Yellow Pages Works Hard To Make Sure Non-Customer Stays Happy Non-Customer

Maurice isn’t an anti-phone book zealot, but he doesn’t need one, either. A few months ago, an unwanted one showed up on his porch. Instead of saving it for a power or Internet service outage or sticking it under a wobbly table leg, he decided to contact the company that delivered it and let them know that they didn’t need to waste any more trees or time delivering phone books to him. The message didn’t quite take. Unwanted phone books are pretty low on his list of problems in life, but that’s an easy problem to solve. Right?

As it turned out, the nice people at YP/Yellowpages.com/AT&T were very anxious to not have an unhappy phone book recipient on their hands. Maurice explains:

I wanted to share with you a story of a company going above and beyond to the point of silliness. A few months ago I came home to a familiar sight – one of those yellow bags on my front porch with a phone directory in it. Since the advent of the internet I don’t use these any more, and I don’t know many people who do.

Usually I just toss the thing in the trash or use it to prop up wobbly furniture, but this time I decided that it was probably a waste of paper and time for the people delivering it. I followed the web link on the bag and opted out of receipt for all the various phone books in my area.

I considered the issue handled, until last week. Once again, I saw the little yellow bag at my door. It didn’t elicit much more than a curious look. Getting an unwanted phone book isn’t exactly a huge stressor in my life.

As more of a lark than anything, I followed the link again and filed an “unwanted delivery” complaint. I told the company (YP.com) that I had previously opted out of mailings and I’d like to stop receiving them.

That’s when the fun started. Over the course of the next week I received four phone calls and two emails, with at least one person claiming to be a manager. They all offered apologies for sending me the Dreaded Yellow Book. They confirmed my name and address several times to make sure I was on their “do not send” list. Just this morning I received an apologetic email that said essentially the same thing, and offered phone numbers for local distributors if I wanted to confirm my status with them.

Although I appreciate this company bending over backwards to make sure I don’t get something I don’t want, I just have to take a step back and laugh that they’re taking this issue so seriously. It’s a phone book, not nuclear waste. Still, kudos to YP.com for spending man hours and phone minutes making sure one non-customer continues to be…a happy non-customer.

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