No more phone pages please

Friday, 27 February 2009 | Tags: , ,

As a consumer advocate, I usually write about shopping. But like many others, these days, I'm not only concerned with what I buy, I'm also keeping a keen eye on what I throw away.

When I go grocery shopping I take reusable bags. When making other purchases, like clothing or makeup, I avoid taking a shopping bag and tissue paper and just jam things into my purse. (I can finally justify carrying around a humongous handbag!)

I’m also an avid recycler at home: confidential papers are the only ones that don’t end up in the recycling bin; plastic, glass and aluminum all go straight into the blue box; I even fish things out of the garbage when guests “accidentally” throw away recyclables. (You know who you are, Mister.)

I really don’t like waste, so I was pretty shocked when I received this year’s mountain of phone directories. I am now the proud owner of not one, not two, no, not even three, but FOUR telephone directories: the Telus Yellow Pages, Residential Listings, Can Pages and a Neighbourhood directory with local listings.

When I’m looking for a specific number or address I usually go online or call 411 if I can’t get to a computer. When I’m looking for a type of business, say a plumber, I do on occasion crack the Yellow pages. But why do I need three versions of it –- from Telus and Can Pages AND a local directory?

My Top Tip: Opt-Out
I’ve learned that you can unsubscribe from Yellow Pages by phone or email. Call them at 1-877-909-9356, push #, then the option for “Directory Orders”, and give the operator your information to unsubscribe. You can also email them at call.centre@ypg.com with your name, home address, home phone number and your request to unsubscribe.

For Can Pages, email them at customercare@canpages.ca with your name, home address (including postal code), and your request to unsubscribe. They mentioned that they appreciate hearing the person’s rationale for unsubscribing, but that’s optional.

There are other ways to take action too. There’s a whole online movement with various groups setting up petitions and the like. Just search for “phone book opt-out” and you’ll find a few sites to start with.

At least opting out is free. In order to have an unlisted number in the phone book, I have to pay $2 a month. Negative option billing anyone?


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