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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How to Easily Opt Out of Phone Books: Hooray Hooray!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Glorious day! Just as Oregon is poised to possibly become the nation's first opt-in phone book delivery state, Yellow Pages has launched a new opt-out website. in the olden days (yesterday), you had to call a complicated phone line to opt out, so the website should be a big improvement.

However, apparently everyone on the entire internet is psyched about opting out of phone books because YellowPagesOptOut.com is mind-meltingly slow. Perhaps their servers are overloaded, perhaps this is just one final jab at Yellow Pages' unwilling consumers, either way, open up a separate tab and schedule a solid 15 minutes to rid yourself of phone books.

I finally managed to click through the slowly loading pages to opt my house out of seven phonebooks. I walk you through it below the cut.

Okay! Here is the website. Enter your zipcode. I don't have time to download their "sustainability report" but I will bet it's pretty hilarious. A study in Oregon found that there are five times as many phone books as homes and that 80 percent are thrown away.

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Step Two involves giving Yellow Pages personal info such as an email address, phone number, and your physical address. The email address needs to be real, since they send a confirmation email, but I'm not sure about the phone number. One Twitterer reported numerous 1-800 calls to her phone immediately after opting out, so it's likely Yellow Pages will spam you if you stick in a real number. I put in my work phone. Sorry, Brad the Office Manager! Anyway, wait for a few minutes and a confirmation email will arrive.

Step Three is surveying the insane amount of phone books one home can receive! Change all the numbers to "zero". Or, change them all to the maximum and build yourself a phone book guesthouse over the coming year.

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Step Four: After you opt-out of all the phone books, you have to click a tiny disclaimer button on the next page and then hit "confirm." If you don't do this, the opt-out doesn't count!

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Step Five: Feel smugly eco-conscious for the rest of the day! You've earned it!

(The h/t for this goes to various people, including Yellow Pages' PR agency, but shout out to commenter TK who emailed in the link)

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