According to Fox News blogger Claudia Cowan, a San Francisco legislator is trying to change the distribution of the local "White Pages" from the existing "Everyone gets one" model to an "Opt In" model in order to benefit the environment.
This seems like an easy choice when the publications are separately bound, but here in the Boston area, suburban phone book white pages are in the same binding as the Yellow Pages, so it's not clear if the savings would be nearly as high in this area.
I have a landfill near me and I see first hand how much waste Americans generate. It's enormous.
None the less, I'm opposed to "opt in" to get phone books. That would soon lead to charging for the books. Plenty of people prefer the convenience of a printed page, on which they could underline listings and write notes and remains permanent. For large businesses with Centrex, I can see the list of departments to narrow down who to call directly.
On line listings are notoriously inaccurate, yet people seem to think because it's "on line" it's correct. My on-line home phone listing erroneously shows me living in a town 15 miles away. It also shows me having a telephone line which I disconnected over five years ago. People use those listings and have trouble calling me even though I am properly listed in the telephone directory or from 411. Unfortunately, distant 411 services can use out of date or erroneous sources, too.
If the telephone industry wants to go green, stop requiring the massive amount of information on a phone bill. I have unlimited national service, yet my phone bill is so thick it requires extra postage to mail, despite double sided printing!
While I'm a big fan of the yellow pages (I advertise in several and I use it from time to time to find businesses) it's been years since I've looked up anything in the white pages. It started when people began to withhold their listings from the white pages to limit phone solicitors.
I think today it would be rare to find anybody I know listed because nearly everyone I know uses cell phones and I don't know of anyone who is paying to be listed. Or do AT&T cell phone customers get automatic white pages listings?
We just got a new edition of the White Pages delievered and it's quite thick, so obviously a great many residences still have a listing.
I only know one person who dumped their landline for a cellphone.
I regularly use the White Pages hardcopy to get the phone number of people or businesses.
As previously mentioned, I've found on-line listings notoriously unreliable. On-line Yellow Pages need better filtering--when I seek a pizza joint I don't want places 100 miles away, which is what I get now.
That phonebook was left on my door step in a plastic bag even though I haven't had landline service since 2002 (though I do have stock in the company) -- I'm not listed. And having AT&T Mobility as a cell carrier does not qualify one for a listing in the White Pages (which is fine with me).
Now you know two, the second being me. I abandoned all 4 landlines in 2002 because the effective cost was $2.50/minute given how much I actually used a phone. Phone spamming REALLY was the last straw.
Likewise. Just this past week I had to find a new barber since the shop I've patronized in town went belly up since my last visit. And there was a $3 coupon off the 'cut in the phone book ad! :-)
On-line listings are often so wrong it's unbelievable; of the businesses whose phone numbers I've looked up online the past several years I'd say fewer than 25% were correct. Even companies with websites don't always have the correct number on their sites (often missing the AC) with sometimes an incorrect or obsolete number.
With the way area codes appear here in Silicon Valley, it's important for a company to list a complete number. After my SIM card went belly-up last year, reconstructing the "address book" was no fun from public and online sources.
When I belonged to the Route 66 list, there were questions about whether the Vega Motel in Vega, Texas, was still in business. I looked in the on-line Yellow Pages and no matter what filters I selected, it still displayed motels and hotels in Amarillo and a couple of other places, along with various 800 number listings for various hotel chains and travel agents. After wading throurh all of them, no Vega Motel. Wes Leatherock firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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Right now, phone books are delivered based on the number of residences in a building. If a residence has lines on multiple bills, I suspect that triggers delivery of an extra book. In the past, phone books were delivered based on the number of telephone lines. And before NAFTA and prior bilateral trade agreements protected Canadian wood pulp causing newsprint prices to skyrocket (just at the time that directory advertising was declining and newspapers were starting to struggle), one's home used to get a phone directory per telephone extension.
AT&T Directory Publishing does not cover all AT&T territory. In the Chicago area especially, the listing services agreement was with Reuben H. Donnelley. RHD has its own "look and feel" telephone directory Web site:
... which also includes directories they publish for non-AT&T areas, both where they have listing services agreements with the ILEC and where they publish the alternative telephone directory.
Alas, Verizon areas don't have anything like this. But their spun off directory publisher (twice bankrupt) keeps changing its name. First it was Idearc, and now it's SuperMedia.
Not much has changed since I last started a similar thread. whitepages.com is the only remaining on line phone directory for residential listings. However, they are now doing some information consolidation, not just getting information from phone directories (which could be up to 15 months old), with databases that have even more out-of-date information, like Intellius. Nearly every yellow pages Web site that offers people searching is merely offering whitepages.com.
Yellowpages.com is AT&T's site, with plenty of information consolidated from Dun & Bradstreet. Boy, if you were ever curious what business last had your telephone number, check D&B.
If you're not using one of the two "look and feel" sites I mentioned earlier, then I prefer superpages.com (from SuperMedia) over yellowpages.com. The once great Switchboard site is nothing more than a front end to superpages.com these days.
anywho.com is gone, now just another Intellius front end.
infousa411.com is the front end to infoUSA, the list broker, as you might guess. Lots of out of date listings. However, infoUSA claims its business listings are checked for accuracy by humans, so that helps a little.
That certainly is not true of the at&t on-line directories. They are an exact reproduction of the paper directory. They can do it, and now several magazines and newspapers can do it, so why can't all LECs do it? Answer: they can if they care to.
As far as your multi-page telephone bill you have been given the option for several years now to receive that bill via electronic distribution (typically a PDF file). So, opt into "e billing."
True. One book for each line, but PacBell stopped doing that some (I'm guessing) 25 years ago and it became one book per residence. And getting phone books for other areas (e.g., remainder of San Francisco Bay Area) required one to make an annual "round trip of food supermarkets" to pick up the area's book(s) in the PacBell kiosks at each market in each area. Los Gatos CA was an "oddball" since it was (then) served by GTE.
I regularly shop at 4 to 5 different food supermarkets and I haven't seen any phone book kiosks in ages now. "Somewhere" I heard that one has to actually buy the phone books for the other areas now and the guy was quoted $99 for the set of San Jose CA or San Francisco CA phonebooks (given these were physically each a set of 4 or 5 books given the population density) vs. most SF Bay Area "local" phone books which are single books about 1" to 1.5" thick.