Pissed Off Verizon Yellow Pages Recipient Vents

A local reader had to vent after his most recent altercation with Verizon after they spammed his business. I toned down the f-bombs. 🙂

Hi Ed,

I am a business owner on Nicollet ave and I have chased down delivery trucks and threw phone books back at them. Today I see I have a Verizon bag hanging from my front door of my business. I’m like you. It PISSES ME OFF. I have not opened a phone book for about 10 years.

I called Verizon and SCREAMED at them. I demanded they come and pick it up. Their response was “donate the book to a school”. Can you believe those words even came out of their mouths?????

I said ” you are requiring me to f***ing take time out of my day to properly dispose of something I never asked for. I have to take all my recyclables home to recycle. So I was really annoyed. I said “come out here and pick up your f***ing trash off my front door.” he said Verizon does not do that. I said he must not have heard me. I said “come out here and pick up your f***ing trash from my door”.

He said “I don’t think we have a delivery vehicle in your area”. I said “I don’t think you heard me. Come and pick up your f***ing trash from my door”. He said….. “ok. it might take a few days.”

He asked for my address and said he would put me on his “do not distribute list”. Something these companies say they do but I keep getting their phone books.

So we’ll see what happens.

It seems like yellow pages have gone from truly useful to mildly useful to printed SPAM status over the past 15 years. People are starting to wake up to the fact that SPAM isn’t just an email problem. It comes in printed form as well.

UPDATE: It turns out that his strategy works. A rusty van just showed up at his business to pick up his unsolicited Verizon phone book.

17 thoughts on “Pissed Off Verizon Yellow Pages Recipient Vents”

  1. Tim, I can only presume that you work for the industry because I’ve never encountered anyone else who’d attack someone for venting because they’re frustrated with yellow book spam.

    Have you ever been frustrated with email spam, Tim? Same thing. Unsolicited commercial junk, only heavier and more environmentally damaging.

  2. > her business

    Extract from his website: “Kerry’s background is in design production; he is formally trained as a technical artist. Before starting his own company he worked in a variety of corporate creative departments.”

    Kerry will be even more pissed with The Deets for changing his gender! Is that the phone ringing?

  3. We should increase the price of paper or lobby for littering laws. But even still, I talked to a VP from DEX who ran one of the largest metros for them. It’s 95% margin— so for every nickel they spend in printing these things, they make a dollar. So why not print a gazillion of them? We gotta make it financially unfeasible for them to churn that stuff out.

  4. OK, today I received two complete sets of Verizon phone books for Seattle Metro. That’s four books the size of an average encyclopedia britannica. Except in this case, they are full of unsolicited paid advertising. Guess what? My house used to be a duplex so we have two doorbells. That means that the saturation delivery trucks dump two, sometimes even three sets at my house (we have a side door that they sometimes confuse with a separate residence). I suspect that they don’t get paid until the truck is empty? These deliveries are random and unannounced. We have at least four competing companies which drop unsolicited phone books once a year in our neighborhood.

    I have been proactive, calling all major companies that past two years. I am also registered with an online do not deliver database. Still, they keep coming. Why? Because they pay a contractor to dump them on every doorstep and checking a list would only slow them down. These things all go directly into our recycle bin. What is the environmental cost associated with this glaring inefficiency? Has anyone stopped to consider the energy consumption involved in producing this paper, the fuel for delivery of raw materials and then the finished product?

    I contacted my local city counsel person about passing an ordinance to impose a fee for littering. Their reaction was that phone companies are required by state statute to produce a directory. Uh, that’s the white pages, not the friggin yellow monolith. Further, this only applies to subscribers. I do not subscribe to Verizon. My understanding is that they have no legal obligation to carpet bomb my residence with their books.

    Verizon uses a completely automated phone tree system. If you call the toll free number on the date of delivery (nearly always on a weekend), the only option is to schedule another delivery. There is absolutely no provision for opting out of delivery or requesting pickup of surplus books. Where is the corporate responsibility? I know that employees of these companies MUST be sensitive to this issue in their own personal lives.

    Each book is packaged in a plastic bag. We have a new city ordinance that will require reusable bags in grocery stores. All of this is part of a growing awareness of the importance of conservation. At least when I’m trying to separate proteins from veggies in order to prevent the spread of Ecoli, that seems to me a worthy use of plastic. And, I’m responsible about recycling. But many of these books are left on curbs, eventually migrating into the storm drain system.

    Even if you don’t care about the environment or the escalating cost of energy, you should know that these phone books are a burglar’s best friend. In a large metro area, the books are large enough to be seen from the street. A couple of days after delivery, burglars begin driving through neighborhoods looking for the highly visible yellow vacancy signs. You come home from a vacation to find your house cleaned out. But guess what, the only thing left behind are the phone books!

  5. Luckily in my town we only receive 2 of the books and I agree thats one too many. To make the statement “i never have a need for the yellow pages” is just a dumb thing to say. If your up to your knees in water and need a plumber are you going to turn on you computer to find a plumber or find the yellow pages? I’m 24 and the only one of the books I use is the little one for the car, but that’s not to say I don’t see the need for a book in a home, and when I travel for work I use one regularly in my hotel room. My gripe is I just wish there was only 1. As a new home owner I’m already tired of the competing brands, please just give me 1 a year!

  6. yes in pa, it seems like the only justification Ideac Media employees can ever come up with for possessing a yellow pages is the “up to your knees in water” scenario. Here’s an idea: Why not look up a few plumber’s numbers before the pipe explodes then keep them in a safe place? Problem solved.

    I’ve been a home owner for around 5 years, so I’ve dealt with my share of “turn to the yellow pages” scenarios like this.

    If you’re tired of competing brands, does that mean you’re tired of the Idearc yellow pages? Seeing that you work for them, I imagine you wish yours was the only one delivered. We’re actually pretty close on this issue. You’d like one and I’d like none.

  7. I’m actually in medical sales thanks and I couldn’t tell you which book I have at home and which I threw out. I had the argument with a family friend who is employed at yellow book that’s where I got the plumber line from. I use my blackberry for finding most services, I haven’t had the need for the emergency services yet, only been in my home for 5 months. But maybe I’ll try the righting down the numbers on the fridge not a bad idea

  8. yes in pa, the reason I think you work for Idearc is because you commented from an Idearc IP address. Then, after I alluded to this, you switched to commenting from your Blackberry. Put that together with choosing to comment on an Idearc related YP post, it just smells like you’re associated with the company.

    That plumber scenario receives so much action, they should consider renaming the yellow pages, “the plumber’s helper.”

    It seems like the “going to turn on your computer” line is going to get tired as well. It’s becoming more common for people to never turn their computer off at home unless it starts to run like crap or perhaps overnight or during the work day while they’re gone. In a race to look up a number, yellow pages probably fare pretty well vs. a Windows box that has to boot. But that’s not the reality of many environments these days. And people could also access the same information without getting off the couch if their phone, cell phone, smartphone, itouch, etc. is within reach.

  9. not sure what all the fuss is about, does the complainer understand how much trash the usps delivers to him and everybody else in a years time,it is understood, we all just want a check in the mail,this would be something to complain about.

  10. maybe all the complainers do not understand the classification for a phone book,well it would seem to be classified as mail, whether it is first class mail, bulk mail, or bound printed matter mail,this is up to the complainer to figure out, get a life

  11. @johnny, complainers are people who think their lives would be slightly better if they didn’t have to deal with crap they never asked for in the first place. You could probably prevent people from complaining by treating them with respect.

    Unfortunately, the Yellow Pages industry appears to be incapable of treating people respect. At least, that’s my conclusion based on the fact that they fight to keep states from mandating opt-out systems.

    Your comparison to the mail falls short. Direct mail companies are more than willing to remove people from their lists when requested to do so. Their businesses thrive or fail based partly on the quality of the lists they maintain. They’ve paid based on response, so mailing only those who may potentially respond makes financial sense.

    The yellow pages, on the other hand, appear to be running on a media model where their rates are based on perceived distribution rather than direct response. Being able to say they deliver to every home in a community appears to be important to them, even if that means delivering to vacant properties and homes of people who’ve informed the companies that they no longer used their print directories.

  12. Do what I do. Call them up, and tell them they either have to pick it up, or you will send them a bill for disposal. If they don’t do it, I bill them $125 for my trouble. I do not have a land line, so I see no reason for them sending me this trash.

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