The fact that you are paying them for the listing *makes* them a customer so I see no merit to your argument.
Whether or not the phone company is losing money doesn't even enter into the argument.
So, you really think that every phone company should distribute a phone book to every home in every locality they serve? Can you imagine how many phone books would be stacked up in your house? Even if they do it, it wouldn't be practical.
And the different major telephone companies share their directory assistance databases with each other.
And you are wrong about it being too costly. It's not practical since the local companies make it so difficult to get other listings in it.
As I have already pointed out, the fact that you are paying them for the listing *makes* you a customer. The way I've always understood it, if you take money from someone or some entity for providing goods or service you become a customer.
AT&T used to do what it pleased all the time. Do you remember the result of that?
You can say it isn't a monopoly if you want to, that doesn't make it so. But from the standpoint of when AT&T owned the Bell companies they *were* a monopoly. Only the phone book is not? And if they'd market it right (and not lose so much by losing time and effort from not knowing how to handle services that they do indeed provide), probably could do it cheaper themselves.
I don't think that this even compares. There's a big difference between providing a telephone network and providing a book.
No one is asking them to. Your are paying them for the listing. That makes you a customer and you *are* paying them. I wish I could make two dollars per month per thousands of customers for simply adding a listing in a database so I could charge other telephone subscribers for giving out that number to them.
Really? Then how come I always get a resolution when I take this issue up with them? Let me tell you that it works.