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:
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: 184.108.40.206
I took that address over to IP2Location where they explained that this address belongs to:
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.