Dex phone books just arrived – still trying to opt out

Apologies if you find great value in phone books. We don’t; we use the Internet so much, we haven’t used a phone book in at least five years. (Adored them PRE-Web.) We don’t even have a Qwest phone line – and yet a big stack of their newest phone books just landed on the porch at WSB HQ. We have discussed this in past years and could SWEAR we already opted out. But here they are (1:12 pm, added photo at left – THREE of them in one bag!). So we are currently researching to find the true, proven way to opt out. If you’ve done it, and it worked, please share; meantime, we’ll share whatever we come up with (Qwest/Dex has a “Select Your Dex” online option that purportedly enables you to choose “zero” books for the future, but we’re not trusting it till we talk to someone who confirms that’s the way to go; the guy who answered the previously offered #, 800-422-8793, couldn’t tell us that for sure).

42 Replies to "Dex phone books just arrived - still trying to opt out"

  • Charlie June 25, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    My no-hassle way to opt out: carry the books from your front porch to your recycling bin. Easy.

  • JBL June 25, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    How many trees and money is going to waste producing these “free” books? I bet if we were giving the option (instead of just automatic) of having one the producer would save tons of cash. Who’s in charge of producing phone books anyway?

  • Donn June 25, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    The problem with the phone books even if they are printed on recycled paper, is all the wasted expended energy to print, deliver, and then recycle the books.

  • KBear June 25, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    At least they can go in the recycling bin now. Used to have to take them to a special collection point.

    It is very wasteful to distribute books that will never be used. Especially ones that size.

  • Cheryl June 25, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    I like the Dex phone books. I’m not at my computer 24/7. I just don’t see the need for the other ones like Banana Pages and Yellow Book.

  • kirida June 25, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    I loved it when Almost Live would make fun of phone book ads. That’s what I miss about phone books.

  • WSB June 25, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    If you’re on Facebook, we’ve also got quite the comment thread going there:

  • the_urbanite June 25, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    In a city as big as Seattle, so much of the information in the Dex book is irrelevent to me. I much prefer Banana Pages because I want to spend my money here in West Seattle. Where is the local Dex and Qwest HQs? I want to dump my 5 extra books on their door step to see how they like it. Maybe someone on the web could organize a mass dump?

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen June 25, 2009 (1:35 pm)

    I would be willing to drive somewhere to dump my books at their business door. Maybe we should just pick a location and Tweet it out.

  • swimcat June 25, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    If I have some on my doorstep when I get home I’d love to participate in a mass dump! That would be hilarious.

  • jcraig June 25, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    I called 866-60-MY-DEX (option 1) and requested to opt out of future deliveries. Time will tell if they actually pay attention to their “do not deliver” list…

  • Sue June 25, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    jcraig, I’ve opted out numerous times, but it doesn’t seem to ever stop!

  • WSG June 25, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    Charlie – that’s what I do with mine. It’s such a waste! They should deliver them by request only. Not the other way around.

  • Mark June 25, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    Maybe file a complaint for littering with the SPD? I never asked for them, I don’t have a land line, whats the difference between littering and what they are doing? I will gladly dump them at their front door, even better if we have a few thousand others do the same.

  • Jason June 25, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    I hate these things so much. Why do I need a new one every 6 months!? It’s ridiculous! Yes, I know I can recycle them…but it’s still wasted trees and energy for something I will never use.

  • Mike June 25, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    Mine never got to see the inside of my house, it went from the front door step to the back of the house where the recycle bin is. Guess those ad dollars are paying off for everyone that forked out money to advertise in it.

  • dq June 25, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    We don’t have a landline and we were lucky enough to be left a bag of books at the front AND back door… both sets are in the recycling bin.

  • wundrgrrrl June 25, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    I would sooo love to participate in a coordinated “return to sender” effort. They are the biggest waste!

  • wayneman in seattle June 25, 2009 (3:59 pm)

    I called and asked where WE can drop off all these books from the Seattle area. Here is the address and phone number they gave me:
    13920 South East Eastgate Way, Bellevue
    5th floor, phone number: 425-614-2000. I suggest we get the campaign going strong to return all the extra books on their door.

  • living in west seattle since 1985 June 25, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    They are very useful for pressing flowers

  • JBL June 25, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    Never got mine! Yea!

  • toddinwestwood June 25, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    Navin: The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!
    Harry: Well I wish I could get so excited about nothing.
    Navin: Nothing? Are you kidding?! Page 73, Johnson, Navin, R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, you’re name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

  • toddinwestwood June 25, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    Sniper: Die, you random son of a bitch.

    [shoots at Navin]

    Sniper: DIE, GAS PUMPER!

  • poc June 25, 2009 (5:23 pm)

    I opted out after last years delivery and this year when all of my neighbors got their phone books I was shocked to see that they did indeed honor my wishes and I had NO phone book(s) delivered. I saved at least a branch of a tree!

  • Juan Hovez June 25, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    Git those phone books OFF MY LAWN.

  • WSB June 25, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    TIW, I was almost that excited about phone books in the pre-Web years. Almost. (Great movie – “The Jerk” – he’s quoting from, if you’re headscratching) – TR

  • homesweethome June 25, 2009 (8:40 pm)

    good luck if you live in an apartment or condo – you can opt out but the van still delivers just as many units are in your building – and then at least in our building they all get taken to the recycle dumpster. Total waste. And opting out in general is a joke – the delivery folks are not carrying around a list of addresses not to deliver to – its not in their best interest anyway as they are paid by the #of books they deliver.

  • J June 25, 2009 (10:25 pm)

    When the company fails to honor my opt-out, I ask them to come and pick them up. I figure that way, they have an incentive to make their opt-out system more than just window-dressing. Short-term, it’s a waste of energy, but I hope it pays off long-term. They do come get them, to their credit, but I can see this will take persistence, since they’ve yet to skip a delivery.

  • Jtk June 25, 2009 (11:04 pm)

    Did anyone notice they came overnight? Its like u cant stop them. They dont care where they end up because they have already gotten paid. Mine went right to the recycle bin. But i would dig them out and drop them right back where they came from.

  • AN June 25, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    If the company picks them up maybe we could all take them somewhere central in West Seattle and a mass pick up could be requested. Or several mass pick ups. Let them take them back. I opted out more than once and keep getting them. They just throw them over the gate onto our porch. This year it sounded like an elephant landed, but the guy raced away so fast I couldn’t catch him. Why would I ever try to look up businesses in a phone book that only includes a random selection of paying businesses? I look almost everything up on the paperless web anyway, now. Advertising phone books seem a silly, useless, and hugely wasteful enterprise.

  • Terry June 25, 2009 (11:37 pm)

    Surely, our Mayor would be happy to collect them and recycle?

  • Dexturd June 26, 2009 (2:54 am)

    Phone books? We don’t need no steenking phone books!

  • J June 26, 2009 (9:51 am)

    AN, I think we have no obligation to make it easier for them to pick them up, and it would weaken the whole point of requesting that they pick up what is, for those of us who do not want them, essentially trash (albeit recyclable trash): making it more trouble (and expense) for them to deliver them and have to go back and pick them up than not to deliver them in the first place!

  • jai June 26, 2009 (10:19 am)

    Stay away from the cans. He hates these cans.

  • Pablo June 26, 2009 (10:19 am)

    Last week I arrived to work and found a total of 18 bags of phone books in front of two doors. I was pretty furious so I called the number printed on the bags and the supposedly reduced us down to one set now. I asked the woman if someone could come and pick them up and she just told me to recycle them because pickup isn’t available. Ugh. I recall there being something printed on the bag about how eco-friendly they are by recycling which just pissed me off even more. 18 bags with three phone books per bag straight into the recycling dumpster. Pathetic and infuriating.

  • Pablo June 26, 2009 (10:20 am)

    I wish I’d saved em, now, for that drop off mentioned above. I’d have had 54 phone books to contribute.

  • J June 26, 2009 (11:34 am)

    “Pickup isn’t available” isn’t an acceptable response from someone who dumps their trash on your property.

  • fluorescent carl June 26, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    Put em in the Whole foods hole!

  • austin June 26, 2009 (5:39 pm)

    The whole foods whole is a good idea.
    Before you go dumping your phone books remove the advert magnets (usually plumbing or real estate) that they put on the cover. They can be used for turning your favorite stickers into crappy magnet versions of your favorite stickers.

  • Courtney June 26, 2009 (9:03 pm)

    Just like the mailers that the post office shoves in our mailbox weekly, the phone books went straight downstairs to the recycle bin!

    What a waste… if I wanted that stuff I’d REQUEST it!!!

  • WSGuy June 27, 2009 (12:46 am)

    Why dosen’t the city charge one of their unreasonable permit fees to distribute phone books. Say, $50,000 to distribute to one zip code. Violations could be issued similar, steep fees. Opt-out violations could also be handled in a similar manner. Perhaps companies who decide to violate this policy could be found responsible to repave one mile of Faunteroy Ave, or dump 400 yards of fill into the Whole Foods Hole. It’s a little whacky, but it could work!

  • lighthouse June 27, 2009 (1:05 am)

    DEX is not owned by Qwest. Qwest sold the DEX directory division some years back (2002, I think). DEX went through several owners, and is now owned by RH Donnelley ( — which incidentally filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. (Maybe because they keep publishing books people throw in the trash?)

Sorry, comment time is over.