Dex Yellow Page Book Not Allowing Opt Out – Is It Fraud?
Yellow Page Book
Dear Mr. Peter J. McDonald, CEO of SuperMedia, Inc.,
I am writing you in hopes that you’ll answer this question; “Why are you promising the American public that you will put them on OPT OUT lists from your yellow pages books as they have requested because of environmental concerns, then do not follow through with policy to make it happen?”
As I understand it, printing the yellow pages is not a simple process. To make 500 books it takes approximately 17 to 31 trees, 4100 kwh of electricity, 7000 gallons of water, plus untold amounts of gas and other energy to transport and store the books. That is a lot of energy and waste when you multiply those 500 books by the over a billion+ books that are estimated to be distributed annually. In fact, according to the The Product Stewardship Institute, $54 million a year is spent to trash books that are not wanted and $9 million to recycle the few that make it through to the blue bin instead of the landfill.
With the above statistics in mind, you can imagine that more environmentally conscious citizens would like to OPT OUT of your service. You tell us we can and your printed bags say that we can opt out (see red arrow pointing above). Here’s the thing – every single year since 2009 I have called your company and opted out because of sustainable and environmental concerns. I also recommended my readers OPT OUT because back in 2009 your staff suggested it. But here’s the rub – every year I still receive these Dex books. I wonder if my readers are still receiving these books also?
My point is if I have called every year since 2009 and opted out of your service every single year and you have not REALLY opted me out, then I THINK THAT IS FRAUD, Mr. McDonald. You are promising something to the public on a business level, but it is a deception because you are not delivering on your promises. (M-W.com’s definition of the word fraud is seen right.)
Additionally, for the second year in the row I have been accosted by one of your employees who was downright rude and aggressive with me, using the F word, when I was very kind to him and asked nicely if he would NOT give me the yellow books. I reported him last year and yesterday the same man returned delivering his books and shouting at me. I took his photo (see below), but blocked out his face to protect his anonymity on this post, so if you would like me to send his car information, details of the conversation, and full facial photo so your management team can readily identify him, I am happy to do that.
Mr. McDonald, I really need your help – I want to know why this is happening four years in a row. I’d like to better understand your policies that do not seem to apply on my Illinois route. I want to know why your company says it will OPT OUT those who want it, but it is not happening. Surely I cannot be the only exception in all the billions of people who receive your books?
Thank you for any help you can give,
I’ve been trying for the past 4-5 years to opt out also, but no luck either (I’m in San Diego). Unfortunately the books are delivered when I’m not home, so I’m stuck with them until I take them to recycling. Not a good situation for those of us who don’t use them. What a waste! Good luck!
So frustrating for me on an emotional level. I don’t understand why I can’t cancel.
I’m on the phone right now describing the incident to the customer service dept. I hope it works this time!
Are you people kidding me? I worked in Yellow Pages business for over 20 years, believe me, if you don’t want a directory, we don’t want to waste our money on delivering you one.
And have no idea where you got your false facts on trees, water, power, etc… Not a single tree gets cut down for a yellow page directory. All paper is made from wood scraps from the building industry (virgin) or recycled paper.
Peter McDonald is one of the most ethical men you will ever meet.
Obviously, there is a communication issue with getting you on the do not deliver list.
The service that can help opt you out of the data brokers behind yellow pages is PrivacyMate.
Obviously, when your delivery man is shouting the “F” word at you, there is a delivery problem.
Virgin wood scraps are made from trees.
There are a numbers of studies out that discuss these statistics. They are most often centered on recycled paper numbers and the energy to use virgin versus recycled.
I’m not suggesting that Mr. McDonald is not ethical. But he is running the company that is refusing to put me on the OPT OUT list. I’m asking him to answer why because his staff have not helped me.
I know about Privacy Mate, but it costs $5 a month to maintain this, so I’m not sure that’s a good choice for me or my readers. It depends on their personal concerns.
I have a friend who delivered yellow pages books last year, so I called and asked her what the problem is. She says she is paid by how many books she delivers. They give her a “do not deliver” list of addresses, but she doesn’t pay any attention to it, and neither do any of the other delivery people, because it takes too long. They just toss the books out and figure people will do whatever they want with them. So the problem isn’t with the company, it’s with the delivery people. They just want to get rid of all the books as quickly as possible and get paid. I’m sure the company knows this, but all they are responsible for is making sure the delivery people have the list. After that, their hands are clean.
No, the problem IS with the company because it is the company that makes the ‘pay per book’ rule that motivates the delivery people to ignore the list. If the rule was changed to ‘pay per item’ and an item could be a book or an address on the ‘do not deliver’ list checked off, THEN they would be just as financially motivated to NOT deliver as they are to deliver, and ethics might push them over to doing the bit of extra work to check the list for addresses on their route. If that was not enough, the rule would have to be that a ‘do not’ address checked was worth TWO items so that they were actually motivated to check and USE the list. The company makes the ineffective policy and it is their job to FIX the ineffective policy so that their promise to not deliver is delivered on.