NOT HAPPY JAN: printed telephone directories


I’ve previously decried voicemail as a technology that’s long past its use-by-date, and now, this article at Mumbrella made me think about what a massive waste printed telephone directories are these days.

If it is illegal for Australian companies to sending unsolicited emails, why is it not illegal to send  unsolicited printed items?

If spam legislation was drafted properly, it should have been delivery-method agnostic. I have not had a landline phone service at home for years, and yet I still get Yellow and White Pages delivered. In my opinion, this should be treated in the same way as spam and Sensis should be fined or prosecuted for it if I report it. (Of course, I’ve tried in the past to complain about it, and Sensis takes my details, but then it happens again, year after year…)
It’s also high time for legislation to allow individuals to opt out of non-essential mailings from companies. Fair enough that companies need to be able to reach you by post to send bills and important information about contractual changes, etc, but we shouldn’t all have to receive printed telephone directories just so that Sensis can prop up its circulation numbers and sell its advertising for higher prices.

Forcing everyone to receive printed directories creates unnecessary cost in garbage collection and recycling services and would have a huge carbon footprint from the massive paper consumption every year through to the delivery of the heavy books to premises Australia-wide.

I say: it’s time to responsibly dispose of printed telephone directories once and for all. However, if there really are still people that want them, at the very least, I want a “do not deliver junk to me” register to complement my “do not call” registration.


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