Yellow Pages vs. Direct Mail Opt-Out Competence

It’s interesting to watch how yellow pages directory supporters justify their industry’s incompetence. Here is a recent example from the comments of one of my videos on YouTube. As a refresher, here’s the video, followed by the most recent comments:

Here’s the start of the latest exchange:

Just another whacko? fighting the good fight. Do you go to all the companies that send you junk mail and throw the mail onto their property. I think it’s only fair to treat everyone equally.

planesx12 raised a decent point. Here was my response:

@planesx12 I’d consider doing something similar with junk mail, except direct mail companies actually do a good job honoring opt-out requests. That’s a sensible approach. Why do they get it right while yellow pages directory companies continue to fail??

That generated a response from planesx12:

@thedeets Because their mailing is computer generated and it just takes a simple keystroke. Phone book deliveries are done by people and most don’t look at the delivery sheets which have your opt-out request. They simply go down the street and deliver to every house they see. And when you make a stink the deliver guy gets reamed a new ass hole or fired and the next schlep does the same thing.? If you nicely call up the delivery office and ask them to come pick up the book, SUCCESS!

I don’t know what type of response planesx12 is expecting to his comment, but here is what I hear: “We don’t know how to use computers, and we’re not willing to pay and train people to work at a competent level. Instead, we’d like to offset our incompetence onto you by asking you to call to fix a problem you asked up to fix but failed to do so. We would consider this to be a success because it means less work for us.”

But planesx12 didn’t stop there. He/she took the time to leave a second response:

@thedeets Why not just be a decent bloke, pick-up the book and throw it in the trash. Your not saving trees recycling because the books are made from recycled paper. the only other? use for the book is to cut the binder off and shred it into filler as recycled paper can not be made into paper again. The truth of the matter is phone books are better off in the dump as they break down naturally and help filter other crap.

How about that? By planesx12’s logic, yellow pages trash actually improves landfills. That’s some seriously twisted logic.

Seriously, planesx12, keep talking. Your arguments are golden. Or, is it yellow? All I know is that they aren’t solving my problem. All I want is to no longer receive unsolicited print yellow pages spam. Is that too much to ask?

2 thoughts on “Yellow Pages vs. Direct Mail Opt-Out Competence”

  1. Um, a piece of junk mail is one piece of paper. A phone book is, like, a rather substantial hunk of a tree. We should concentrate on the phone books FIRST because they involve more trees. After that, sure, junk mail.

    Also, junk mail goes in the MAILBOX. Not the front steps.

    Another reason to concentrate on the phone books.

  2. @John, I think the YP industry’s argument is that junk mail, delivered over a year, adds up to more waste than phone books. I think that will vary a bit by household, but in general I think they’re right. That said, it’s MUCH easier to get off direct mail mailing lists than YP spam lists.

    After developing a habit of requesting removal from junk mail that arrives at my house, I can now go days without receiving any junk mail. It’s pretty awesome when the only thing in my mailbox is something I requested, like a Netflix envelope or a smiling Amazon box. It’s pretty much the opposite feeling I receive from seeing yet another yellow pages directory spammed on my doorstep.

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