Monday, July 16, 2007

Daddy, She'll Ask, What's A Phonebook?

New phonebooks were delivered this morning. In Vegas, we get two a year because the city is changing so fast. Mine went directly into the recycle bin (see left) and the bag it came in was used to pick up dog poo on our walk. (Be thankful I'm not providing a pic of that.)

Question: Does anyone use these 7-pound booster seats anymore? Couldn't they lower our phone bills by making phone book delivery optional? Uh, wait, scratch that. This is the phone company. They charge me to NOT be listed.

But really -- am I the only one who never even looks at the phone book anymore in the Google Age?


Bernadette in Australia said...

I couldn't agree with you more Steve. I asked our local phone company if it could be made voluntary to receive the thing and was told "we don't have the technical capabilities for that".

Huh? They can, via a complex arrangement of phone lines and satellites, connect me in my suburban Australian lounge room to someone floating down the Amazon on a log raft but they don't have the technical capabilities to develop a tick box in their database that says "chooses to receive phone book". GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Ryan said...

There's a couple of reasons for this... 1) They sell ads and placement in the book, so they want as many copies going out as possible... Whether you use it or not, they are making money...
2) They send pallets of the books to people who then run around the neighborhoods passing them out. If they had to check for each address on a list vs. just throwing one on every driveway, that would make the process take much longer. In my area, I see families working out of their van passing these things out. Good luck getting them to refer to a list.

Brian said...

I think Ryan hit it right on the head. We get multiple phonebooks each year, all from different companies. Its just mass advertising.

Ray said...

Actually I've used the paper yellow pages quite a lot over the last year. We bought a new home and as I searched for various painting, electrical, mechanical, carpeting, and carpentry contractors, I found only a tiny number online. But I found dozens in the good ol' Yellow Pages. Indeed, of the dozen-plus different contractors from whom we got bids, and out of the half dozen we eventually hired, only one of them had any kind of online presence.

I'm sure there are plenty of people whose day-to-day activities don't require the services of those kinds of businesses who haven't come out of the dark ages and gotten themselves online.

But try finding a good tailor who specializes in reweaving damaged fabric, a nearby locksmith, somebody who can strip your hardwood floors, a place that will recycle old light fixtures, and other low-tech trades... you'll find the paper yellow pages a much richer source than your favorite search engine.