The Yellow Pages industry is freaking out because California is attempting to do something outrageous: Hold the yellow pages industry accountable for the talk they talk.
On Monday the 17th of May, the California Senate Appropriations Committee will give their take on SB 920. According to the head of the Yellow Pages Association, Neg Norton, this bill will hurt small businesses in California:
It’s clear that any effort to limit local businesses from reaching consumers not only hurts businesses, but negatively impacts the state economy. In times like these, we can’t afford to place an undue burden on local business owners trying to make ends meet.
That, of course, makes me wonder how this would hurt small businesses. Let’s take a look at the language of the bill:
This bill would require a telephone corporation or 3rd-party vendor, as defined, to allow any telephone service subscriber to opt out of receiving a telephone directory published by a telephone corporation or 3rd-party vendor. The bill would prohibit telephone corporations and 3rd-party vendors from delivering directories to subscribers who opt out of receiving a directory, require that a telephone corporation or 3rd party vendor to demonstrate compliance with a specified law relative to recycled-content newsprint, and require that a directory contain clear and conspicuous language regarding opting out of receiving future directories and recycling of the directory.
It sounds to me like that’s saying that people who don’t want printed phone directories will have the ability to opt-out of receiving them.
Correct me if I’m wrong in this assumption, but it doesn’t seem like the type of person who doesn’t want phone directories plans to use phone directories to look up local business information, so how, exactly, would this hurt small businesses in California?
Since the yellow pages industry has professed support for opt-out systems, legislation that holds the industry accountable for their own words seems pretty benign to me.