The Residential Phone Book Goes the Way of the Dodo Bird

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It looks like the telephone companies have finally seen the writing on the wall… or online. The old “reach out and touch someone,” certainly isn’t happening through the whitepages anymore.

Dodo birdIn the past month alone, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon Communications Inc.’s request to quit distributing residential white pages and regulators are giving the approval for them to do so. Since 2007, states that have given the go ahead to stop quit printing whitepages or that have requests pending: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Anybody who doesn’t have access to some kind of online way to look things up now is probably too old to be able to read the print in the white pages anyway,” joked Robert Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University.

Even Link Hoewing from Verizon understands;

“You probably have a better chance of finding a name quicker if you can just search for it in a database than try to look it up in the white pages.”

He’s also Verizon’s vice president of Internet and technology policy.

The phone companies argue that most people use the internet to find people. I think they’re right. Quotes from AP Article

After posing the question “When was the last time you used the yellow pages?” on Twitter, here are some of the responses I received:

@AdamChlan: over 5 years. mine goes directly from my front porch to the trash.
@Amyschnabi: Other than to prop things up?
@beckami: we take ours camping. Phonebooks make excellent kindling.
@Kmueller62: what’s interesting is the yellow pages are now focusing on their online version. I’m LESS likely to use that than the real thing

You can opt out of receiving the residential phone book. YellowPages Opt Out Thanks @AdamChlan for the link.

I also agree with KMueller62. When I search for something I want to see the result. I don’t want to have to go to another site where I have to search again or click through something else before I get my result.

Google also has phone number look up built into their search engine. Just type in one of the following before the name you are searching for:

bphonebook: search business listing
rphonebook: search residential listings
phonebook: search all phone listings

I really believe that the paper phone book is dead and the paper yellowpages is on it’s way out too. What do you think?

Do you need help transitioning your company from using the yellow pages to getting found online? We can help! Get a Free Quote

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