Yellow Pages Litter: Business Park Landlords vs. Home Owners

Here’s a rather typical example of feedback I’ve received to yellow pages returning videos:

where I live you get fined for littering.? If everyone did that where I worked, I don’t think anyone would want to rent offices there, causing those landlords more problems in this economy. But thank, it looks like you really care about others…NOOOT.

This was in reaction to a video where I returned one phone book to Idearc Media’s local office.

The commenter seems to believe it’s littering to leave a yellow pages book at a yellow pages company, but not if they’re littered at thousands and thousands of homes of those who no longer find the yellow pages valuable.

I do find his point about the blight caused by yellow pages litter interesting. It’s the same argument people like Johnny Northside make regarding the yellow pages industry’s tendency to litter vacant homes.

If I was a business park landlord for a yellow pages company and continually dealing with returned yellow pages from pissed off homeowners, I’d ask my tenant what they’re doing to piss people off enough to drive down and “litter” their property.

It would be nice to see commenters like this attempt to think about things at a slightly higher level. Clearly, the easiest way to prevent me from “littering” my unrequested yellow pages on Yellow Pages industry property is to stop sending them to me. As the commenter mentions, we don’t want to create more problems in this economy. Should that include the creation, distribution, and disposal of yellow pages that will never be opened? What a colossal waste of time of property owners, recycling crews, and yellow pages delivery teams.

7 thoughts on “Yellow Pages Litter: Business Park Landlords vs. Home Owners”

  1. As far as I can tell in our area the YP distributor people just keep putting a van-full of them in a random parking lot until someone pays to get them thrown out.

  2. “continually?” How many times have you done this to — twice? To the same office? Are there other phone book recipients doing the same as you to the same office that we haven’t heard about? Perhaps the “continually” was just to address the commenter’s hypothetical scenario…

    To be fair, it is probably some poor grounds maintenance person employed by a big property management association, probably United Properties, and not even the building owners, who actually goes through the most suffering for these political statements. I’m not so sure punishing the employee of a manager of an owner of a property rented to a distribution office is the best way to implement change in the system. It might be nothing more than a blip to the phone book distrib office, if even they would have heard about it except the published video. The right thing to do is probably to walk into the office with your next pile of books during business hours, and have the guts to make eye contact with and voice your purpose and concern to an actual YP employee face to face, and leave the books there on their floor for them to deal with. All on video. I know this isn’t the first time this has been suggested to you.

    And let’s not keep relying on moral relativism to justify the return methods because the phone companies perhaps have their own disrespectful processes. Take the high road. And in the interim, maintain respect for the humble groundskeeper who goes home to his wife and kids grumbling about what he thinks are some Asthon Kutcher wannabe teenagers punking and pranking his building lot.

  3. LM, nice armchair quarterbacking. If you continue to read my blog, expect more frustration with my behavior. If your prescribed tactics are effective, please put them to work. Solving the yellow pages spam problem would be another way to shut me up on this issue.

    No, I’m not the only person who does stuff like this.

  4. @Ed — are your methods flawless and beyond reproach? Is it unacceptable to provide feedback for ways to improve?

  5. And then and then, in the next scene Ed, we want you to hug the inflatible gorilla, and dance with him, yeah, kinda a waltz thing, ta da da ta dum ta dum ta dum, and spin around and finish with a dip to the camera. Got it…places everyone…roll ’em!

    LM, don’t you see? This is not some scripted event planned by a cast of activists around a table meant to meet each of the YP thrice annually delivered yellow piles of crap. This is just one guy who thought he did what the YP industry said needed to be done to rid himself of this worthless waste of resources, only to find out three times a year that he has been fooled yet again by the YP crapmasters.

    He was fed up and this is what he did…period.

    Next time you get fed up with something, are you going to see some activists and script out a better plan before you do something? Let’s see–there’s no room for cream in my coffee and I specifically told the barista ‘room for cream’…I know, I’ll meet with a bunch of people and plan out this special event and I’ll do it on a Wednesday even though this happened on a Saturday morning.

    Yeah, that’s better than pouring off a couple ounces of coffee into this waste basket…but this waste basket then fills with sticky coffee and needs to be washed out, and some building maintenance guy who empties the waste basket has to hose it down, and he’ll think the coffee drinkers were idiots for causing him extra work even though the barista screwed up. But, that is what happens when people don’t do the right thing from the start, it causes a chain of events that others have to handle.

    YP effed up, they said they would create and honor an opt-out system, but they didn’t.

    No one really wants the government to regulate them, right…no one wants to create extra work for anyone else, right.

    All we really really really want is for YP to DO THE RIGHT THING…but, somehow, they just can’t stop themselves from being total craptastic corporate types tied to their sinking ship of a legacy business plan unable to make even the least effort to do the right thing.

    So, LM, if you still don’t get it, maybe there is a YP job in your future…good luck with that.

    And YP, keep effing up and my crystal ball sees a mandated OPT-IN system in your future.

  6. Ed, love the article and video.

    Keep up the good work. The first ones through the wall always get bloody.

    I too am looking for ways to end this waste of resources that YP and Verizon bless us with. I have been successful in calling the number and removing my name. If you escalate to a manager you can attempt to persuade them to pick it back up. You may try asking for the phone number of the distribution company.

    I have been successful with it once, and am attempting it all over again now that I have moved.

    If that does not work, I will find the local representative that can control this activity, and provide him/her with my copies.

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