No More Phonebooks!

I linked to an entry by Amanda Fritz in my post about City Charter Review, because she said it was giving her a headache. Now I’m linking because the rest of the post is what I want to talk about-rackafracking phonebooks.

I don’t need a phonebook. Even if I did, I need A phonebook, not a STACK of phonebooks. And why can’t I opt out, especially if you are not my phone service provider? There is no landline active at my house currently, why can’t I opt-out of this nonsense? Does this mean Cingular and T-Mobile will be getting into the phonebook printing business? I am full of questions, but it really comes down to this, from Amanda’s blog:

Don’t make us come after you with a city ordinance mandating only the phone company serving a residence may deliver unsolicited directories.

Amanda, this is my call to you: PLEASE go after them. I don’t want to put a post in a blogger’s mouth, but I have a hunch that Steve might be with me on this one. If you need help to make this happen I will be more than happy to assist you, I know you don’t have a lot of free time. (:

7 Comments so far

  1. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:01 am

    Oh please no.

    Yes, extra phone books are annoying. They probably warrant some ranting on blogs. Maybe event a concerted effort to publicly make the publishers seem a bit foolish. But a law? No. Talk about a waste of time/effort to get that law on the books.

    Banning telephone books would make Randy’s trans-fat ban seem entirely rational and reasonable…

  2. ElGordo (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:58 am

    What the phone book companies are doing is littering, plain and simple. Same with FoodDay. We should find the office that organizes deliveries and dump our refuse in front of their door. It’s the same deal, so it shouldn’t be illegal.

  3. Banana Lee Fishbones (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 9:59 am

    I’m not willing to go as far as Elgordo there, but seriously. What it comes down to is this: When I had a land line, it made sense that I got a lot of phonebooks. Now that there isn’t one in my house, and hasn’t been for like three years now, I’m sick to death of this phonebook nonsense.

    I for one WILL NOT welcome our new Yellow Page overlords.

    If it were easy for me to opt out or even possible but hard, I’d do it. I just can’t figure out how. And if you live in apartments I do not envy the minefield your lobby has become.

  4. greg (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    My fave is when they leave them in front of your door while you are on vacation, and then you come back to a sloppy sloppy mess of wet paper and debris that takes up valuable garbage can space.

    Phonebooks are outdated. There should at least be a way to opt-out. I see this as much more logical and befitting of Portland than a trans-fat ban (which seems illogical, given our state’s libertarian bent). Phonebooks are a waste of paper, plastic, ink, and fossil fuel (for delivery).

  5. atlas (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 10:40 am

    I live in a building with many units and I would support a yes or no option before they deliver. As of now, down near the mailboxes stacked about three feet high and and running the length of the hallway are all the phonebooks.

    I have not bothered with them, nor does it seem that anybody else has. So what will happen is they will sit there until our property management people or board decide it’s time to toss them into the recycling room.

    So basically it’s just a huge waste that will clutter our hallway for another few days then end up taxing our recycling room.

  6. idojpdx (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 8:23 am

    There’s an opt-out system in place for junk mail, via a letter to the Direct Marketing Assn., and we can now be placed on a no-call list to avoid telemarketers. What would be so hard about a similar system for phone books?

    I agree. I never use them, and judging from the mildewed and rotton piles of yellow paper near my neighbors’ mailboxes, neither do they.

    It just needs to be stopped.

  7. martin (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

    As an apartment manager in the cool part of southeast, I get a ridiculous amount of phonebooks delivered to my properties every year. I think there are three different companies now with three different phone books. I figure about 10% of them get snatched up by tenants, and the rest would just fester by the mailboxes if I left them.
    I used to load them all up in my mazda and dump them in front of the qwest building downtown under the cover of darkness, which was fun and subversive.
    This year, I’ve been calling the company that distributes the directories (qwest, verizon, etc) and made them come out and pick them up. The poor customer service reps on the other end of the line cannot–for the life of them–understand why I wouldn’t want 37 bags of phone books. I inform them that this isn’t 1989 and that no one needs them anymore.
    I’m not an expert on this, but I believe that when they have to pick up the phone books, their total circulation numbers go down, and therefore the value of their advertisements decrease. If that’s true, then i encourage everyone to call the phone companies and make them retrieve their trash. Mayhap the basic laws of supply and demand will someday make them realize they should stop producing these monstrosities.
    I’m curious: When was the last time you looked something up in a phone book? I’m sure I’ve done it in hotel rooms or in roadside payphones in strange cities, but I don’t remember the last time i used a phonebook for anything other than a doorstop here in town.

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