Anyone Can Opt Out Of Phonebook Delivery

If you read our post about Seattle residents getting the chance to opt out of phone book delivery, don’t be jealous of our friends in the Pacific Northwest. It turns out anyone can stop phone book delivery, not just people who live in cities of Space Needles, markets at which they throw fish at you and pathetic football teams.

Visit the Yellow Pages Association’s opt-out page, type in your zip code and you’ll receive a list of phone book companies with contact info you can use to tell you’re not interested.

Consumer Choice [Yellow Pages Opt-Out via Lifehacker]
(Thanks, Randy!)

Comments

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  1. obits3 says:

    But then, how will i fix my wobbly table?

    • Mike says:

      Stop shopping at Ikea. That fixed all my wobbly furniture problems. I now buy all my furniture on Craigslist. The only strange thing about it is that I seem to have all these bug bites since I bought that couch from the messy guy. Hmmm, I’m sure it’s nothing.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Your table wobbles enough that it requires a 4 inch phonebook to steady it? Maybe you should just chop off a few inches from the other three legs and sell the bits to pirates for their peg legs.

  2. c!tizen says:

    No way I’d opt out! Every time I get a new one I take it in the attic and drop it down the wall between the studs… I’m bullet proofing my house on the cheap, getting ready for the revolution!

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      And here I am stockpiling them so I can scare people away during the looting by performing displays of strength by tearing phone books in half.

  3. eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

    I just filled out one of these, with a fake phone number. Can anyone think of a valid reason they need my phone number, since I don’t have a landline?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      To make sure you get put in the White Pages everyone else will get. :D

  4. gddess says:

    I live in Seattle and I’m beyond happy that this was passed..

    However, I will point out that I tried the whole Opt Out on the Yellow Pages site and guess what landed on my door two days later. Yeah, not one but two phone books.

    • nybiker says:

      My guess is that it takes some time for your choice to wend its way through the system. Sorta like a magazine subscription – they print the labels months in advance.

    • zlionsfan says:

      same experience. Entered my information yesterday, clearly setting everything to 0 on AT&T’s site … and today there are two completely unwanted phone books on my doorstep.

      Odds of me picking the very same day that they’re shipping out the normal phone books? Zero. This wasn’t the “normal” set (white pages, yellow pages, compact book), just two books.

      I think that describes local phone service perfectly: exactly what you don’t want or need.

  5. georgi55 says:

    fyi bad link

  6. zlionsfan says:

    Hmm … the link above doesn’t seem to work (at the time of posting), but I think this will: http://www.ypassociation.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Environmental1&Template=/CustomSource/ZipSearch.cfm

  7. El_Fez says:

    Yeah, our football team may suck, but our Soccer team totally rules! Go sounders!

    • Mike says:

      Your WNBA team rocks, go Storm! They seriously have some of the best fans in professional sports, if you haven’t been to a Storm playoff game, you’re missing out.

      I miss the Sonics. A tear comes to my eye each time I wear my Sonics jersey.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Truthfully, our football team doesn’t suck. We’re not Buffalo. It’s just that they look bad in comparison to our soccer and women’s basketball teams.

      In any event, who cares about our sports teams? We live in SEATTLE. That’s reward enough right there.

    • DavidCopperballs says:

      Kevin Boss’ brother FTW!

      Uh, the backup win.

  8. Krobar says:

    I don’t like that for my area it required my phone number and email address as well as physical address. I understand the physical address, and email maybe for confirmation if absolutely necessary. But like hell I’m going to give a marketing organization my cell phone number as well (no landline). :-

    • El_Fez says:

      Easy peasy – just used (area code) 867-5309!

      Problem solved!

    • SG-Cleve says:

      It’s the phone company, they already have your phone number anyway.

    • George4478 says:

      I don’t like giving out my phone number either, so I bought a keyboard with the keys 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0 on it. This is handy in providing websites my phone number of 123-456-7890.

      Feel free to have the marketing sites call me, if you wish. :-)

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        My silly keyboard only has roman numerals.

    • gianspi says:

      555-555-5555 works during submission.

  9. SkokieGuy says:

    For the two companies that deliver to my zip code, both opt out pages have a form that *require* both my phone number and email. This is so not happening.

    Considering all they need to not deliver a phone book is the address they are not delivering to, I will not be participating in the opt-out, meaning they have the cost of printing and delivering books to my address that will be tossed out.

    Smart business model! /snark off

  10. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    “Things are going to start happening to me now!”

  11. inputhike says:

    Well, actually, this doesn’t work. I’ve tried opting out through information there about 3 times, and I still receive 3-5 copies of various phone books each year.

  12. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I still like having a recent copy of the yellow pages for finding businesses. I just wish a full version of it, ads and everything, could be found online. I’m sure its better in bigger cities, but I’ve had very bad luck using any of the automated aggregaters of business information. The data seems to be plagued with errors and out-of-date information.

  13. PanCake BuTT says:

    404 – Not Found

    Thanks Phil !

  14. QC says:

    This would probably be of no use in my area. Drivers come by every few months with truckloads of yellow pages and drop them outside every doorway in my apartment complex. They pretty much canvass the whole neighborhood. I strongly doubt they look at any opt-out lists… sometimes they even leave extras by the mailboxes for good measure!

  15. Laughing Sun says:

    I was able to opt out of 1 of 2 online…the other I had to call them and they wanted my phone number. I told her that I refused to give it to her and she said she couldn’t process my request without it. WTF?? Why on earth do they need that???

  16. BDSanta2001 says:

    They continue to drop them off en masse at my apartment. Then they stock about 25 in the mailroom like a monument against live trees.

  17. m1k3g says:

    It’s a cruel joke. They won’t stop, they just want everyone to think of them as ecologically-responsible companies who really care. But they’re not. And they don’t.

    THEY MAKE MONEY FROM THE ADVERTISING.

    If you ran one of these companies would you want to tell your advertisers that your circulation numbers are going down?? No f**ing way you would. Go ahead & register with their website. Call their 800 number and ask them nicely to remove your address from their distribution list. It won’t happen. Sorry.

    • scoosdad says:

      I’m with you. In my neighborhood the phone books are delivered by a beat up station wagon driven about 20 mph down the street with the books being tossed like sacks of potatoes out the windows and onto the ends of driveways by two or three kids. Nobody is going to take the time to consult a printout to see if they should skip the next house. I’m sure they’re paid by the book, too.

  18. Sarahnoid says:

    I’ve put my name in the opt-out database every year for the last 3 years. I’ve gotten the blasted phone books every time anyway.

  19. agent 47 says:

    Can I opt to get more than one? I like shooting them.

  20. MercuryPDX says:

    Yes… you can opt out, but that doesn’t mean they will stop delivering it. :(

  21. humphrmi says:

    Many years ago I worked for the local phone book company (forget their name, and they paid me in cash) delivering phone books to make some extra scratch after work. The way it worked was, they gave you a map with your delivery area marked out in red and enough phone books to deliver to every house in the area. There was no opt-out list; everyone within the map area got a book (unless they stood on their lawn and physically refused it.) When you returned with no phone books, they paid you based on how many you delivered, and asked you if you wanted a new map. If you failed to deliver all your books, you didn’t get paid for them. If you failed repeatedly, they just let you go.

    Now here’s the thing. Sure, that was many years ago (I’d say 15, maybe 20) but the way they hire today is still the same as back then – anyone with a car can get hired, and the only requirement is the ability to read a map. A very simple map, with big lines and street names in big letters outlining the delivery area, and everything inside that area gets a book. That’s the training. So even if there is an opt-out list, I doubt anyone is paying any attention to it, nor do they want to because it means less pay and possibly not getting another route.

  22. aaron8301 says:

    Pathetic? PATHETIC?!? I hope you get stuck in traffic, Phil.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go peruse through my ‘Hawks paraphernalia…

  23. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    You want to rank on Seattle sports and you choose the Seahawks, with the season the Mariners just completed?!

    I’m incredulous.

    (And embarassed for my poor pathetic Ms.)

  24. ConsumerA says:

    I haven’t used a phone book since the dawn of the internet. Years ago, I asked Qwest to stop delivering phone books. They told me that I could request extra but there was no way that I could opt out of getting one. I told them to cancel my service and I switched to VOIP. I continued to receive phone books for years. Finally, they started an opt out list and I immediately signed up. This year, I didn’t get a phonebook from Qwest…but an door hanger from Qwest was placed illegally in my mailbox telling me that I could call them to get a phone book. Now if only the fake “yellow page” phone books would stop showing up on my doorstep…

  25. Weekilter says:

    404 link!

  26. Jeff The Riffer says:

    Er, the “opt-out link” in the article is broken. After the HTTP prefix it says:

    //consumerist.com/2010/10/Seattle%20Residents%20Will%20Soon%20Be%20Able%20To%20Opt%20Out%20Of%20Getting%20Yellow%20Pages

    That ain’t gonna work, :)

  27. parabola101 says:

    Here’s the response from Opt Out Directory Submission from YellowBook:

    ——————————————
    Yellowbook Opt Out Submission
    ——————————————

    Yellowbook has received your request to opt out from delivery of your local Yellowbook directory to the address provided. We will remove your name and address from our print distribution list. Please note: requests must be received more than 60 days prior to directory distribution. Requests received less than 60 days prior to directory distribution will go into effect with the following directory delivery cycle. Opt-out requests for hand-delivered directories will remain effective for 3 years following date of submission. To opt-out from receiving a mailed directory, please contact your local post office directly.

    We look forward to servicing your information needs online through http://www.yellowbook.com.

  28. parabola101 says:

    I went through the process of filling out the form using a fake phone number and an alternative email address. Here’s the response I received from Yellowbook.

    ——————————————
    Yellowbook Opt Out Submission
    ——————————————

    Yellowbook has received your request to opt out from delivery of your local Yellowbook directory to the address provided. We will remove your name and address from our print distribution list. Please note: requests must be received more than 60 days prior to directory distribution. Requests received less than 60 days prior to directory distribution will go into effect with the following directory delivery cycle. Opt-out requests for hand-delivered directories will remain effective for 3 years following date of submission. To opt-out from receiving a mailed directory, please contact your local post office directly.

    We look forward to servicing your information needs online through http://www.yellowbook.com.

  29. gnubian says:

    This could mean that I’ll no longer get to throw phonebooks back at the people who throw them at my house.

    Opt out request sent to 3 out of the 4 who had opt out info provided from the link. Shame on you, myutahyellowpages.com for not having an opt out option anywhere (I’ll take care of this on Monday with some direct communication).

  30. tsdguy says:

    I LOVE the Yellow pages. It’s free, many companies have good ads which have detailed info on their services, most of the time there is a crapload of good coupons and it’s recycled (and made from recycled paper). In my little town, many a time I’ve not been able to find a local store online but they’re right in the old YP.

    Now, leave me alone and get off my lawn!!!

  31. fuzzy says:

    Though I guess its a money grab to get companies to pay for yet more advertising, I like the little ‘Car edition’ that comes with our phone books.

    I’ve found it useful.

  32. philosophiste says:

    Forget opt OUT. You should have to opt IN in order to receive it.

  33. Eugene says:

    I opted out way back when that was first posted and have gotten 3 or 4 phones books since.

  34. Sandison says:

    Seahawks are number 1 right now, asshole.

  35. massageon says:

    This is great, I was just talking with my Mom about opting out of receiving phone books at the home I just purchased. Seriously, they would deliver them to my doorstep and I would turn around and put them right into the recycling bin.

  36. foxmajik says:

    Opting out of phone book delivery doesn’t work. I did it many times.

    The reasoning is this: Phone companies pay a third party to deliver phone books and they just drop them on every doorstep in target neighborhoods.

    it’s not like the US Postal Service where they deliver only to specific addresses.

    Since there’s no list of addresses they deliver the books to, there’s no way for them to differentiate your address from any other.

    So you can opt out and they’ll record your name, but you’ll still get phone books.

    If you complain to the authorities or even take them to court they’ll claim that opting you out would cause “a significant detriment to business.”

  37. StevePierce says:

    I had tried these opt out requests. AT&T is great, not.

    You don’t get to opt out, you can change your quantity to Zero. However, I have tried opting out of YellowBook and AT&T Yellow Pages and still every year i get swamped. At my house I live on a corner lot. The brave souls put phone books at each door of the so I get 8 to 10 directories every year from each provider.

  38. StevePierce says:

    Also most opt outs are only good for three years and then the stuff starts rolling back in.