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Friday, April 10, 2009

Dear AT&T: Please Kill the Yellow Pages, Too

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge The "pages" tend to stack up. Know what I mean? - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/F-R-A-N-K
  • The "pages" tend to stack up. Know what I mean?
Have you heard the news from AT&T?

The phone company wants to get rid of the White Pages -- those residential directories that land (like bricks) on your doorstep each year. A proposal before the Missouri Public Service Commission would allow the phone company to stop printing and distributing the White Pages to residents in metro St. Louis and Kansas City.

AT&T says fewer people use the books these days thanks to the Internet and cell phones, which aren't listed in the directories. Eliminating the phone books would also deliver economic and environmental savings for AT&T. (The company would still print the books for the few people who might want a copy.)

Personally, I can't recall when I last used a White Pages. It hasn't been this calendar year. But my question to AT&T is this: Why not get rid of the Yellow Pages while you're at it? Those business directories -- along with their knockoff competitor, Yellow Book -- generate more clutter and environmental waste than the White Pages.

And the same argument applies to the Yellow Pages as does the White Pages: Who uses them anymore? Need an electrician, an auto mechanic or a lawyer in St. Louis? Just go to Google and you'll get listings as long as what you'll find in the Yellow Pages.

But here's the deal: The phone company makes millions of dollars off the Yellow Pages by charging companies hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars to advertise in the directory. And I suppose it's also good business for St. Louis. AT&T's Yellow Page headquarters is based here.

Want them or not, we're stuck with the Yellow Pages for the immediate future. They do make great doorstops, though.

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