaddressed mail 'service' to big businesses (e.g. Sky TV, Insurance Companies, Charities) then there would be a good chance that those organisations would stop mass mailing to total strangers because of the added cost of addressing and mailing. Also they could manage with a lot less delivery men, and we might get our mail at a reasonable hour, as more than half the delivery time is spent at the doors, rather than walking to the next house.

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