You need to find a supplier of a product or service you don’t normal purchase, it’s an area that you are not an expert in, and perhaps your friends/family haven’t had any experience with a business that they can recommend. Where do you go to get some comfort that this is a real, viable business?
This blog had a suggestion specific to a business they thought was a little shady:
A third thought she was dealing with an air conditioning company which advertised in the Yellow Pages. In all cases, the quotes supplied by Unique Appliances …
Have you noticed that no one suggests to use the Internet to verify a business is real, instead it’s the print Yellow Pages. It’s all about “trust”.
Local Sales reps work with businesses to include information in their print Yellow Pages ads using a concept that has been in place for years — the “RASCIL” factors. They are:
- RELIABILITY — Time in Business, Affiliations, Memberships and Certifications, Guarantees, Size of Firm
- AUTHORIZATION — Authorized brands (Maytag, Whirlpool, etc)
- SPECIAL FEATURES AND/OR SECURITY — Credit Cards and payment options, Hours of operation, Special Services
- COMPLETENESS OF SERVICE — Product Types, Pickup and Delivery, Buy, Rent and Lease
- ILLUSTRATION — High Impact Pictures and Headline
- LOCATION — Location or Locations, Areas Served
Can businesses also include this information in their website and Internet advertising? Of course. And it’s not that search engines aren’t trusted – it’s the websites themselves that make people suspicious. Hence, you flip open the print Yellow Pages to get some assurance that if they have spent money to be in that book, chances are they aren’t some fly-by-night company. If so, they won’t be around long and will not be in that book next year.
Kudo’s to Wake County (local county where Raleigh is based) for expanding the opportunity for residents to recycle more. Specific to phone books, this just announced:
In the past, Wake County offered drop off sites during a three-month period when telephone books were delivered. Over the last several years, directory distribution has increased and become a year-round process. The County has decided to expand the program at existing facilities, to keep pace with the market, giving residents and businesses the opportunity to recycle telephone books at anytime.
This effort is beng sponsored by AT&T Yellow Pages and R.H. Donnelley (publisher of Embarq Yellow Pages). And yes, both companies are promoting the recycling sites in their respective directories.
Among the many great tips in this recent article was a solid suggestion:
Kayak trips on the many rivers, creeks and bays in this area are a blast. Just go to any of the local outfitters (listed in the Yellow Pages) and sign up. After a brief orientation session, you’re on your way in a rental yak. Cost is very reasonable.
Kudos to the Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages which is now partnering with a locally owned recycling company (Island Shell LLC), to convert outdated directories into oil absorbent materials, mulch, and insulation products which are then used locally (source).
The publisher is Hawaiian Telcom is also working with other local businesses, nonprofit organizations and shopping malls to provide drop-off locations where the public can recycle their outdated telephone directories.
Channel 5 – WLWT in Cincinnati reports that Cincinnati Bell has asked the Public Utilities Commission in Ohio for a waiver to cease the required annual devliver of the printed White Pages to each residential customer.
This 1950’s era regulatory requirement made sense in the pre-Internet days when the Telco was the only source for numbers in the local area. But attempts by publishers in several areas to discontinue this archaic practice have been met with resistance from local regulatory groups. Most recently AT&T attempt to make this change in North Carolina and met significant resistance (source). Most commissions view it as some kind of back door opportunity for the Telco to raise 411 – directory assistance rates, even though the changes have been supported by government recycling authorities. In most markets in Canada, Yellow Pages Group is on a biennial distribution schedule for its residential white pages.
The value of commerce generate by the printed Yellow Pages is not the question here. It is the value of printed residential white pages which do largely go unused. I think the industry and consumers can gladly come together to support these type changes in every jurisdiction which still requires it.