Idearc Media Leaves Fake Blog Comments – Lies About It

Back in October, I wrote a post about Verizon Yellow Pages publisher, Idearc Media, where I explained that their delivery policies hurt Minneapolis neighborhoods when they distribute books to properties that are foreclosed, boarded up, or already have rotting phone books out front from other phone book spam companies. Clearly, their policies also hurt the thousands of local businesses who paid for those books to be printed and distributed, but that’s a topic for another post.

On January 16th, that post received the following anonymous comment from someone named JD:

You people are so narrow minded and don’t see the big picture. First off, the effort it took to do all of this blog, you could have just picked it up and recycled it yourself. Second, to be truthful I don’t use my phonebook often, especially with internet however when the lights go out and I have no electricty, I really can’t use my computer can I. Additionally, most items in the YP is local and google and yahoo are not as much and 50% of the information is incorrect where most YP information is direct from telephone companies. Third, most of these companies do other services than just YP and employee a lot of people. Last… if no ones uses the YP than why is there still so many people advertising. Here is a test for you: grab your yp and your computer have someone search for a plumber while you look in the YP. Tell me who finds it first and who much valuable information you get first and decide then.

Apparently, my response to JD’s comment wasn’t what he was looking for (he didn’t convince me to fall back in love with an antiquated marketing technique) so JD returned for another round of ranting on February 9th. I’ve highlighted parts of JD’s comment in bold:

Ed,
You still never answered any of may questions and no I don’t work for YP industry. I think the odds of your phone being dead, your electricity going out, or your cellphone battery dead is more common than you being trapped under something heavy… but I’m done with your narrow minded views. This is like having a conversation with a wall, it doesn’t go anywhere. You don’t care about the enviroment, you don’t care about the people these companies employ, you don’t care about the Billions of dollars these companies generate for small businesses, just that YOU don’t want them delivered to you. So I did some research for you and found out you can call the phone companies and opt out. Oh and by the way, it took 35 minutes to find the right number that was in the phone book in 35 seconds.

Lastly, there are millions of incorrect listings on google, yahoo, and MSN. They are search engines and get there information on the net, mostly from old documents and information. This is the business and industry that I am in.

Here’s the deal: I appreciate a good debate, but I do not appreciate being lied to. JD was lying to me when he stated that he didn’t work for the YP industry, and here’s how I can tell:

When someone posts a comment to a WordPress blog, they can leave a name, email, and website URL. In the case of this blog, they only need to leave a name and email address in order for their comment to be accepted, and neither have to be their real address. I approve anonymous comments all the time. In fact, the only times I haven’t approved comments in the 5+ years this blog has existed are when they’re clearly spam or unfairly attack someone other than me.

It turns out that platform this blog runs on, WordPress, gathers one other interesting piece of information about commenters: the IP address from which they submitted their comment. This is similar to a phone number for a computer. Generally, I don’t care where people are when they’re writing comments on this blog and I also have a lot of respect for people’s privacy. However, when someone comes on my blog, insults me, goes on frothy rants on behalf of the yellow pages industry – and then lies about the industry he/she works for when confronted – I think I have a decent justification for outing the slime ball(s).

Who does JD work for?

JD’s comments have been coming from the following IP address: 151.138.254.21

I took that address over to IP2Location where they explained that this address belongs to:

IP2Location of Idearc Media's IP Address

Well, isn’t that interesting?

Now, I realize that the kind of people who work for a print spam company may not be the most sophisticated Internet users, but I don’t think you need to be all that sophisticated to realize that lying is a bad thing.

That particular blog post has three comments from Idearc Media employees (or, coincidentally, people posting from an Idearc Media IP address): the two from JD and one from someone named Bill.

Idearc Media’s Reaction

I had a chance to chat with a PR rep from Idearc Media this past week to discuss the comments being left by their employees. The PR rep, Lisa Vilfordi, explained that the comments were definitely not coming from the company’s 2-person PR team. I believe that because PR people are much more eloquent than JD or Bill.

Vilfordi also explained that rogue employees leaving anonymous comments on blogs like this one, and then lying about, it is IN NO WAY an accepted policy at Idearc Media.

Hopefully, pointing out this dishonest behavior by Idearc Media employees will lead to a more mature debate about how printing and delivering phone books to people who have no plans of using them is hurting local businesses who could be spending that money on something more productive like hiring more employees.

30 thoughts on “Idearc Media Leaves Fake Blog Comments – Lies About It”

  1. Mr. Kohler
    Interesting commentary and diatribe you have going on with these IDIARC people. I work for another yellow page company and I do see that there will be some changes in the future. The company I work for is looking to trim the book back in the paper that it uses, it’s size, and the distribution. We also have an opt out policy which is easily utilized and one we like because printing and distribution cost a lot of money. If we do not have to distribute as many books then we will have a better bottom line which would help the Small to Medium sized Enterprise’s cost of advertising.
    The truth is that the usage of the yellow pages will slow, not come to a screaching hault. The yellow pages still is a great, inexspensive (Businesses can advertise from $2 to $200 dollars a day where else can they do that?), form of directional media for local businesses. People of all ages will continue to use the yellow pages when it is convenient or in an emergency. I witnessed this the other day my 17 year old son who has a cell phone, with all the bells and whistled, pick up the yellow pages because he was in the kitchen where the yellow pages is and not up stairs where his cell phone was. I was glad to see that he understands a reference book and it’s alphabetical nature.
    The biggest challenge for the yellow pages industry is large cities. It is difficult getting the book inside those buildings. If the book gets into the high rise bussiness and residential buildings we still see great call volumes. True, people in major metropolitan areas use the internet more but it is not always accessible or convenient when looking for a local business and because the people responsible for delivering the directories (usually the Super) to these big city homes and businesses do not bring the book in off the streets then big city people people can not use them. If the directory is not there then no one will use it. The rural areas have great results because there is no problem delivering the book to homes and businesses. These rural hillbillies, contrary to the big city mind set, do have internet and the new fangled mobile devices, but still use the the yellow pages 🙂
    Right now the internet is very confusing for the SME’s to advertise. Most businesses are aware of Google maps and Yahoo local. Unfortunately, when they sign up for some of the new “free” services they get inundated with calls from telemarketing companies that have purchased the “free” SME’s information (well it’s not really free if the SME had to equates time spent answering the phone from the telemarketers). Most importantly how long will the word “free” last? I think it will last until there is a monopoly on the information and free will be called paid placement.
    I speak to many SME’s that currently spend thousands of dollars in internet advertising with web sites and web companies who say they do Search Engine Optimization. Problem is they are not getting a return and they are losing money. I have talked to SME’s who have told me that their web guys have charge them to put them on Google Maps and this service constitutes SEO (which they could have done by themselves for free). I have also talked to businesses where they have spent thousands trying to maintain position in the organic or natural area of a search only to have Google Maps and Yahoo local (along with the strategic change in algorithms) push them to the bottom of the page and force them to look into Search Engine Marketing with sponsored links.
    Web guys are getting into a lot of trouble because SME’s are starting to hold them accountable to a Return On Investment (which on the internet is about 3%) and they are not able to deliver. Yes, I agree that businesses should have a web site but the SME’s are finally finding out that the web sites they have purchased and maintained for years has cost them thousands more than it should have ( I have a web site that cost me $80.00 a year).
    The SME’s are putting heat and light to their web guys and asking for a return that the web guys can not deliver ( there is a lot of gray area on the web) because with out e-commerce it is hard to measure a web site’s return. It is possible with Google Analytics to track where the site was viewed but it is up to the SME to have a place on their web site to capture the lead. Capturing a lead on the internet for service oriented businesses with out offering a REAL BARGAIN is hard because most people on line are bargain shoppers.
    I talk to businesses that have tried Search Engine Marketing with Google Ad Words and or Yahoo and they get clicks/visits but no calls and/or no leads. We re-sell sponsored links but the internet, unfortunately, is not the only place consumers are looking when they are ready to buy. The internet is a sexy, and a relatively new advertising medium that many business want to advertise with, but, the return is minimal for the amount of money they have to spend. I have talk to some insurance companies that must pay up to $15.00 a visit, plumbers that pay up to $8.00 a visit/click, that’s a lot of money when you need at least 100 visits/clicks to measure a return.
    My greatest concern for the SME is the large lead aggregators that are selling the leads back to SME’s. There are so many lead agregator’s and I fear there will be more. I have met with Home Improvement Businesses, Car Dealers, Lawyers, and especially Florists who have lost larges sums of money because of having to participate with these lead steelers in order to keep their people “busy” rather than make money. There is literally too many people trying take take a piece of the pie on the internet that is rapidly shrinking.
    I feel there will be a lot of changes in the way people do business on line in the next few years. What those changes are I do not know but RIGHT NOW there are a lot of SME’s that are being duped by the allure that the internet portrays to have. Many people who wright articles or blogs about SEM or SEO have an agenda. I find it interesting that much of the hype over SEM or SEO is written by the very people who sell SME’s the internet product they represent in their article or blogs (I can not believe the amount of blogging, don’t people have better things to do with their time?). I am honest in saying that this is exactly why I am writing to you, my company sells yellow pages and internet yellow pages, along with “sub contracting or re-selling” with Google and Yahoo sponsored ads but at this time right now I feel that the printed yellow pages, however environmentally unfriendly it is, still has a great ROI.
    When radio came out it was the death of Newspaper, when T.V. arrived it was the death of Radio. The printed Yellow Pages is the original search engine for finding local businesses, it is very convenient, and will aid buyers and sellers for many more years to come. A simple measure of this is to watch people sitting at a computer screen hitting the print button for documents. Printer ink is a very lucrative business and we will have to accept that people want hard copies of of their literature. There are many forms of synthetic paper out there but unfortunately they are cost prohibitive at this time. I do agree that we have to make the yellow pages smaller, with fewer pages, along with fewer yellow page companies (one of which I hope is not my company that finds it’s demise), and deliver it to only the people that want it.
    I was recently in a home that was built in the 1940’s and the home had two small shelves built into the wall in the foyer. The first was an area for the phone and underneath it was a shelf that was three inches high, 10 inches wide, and about 10 inches deep. The second or lower shelf was a shelf for the yellow pages. Today’s yellow pages will not even begin to fit. Therefore, the shelf is useless but this home owner had a designated drawer for the book. My point is that my company is looking to make that shelf usable again. The company I work for is looking to be responsible environmentally, and continue to use a direct mail opportunity for consumers to connect to sellers or services in their local markets. This printed product is delivered once a year rather than every day and would use far less recycled paper than it already uses.
    My next point covers Junk Mail that shows up in our mailboxes in the form of cost saving offers or catalogues. Printed junk mail is not going anywhere and the new internet junk mail is annoying, dangerous and like a coupon virus. Direct mail, as it is called, kills a lot of those trees I like to hug but the Direct Mail companies will continue to try to help the local businesses as we in the yellow page industry do. If you would put together all of this junk mail over a one year period you would find that it far out weighs the yellow pages directory in tree’s killed. My point is Direct Mail still gives advertisers an ROI and the yellow pages is probably the most cost effective Direct Mail piece delivered.
    Finally, I am sorry you had to have a bad experience with those people from IDIARC (am I spelling this correctly?). I hope that my commentary was not offensive because I truly feel that with economic times such as we are experiencing we need to help and not hurt the SME’s as they are the back bone of this great country that we live in. I have read too many commentaries which, based on their personal agenda, are “throwing the baby out with the bath water”. With all the advertising clutter on the internet, T.V., Radio, Billboards, Newspaper, and yes, the yellow pages, I find that as an advertising consultant I need to help my SME’s find a responsible and inexpensive way for them to stay afloat. If irresponsible sales people lead these SME’s into a financial trap of advertising (and I have seen more abuse with the internet recently than any other medium) then we have will have no SME’s to return to the following year. I am Media Consultant for Yellow Book and I will continue to support my company’s responsibility to the environment and educate SME’s on advertising that will help their businesses grow whether it is in print (recycled paper, smaller trim size, controlled delivery, and less pages) or online with http://www.yellowbook.com, or Google and Yahoo Sponsored Sites. I would rather sacrifice a few trees (which I enjoy hugging too) now than risk the failure of local businesses. Isn’t it better to be responsible to both the environment and the local businesses rather than sacrificing one for the other?
    Thanks
    Write back soon

  2. Dave, thanks for identifying yourself as a yellowbook employee in your comment.

    It’s great to hear that you’re taking efforts to provide opt-out services. However, the problem I see is that the contract delivery services used by YP companies such as yours have no incentive to actually not deliver to opt-out addresses. For example, here’s a boarded up, vacant home in Cleveland with a ton of yellow pages on the front porch, including at least one from your company.

    Can you explain to me why this happens? And, what’s the ROI for the thousands of Cleveland businesses who paid for an ad in that rotting book?

    Personally, I think your company, along with Cleveland247 and AT&T should all be fined for each time you litter on vacant properties like this. Doesn’t that seem reasonable? As long as YP companies walk the walk that they talk, they won’t face fines.

  3. I don’t think they realize people google on their cel phones, and use a service like 411?

    We have 3 cases of phone books from last year, and more came again this year. Who gets to recycle them and lug them out, me. More unopened boxes of yellow pages.

  4. I’ll respond for Dave, it is the least I can do after he glazed my brain with volumes of internet marketing concerns. The problem not only with the temporary workers these fly-cheap distributors use–who are only paid based on how many books they carpet-bomb into neighborhoods. Rather it also shows the weaknesses of their OPT-OUT option in action–
    1–it requires extra steps by caring recipients (who mostly don’t exist)
    2–it requires extra steps by caring distributors (who definitely don’t exist)

    Also, if I choose to opt-out, I have to care enough to wade into their systems and find the right place to opt-out, and repeat it 2-3 times for each of these carpet-bombing spammers. And to do so, I have to give them my personal contact information–to these people who have already proven themselves to be carpet-bombing spammers!! Who employ a transient workforce of people down on their luck to deliver to me…do I want my contact info in these people’s hands? So, instead I choose the safer and easier course of action and pitch their awful product in the recycle bin.

    If YP does not properly regulate itself, the government action needed should be to force them to adopt OPT-IN processes for their once valuable but now seldom used huge yellow bricks of a product.

    I’ll also respond to Dave on his internet marketing concerns that he hears–Dave, tell these people to raise their concerns with their website people. Jeez, if he is hearing all these comments, I hope these people take the time to raise these same concerns with the actual website vendors that are providing the service.

    Also, Dave, here is a chance for you to live the real-life frustrations of using your once valuable product. Next time you find a client who cannot work with their current website vendor, then you should pull up your handy YP directory and show these people where the other website service providers are located in your YP. Here is your chance to show exactly how good your YP really is…or isn’t, in finding a good vendor using this once valuable yellow book model.

    What I’ve found–is it isn’t helpful. It is flying totally blind, stumbling through the messy categories–is it under ‘website’ or ‘internet’ or ‘world wide web’, no, probably not there, but where? And then once in the listings–which are the good companies? The ones with the biggest ads? Probably not, they seem too desperate, but how do you know? You don’t. There is no way to research or way to find information on them, and you end up dialing around lost.

    I’ll opt-in if I ever feel the need a huge book, maybe to hold a door open and I don’t mind if it gets wet or dirty.

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  6. The YP defenders that show up here are all saying the same thing: there’s an opt out service, it’s valuable and it’s good for local businesses. Is anyone paying attention?

    It’s been pretty much proven, both by anecdotal evidence of people who have opted out and still receive books, and by actual employees of the delivery companies who have stated it’s just easier to deliver to all houses than pay attention to the opt-out list, that opting out doesn’t work. And that’s just in the comments on THIS blog. Do some Googling.

    And while opting out hasn’t worked for people residing in homes, it’s OBVIOUSLY not going to work for vacant and foreclosed homes. There is nobody there to opt-out, and the delivery companies don’t seem to care if it’s boarded up, or if their book will join a half dozen others that are rotting on the porch. It’s a delivery, so it’s money.

    Also, I live in a condo building with 6 units. It won’t matter if I opt out because I can’t ensure every other owner or tenant has done the same, and we’ll still receive the books even though they sit on the stairs until the cobwebs form and someone takes them to the recycling bin (ME). The last time they were delivered, they were sloppily dropped on the outside stoop and fell onto the city sidewalk, where they sat for several hours before I came home. That’s known as littering.

    Since, the people who do not want these books have to spend the time and energy to find the appropriate recycling bin to dispose of them. We’re the ones forced to take responsibility for these damn things.

    It is only valuable if you’re one of the 15% that one want one.

    I think the odds of your phone being dead, your electricity going out, or your cellphone battery dead is more common than you being trapped under something heavy… but I’m done with your narrow minded views.

    Um, it seems to be that if this scenario is playing out you’re not going to get any value from a YP book. No phone? No phone calls.

    You don’t care about the enviroment, you don’t care about the people these companies employ, you don’t care about the Billions of dollars these companies generate for small businesses

    You’re so right, JD (after reading one post). Ed never points out the environmental consequences of the waste created by books delivered to people who don’t want them (85% of which end up in the trash), or to empty homes where they sit in the rain and snow and rot away.

    You’re so busy attacking Ed’s “narrow minded views” that you can’t stop long enough to realize your argument isn’t making sense.

    So I did some research for you and found out you can call the phone companies and opt out.

    So, I did some research for you and found out that it doesn’t matter how often you call phone companies and opt out, you’re still going to get spammed.

  7. Sadly for you, you failed to realize Idearc also bought GTE and Verizon ISP branches and offers service to millions.

  8. Interesting comments… If you feel regulation is necessary, why not require the post office to cease junk mail operations for unsolicited mailings? That creates 10x’s the waste of every yellow pages publisher combined! Seriously, why attack the YP industry when it is fairly easy to pick up your former neighbors property….. sounds easier than cleaning out the mailbox! Now, what needs to be addressed are the vendors that deliver to apparent addresses that are no longer occupied.

  9. Mike, are you suggesting that it’s okay to print spam / litter because others do it too? You must be able to come up with a better justification for your company’s behavior than that. Frankly, I’ve had better luck getting off of mailing lists than yellow pages distribution lists. They seem to understand that there’s nothing to be gained for their businesses by sending their ads to someone who doesn’t want them. Why doesn’t the YP industry get this?

    While you should worry about how poorly you treat people who no longer wish to receive your company’s print spam, (and neighborhoods with vacant homes), they’re only part of your challenge. Your bigger concern should be how the heck you can justify the ROI for a local business on a phone book left at a vacant property. What’s the ROI on that?

    What’s the ROI on a phone book delivered to the home of someone who doesn’t want it? Do you actually know whether the homes you deliver your print spam to actually WANT the books? If not, why are you delivering them?

  10. The irony of this whole conversation I believe is every participating party, including myself, is Internet saavy and is overwhelmingly partisan to the utility of online listing services. Of course we are all capable of using the analog version, and on ocasion do. Anyone who argues that costs could not be significantly reduced by eliminating publication waste, well…. isn’t worth your time. However the obvious shift of paradigm from print refrence to online is something anyone in the industry cannot ignore.

  11. What about developing a searchable e-book version of the yellow pages? That way businesses can still advertise in them, and those who want it can go to a central web page and download it.

  12. I don’t want my site “found”. I built it for 9.00 back when Google Page Creator turned into Google Sites. I copied and pasted the info from one to the other. My reputation in Dallas for SEO has been established over the past few years.

    The bottle water industry has a greater impact.

    If American’s stopped feeding pets, not a single child on Earth would go hungry.

    Take up whatever cause you wish to. I wish you the best.

    The yellow pages industry has been recommending http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com for awhile now. I don’t pay much attention to it since I still use the print product from time to time. But I am also the above average computer user and if near my laptop have no need for print.

    Check it out! Don’t assume so much. It is apparent that YP industry employees are in corporate America and posting about company related information is against many companies HR policies. Regardless, Good luck going forward. I am extremely excited about Mobile Search and applications like: http://www.superpages.com/mobile/iphone.shtml and http://www.yellowpages.com/products/yp-mobile-02

    Mike Stewart

  13. I don’t want my site “found”. I built it for 9.00 back when Google Page Creator turned into Google Sites. I copied and pasted the info from one to the other. My reputation in Dallas for SEO has been established over the past few years.

    The bottle water industry has a greater impact.

    If American’s stopped feeding pets, not a single child on Earth would go hungry.

    Take up whatever cause you wish to. I wish you the best.

    The yellow pages industry has been recommending http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com for awhile now. I don’t pay much attention to it since I still use the print product from time to time. But I am also the above average computer user and if near my laptop have no need for print.

    Check it out! Don’t assume so much. It is apparent that YP industry employees are in corporate America and posting about company related information is against many companies HR policies. Regardless, Good luck going forward. I am extremely excited about Mobile Search and applications like: http://www.superpages.com/mobile/iphone.shtml and http://www.yellowpages.com/products/yp-mobile-02

    Owned?? Seriously?? http://siteanalytics.compete.com/thedeets.com+superpages.com+superyellowpages.com/

    Mike Stewart

  14. @Mike Stewart, I’ve never heard someone working in online marketing claim they didn’t want to be found before. That’s a very interesting tactic for a marketer.

    Bottled water may indeed create a bigger waste problem, but that’s a poor justification for littering, don’t you think?

    I’ve written about YellowPagesOptOut.com here and here.

    It’s not clear to me what significance comparing my blog’s traffic to superpages.com has as a response to my earlier comment regarding superyellowpages.com. Are you now suggesting that superyellowpages.com isn’t worth advertising on compared to superpages.com? If so, that’s a bit of a flip flop, but more logical than your Aug 17th comment.

  15. I don’t want to promote the site since it is just for information purposes. I do not promote outside company sites since, I have a non compete agreement and have been with Yellow Pages for almost 10 years. I am 28 this year. It is tough trying to market oneself in an environment that discourages marketing oneself. I find this very challenging in the days of social media.

    Ed, it is okay. You can assume you know my purpose…. but why not just ask me? I compared because I misunderstood what you were stating. Idearc created the online printed version of its yellow pages http://www.superyellowpages.com back in Feb or March of 2009. I am not a company spokesperson but this is what I recall.

    Regardless, yellow page companies use recycled paper. But the day that the majority of consumers use smartphones and no longer need printed yellow pages, I am sure you will be cheering. Personally I like the idea of not offering listings for free and getting away from Telco involvement in the industry. Heck, we all know that RBOC’s are required to print white pages. It is an agreement. Yet, Verizon’s Ivan Seidenberg stated last week that he intended to cease focus on the landline telephone market. What happens when people use cell phones and media becomes a fully engaged process that is driven by consumer choice vs consumer force? TIVO, Online NEWs, Subscription based products like the yellow pages. I as a business owner would prefer to be in a medium were the end user chose to use the product. Just a glossy magazine style yellow pages product with colorful and creative ads. Makes much more sense to me.

    But hey Ed… if you want to attack a company for printing “waste material” (yet YOU assume it is waste —– I have been to Sherman Tx and Sulphur Springs Tx and can attest that Internet usage does not compare to the printed version) why not go after the largest form of annoyance in advertising? DIRECT MAIL!!!! Yet for some reason that stuff like the YP is too effective to advertisers.

    Maybe we should agree to disagree?

    Cheers,
    Mike Stewart
    (not any company’s spokesman….. of any sort… just a Local Dallas Internet Advertising Nut)

  16. Mike, I think we’ve already passed the stage where consumers need printed yellow pages. There are still plenty of people who like receiving them and use them, which is far from a need. Are they helpless without them? Absolutely not. I’m not cheering for the death of print. I’m just asking print companies to show some responsibility to consumers, and their advertisers, by only delivering yellow pages to those who plan to use them. For example, an opt-in delivery system would guarantee that no one would complain about receiving print yellow pages since they requested them. And local businesses could then be assured that the books that go out go to active print users. Wouldn’t that be better than today’s dumping system? In fact, it sounds like you “as a business owner” would prefer such a model. Maybe you can work to make it happen from within the industry?

    Mike, here is why I don’t focus on direct mail: I have solved this problem for myself. Direct mail companies have gladly taken me off their mailing lists when requested to do so. That industry’s success is based on the quality of their lists, so if someone requests to be removed they do it. The yellow pages industry, on the other hand, is more similar to the newspaper industry. Both sell ads based on perceived distribution. It’s a sad and dying model, but explains why it’s so hard to opt-out of yellow pages compared to direct mail.

    Arguing that another company creates more waste is a poor justification for the waste the yellow pages industry creates. YP uses some recycled material in production but managed to contribute a ton of unnecessary waste due to manufacturing, delivery, and disposal of unwanted books.

    I’d love to hear a good argument from the yellow pages industry explaining why someone who doesn’t use yellow pages should get yellow pages. Or why people who no longer use them should have to opt-out. Or, what value comes from delivering the books to foreclosed properties. Or, why the majority of yellow pages still end up in landfills. Have any thoughts on any of those?

  17. I would like to point out (as a previous Idearc Media employee), that the problem with distribution is exactly that. Idearc Media, Dex, YellowBook, etc, do not go out and distribute their books. Companies are contracted with to distribute the directories (which I have also done) and are paid very little for alot of hard work and unfortunately there are alot of people out there that just don’t care to do their job correctly. These people are paid to distribute the books to those who have not opted-out. Unfortunately for the environment and those who do not wish to receive a directory it’s alot easier to just dump them off and go pick up a paycheck. I know of several instances with different companies where 1,000’s of directories were found in the dump (quick way to may a check).

  18. Kelli, thanks for explaining that YP companies tend to outsource their distribution. However, it sounds like you’re using that as an excuse for poor delivery, which is something that falls to YP companies as much as it does to the contractors. If the yellow pages industry cared to get deliveries right, it certainly seems like they could make that a priority for their contractors. In fact, they could probably help design incentives that reward accuracy rather than generate this printed form of spam.

    Why do you think yellow pages companies continue to use contractors with such poor track records of service? Is this a case of similar corporate cultures attracting each other?

  19. Actually I am aware that Idearc had instituted alot of new techniques as of the time that I was let go (due to reduction in force, which was over 8 months ago and haven’t worked since, so you can see I am not “making an excuse for them”, just telling it like it is). I don’t know about the other companies but Idearc had hired new contractors to distribute and had instituted in several markets a testing of GPS on delivery vehicles to keep track of EXACTLY where distribution was and was not happening. They also were doing test calls to delivery addresses to find out if indeed they had received a directory (instead of them being dropped in a landfill). Maybe a little research in what IS TRYING TO BE DONE for the future and has been done (don’t know how the test markets went and if it was instituted in all markets or not) instead of what hasn’t been done in past (with all companies) could make for all to be a little happier with facts and not just rumor.
    SOUNDS LIKE THEY ARE TRYING AT LEAST TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM…AND AS FOR THE POOR TRACK RECORD OF SERVICE!!!??? I took great pride in my job and the clients that I helped to build their businessess. I take great offense to the fact that somehow along the line we have been all included together as a terrible thing! There are plenty of clients that I had that were extremely sad to see me go due to the fact that there business had grown with my help (with print products and online and direct mail). NO EXCUSES JUST FACTS….PEOPLE DO STILL USE THE YELLOW PAGES ALONG WITH OTHER FORMS OF ADVERTISING (my parents dont even own a computer and I’m only 37). Take a look at the Gallup polls that have been done and you might find them interesting.

  20. @Kelli, I have no doubt that YP companies audit the deliveries of contractors. In fact, I’ve done the job. At the time, one tactic used was putting fake addresses on the routes. To get paid, you needed to note the fake addresses when you returned to pick up your check. As I see it, the emphasis in auditing routes to date has been heavily focused on saturation delivery over accuracy. The downside of delivering to every home was nearly nothing before people starting burning out on print books due to increased accesss other sources of business information and over-delivery (3 companies a year dump books at my house).

    I have no doubt that many great people are employed within the YP industry. However, it seems pretty clear that some areas are broken. And it also seems like there are quite a few people in leadership positions with resistance to change. While many people do still use the yellow pages, it’s pretty darn clear that local businesses’ money is wasted when YP companies use it to print and distribute books to households that no longer use the books, vacant properties, etc.

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