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The new phone books are here!

 
 
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:13 am
I love that scene from the movie The Jerk where Navin is so excited about the new phonebooks. It's one scene that really gets better with age since, in my opinion, phone books are obsolete.

Anyway.... our new phone books arrived yesterday and went immediately into the recycling bin.

Advertising in the yellow pages is very expensive. Even being listed in the yellow pages is expensive. I can't imagine a company spending it's marketing dollars in the yellow pages anymore but maybe you have to list in the book to get the list on the online directories. I've used those a time or two.

Do you still use actual, physical phone books?
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:20 am
Yep. Still use it. Mostly for the business white pages.
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Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:22 am
@boomerang,
Yellow Pages (and all those copycats) have to a least put your business in as a name and phone number line item, otherwise they would be incomplete and totally useless. I think only local service businesses (plumbers, electricians, etc) might still advertise in them. Personally, as a business, I think they are a big waste of money. There are a lot of scams involving these books. We are always getting "bills" in the mail saying to pay up or they will pull our ad. We also get calls saying basically the same thing, although now some threaten to have us be pulled off Google unless we send money. I'm glad they are disappearing, it will save a lot of trees.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:28 am
I never use phone books anymore. Neither the white or yellow pages.

They are a complete waste of paper and advertising dollars.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:35 am
Use one occasionally, when you want a list of contractors or something specific. You can isolate the companies in a certain area, for example, or a type of restaurant.

Not everybody advertises online yet, or has a website, so some companies are only found in the phone book.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 09:53 am
The yellow pages are online, Mame. Just type in your city + yellow pages + what you're looking for.

I wish they'd at least give us an "opt out" for receiving the printed book.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 10:10 am
@boomerang,
I've never used the yellow pages, still use the white pages occasionally (but only the small town/county version).

As long as I can remember, you didn't get the white/yellow pages by post but had to pick them up at the post office.

Nowadays, you get them at various shops/petrol stations, only some advertising firms deliver local/district versions to your home (but since we've a label at the post box -'no adverisements/free papers'- we don't get them either (but from our neighbour Wink ).
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 10:17 am
As recently as ten years ago, competing phone directories had become quite a cutthroat business in the U.S. I knew people who were paid piece-work to deliver these directories, so they just saturated the neighborhood, and didn't give a damn what sort of mess they made. There were also people whom companies employed to remove the other guys directories to be replaced by their own.

I read a few years back in the New York Times that the biggest consumers of newsprint are the publishers of "in-house" business magazines--you know, things like Widgets Today and the Hookers Are Us Newsletter.
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Mame
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 10:37 am
@boomerang,
Yes, they're online, but what I meant was not everybody's online - not everyone has a computer. I like your opting out option.
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Cycloptichorn
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 10:37 am
Imagine the amount of paper wasted on these things!

Cycloptichorn
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 11:17 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Do you still use actual, physical phone books?


Sure do. Most of the time it's a lot faster than calling Directory Assistance and to use online listings means I have to go and turn on the computer. The Yellow Pages, in particular, are very helpful. I sure hope the phone book doesn't go the way of so many other things that I grew up with which are now obsolete.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 11:33 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch, I am so on board with both you and Set.

There are so many copycats with similar names, who have people calling business using questionable techniques to get someones permission to put your name in those books.
They don't care who answers the phone at your business, and if they can get someone to basically say yes to some innocent sounding question, they call that an order.

Also, as Set said, what a mess. Literally tons of paper that will never be looked at, dumped at all sorts of places.

Here, you can't just put the book in your own recycle bin, you have to take it to a large dumpster marked for phone books. Many times they are in the parking lot of a grocery store.
It's a royal pain in the ass.

If some small businesses, like a plumber or auto mechanic doesn't have a web site, they advertise in places like craigslist.
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Green Witch
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 11:53 am
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
I sure hope the phone book doesn't go the way of so many other things that I grew up with which are now obsolete.


Why? Maybe there are better ways. I think it's an age thing. I think people get comfortable with a system and don't want to move on. I still know people (all over the age of 45) who will not get an email address and I have to call them on the phone for a quick question or message. Nothing is ever quick on the phone and I feel we both end up wasting time. I've never had a problem finding a phone number and address of a business on-line and what I really like is I can also often find reviews from customers.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 12:37 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Advertising in the yellow pages is very expensive. Even being listed in the yellow pages is expensive. I can't imagine a company spending it's marketing dollars in the yellow pages anymore but maybe you have to list in the book to get the list on the online directories. I've used those a time or two.

Do you still use actual, physical phone books?

Yes, we still advertise in the phone books. At least 50% of our new customer revenue come from people who find us in physical phone book directories. The other 50% of new customers come from online marketing (Google AdWords primarily).

When I started the business in 2005 we probably got 80% of our new customers from the phone books and 20% from online. The other 30% was from newspaper ads and a range of other marketing mechanisms.

My company provides Handyman Services, so I think people think of us the same way they do Electricians and Plumbers. Many many people still use the physical phone book especially for quick-hit items like small home repairs. I think we are still 10years away from being able to drop our physical phone book presence.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:28 pm
@rosborne979,
Interesting evidence, Roswell. I have long felt that people online live in their own world and fail to recognize that they are still very much of a minority. There are all kinds of people out there who have home computers who don't really know how to use their boxes effectively online. The woman who cuts my hair was telling me yesterday that she has tried, literally for years, to get her mother to post text messages to her online. Nevertheless, he mother still pecks them out on the phone keyboard, and then complains to her about how difficult it is. My guess is that less than 50% of the population are online, and that a great many of them, perhaps most, don't use a tithe of the online services available to them.

For my part, i'd much rather read a book, but i'm too lazy to get off my dead ass and go to the library most days.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:29 pm
@boomerang,
Yes - and I've used them in hotels too.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:30 pm
What were you doing in those hotels, hmmm ? ? ?

Does your husband know about these little jaunts of yours?
Mame
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:31 pm
@Setanta,
Huh - exactly what I was thinking.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:33 pm
@Setanta,
To look up local restaurants. Usually with my husband - he gets into it too!

Sometimes it is helpful as they have menus in the phone book - more for the smaller hotels rather than the large full service that have concierge service.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Wed 13 Jan, 2010 01:34 pm
@Mame,
I just knew she'd try to weasel out of it . . .
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