Phone Book Opt-Out Toolkit: Write to Phone Book Publishers
While publishers are taking strides to fulfill opt-out requests, far too many residents continue to receive phone books despite opting out. Even when an opt-out request is successfully fulfilled, most phone book companies resume mailings after 1-3 years, creating added stress for long-time residents who must continuously re-submit their opt-out request.
You can contact these top publishers or the publisher listed on the phone book(s) you've received to let them know that you received a phone book this year despite opting out. Be sure to customize these letters and phone scripts -- the more you personalize it, the better!
You can also share this customized letter on your website and via social media to encourage your residents to contact publishers directly when they receive a phone book.
Write or Call publishers if your opt-out wasn't honored
Letter - Instructions:
Insert your information into the [brackets]. To calculate the tons of phone books distributed in your town, multiply the number of households in your town by 0.005593. You can find the number of households in your town with the U.S. Census Bureau's American Fact Finder. Just enter your city, town, or zip code, and find "Households and Families" under the most recent census.
Dear [Company Name]:
Each year, about[##] tons of printed phone books are distributed in [City/Town Name], despite the fact that many residents like myself now use the internet to find business information.
I opted out of my phone book on yellowpagesoptout.com because [Your Reason]. Thank you for creating an easy-to-use resource that helps Americans opt out of receiving phone books.
I am therefore disappointed that I still received a phone book this year.
I implore you to find and fix the flaw in your opt-out system that led me to receive a phone book, despite opting out on your website. If I received a phone book after opting out, there are probably others in my [City/Town] who have also experienced this. This is not acceptable.
Finally and most importantly, I urge [Company] to implement an opt-in policy in my [City/Town], or even nationwide. Research indicates that 87 percent of adults support an opt-in approach to phone book distribution, which would ensure that those who do want phone books still receive them.
In the meantime, I’d greatly appreciate if you would permanently remove my address (below) from your mailing list.
Insert your information into the [brackets]. This script is directed toward the President of the Local Search Association (LSA), which represents all phone books publishers and runs YellowPagesOptOut.com. His name is Neg Norton, and he can be reached at (908) 286-2385 or Neg.Norton@localsearchassociation.org.
Hello Mr. Norton. My name is [Name] and I am from [City/Town Name, State]. I am calling to let you know that, despite using your opt-out website, yellowpagesoptout.com, I still received a phone book this year.
I opted out in an attempt to save our town and taxpayers money, and to do my part to decrease the environmental impacts of phone book production, including the use of virgin natural resources. I’d like to ask you to please find and fix the flaw in your opt-out system that led me to receive a phone book, despite opting out on your website. If I received a phone book after opting out, there are probably others in my [City/Town] who have experienced this, too. This is not acceptable.
Thank you for your time. If you’d like to give me a call back, I can be reached at [Phone Number].
Insert your information into the [brackets]. To calculate the tons of phone books distributed in your town, multiply the number of households in your town by 0.005593. To calculate the cost of managing those phone books, multiply the number of households in your town by $0.35. See our simple financial benefits calculator for more information.
Dear [Publisher Name]:
Each year, about [##] tons of printed phone books are distributed in [Town Name], despite the fact that many of our residents turn to digital sources to find business information. Transporting, recycling, and disposing of these phone books costs our city about $[##] annually.
Preventing the distribution of unwanted phone books would reduce our town’s waste management costs and have a significant environmental impact. For every 100 unwanted phone books removed from printing and distribution, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,810 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent, the equivalent of nearly 2,000 miles driven by a passenger vehicle.
This is why [Town/Organization Name] is calling on you to make it easier and more effective for our residents to opt out of phone books that they do not want. We urge [Publisher Name] to do the following:
1. Print opt-out information on the front cover of all of your books.
2.Honor all opt-out requests. Make opt-out metrics available to the public to create accountability and transparency.
3. When residents make an opt-out request, ensure that it is fulfilled and that the address is not returned to the publisher’s distribution list at any time.
4. Contribute to phone book recycling programs in our community.
Finally and most importantly, we would like to urge [Publisher Name] to consider implementing an opt-in policy. Research indicates that 87% of adults support an opt-in approach to phone book distribution. An opt-in program would significantly reduce paper waste in our community, while still making sure that those who want phone books receive them.
Distributing phone books only where they are wanted would reduce waste in [Town Name] and help us meet our environmental goals. We hope that you will implement these important sustainability practices.
You can send a letter to the following publishers through mail, email, or their website contact forms. The corporate mailing addresses are listed below; additional contact forms and local branch address information can be found on the publisher websites (linked below).
Alternatively, look in your phone book for a publisher name and find them online.