Does Cancelling The Yellow Pages Actually Work?

Does Cancelling The Yellow Pages Actually Work?

For many (I’d say most) of us, the only possible use for the Yellow Pages or the White Pages is as a temporary monitor stand. Sensis offers an option to cancel those deliveries, but whether that actually has any effect is another matter.

The Directory Select cancellation option has been around for quite a while (we wrote about it here back in 2010). As Alex points out over at Fat Duck Tech, signing up doesn’t appear to make any difference:

I’ve just looked up the exact date I signed up to no longer receive the books. It was the 3rd of September 2010, and since that date, like clockwork… I’ve got them anyway . . . Sensis says its signup is good to cancel deliveries for three years. In that three years, I’ve got the full set, every time, despite complaints.

I’ve had similar experiences; I live in an apartment block, where books are normally delivered en masse to the front door, and as such I’m supposed to receive a postcard “confirming my decision to cancel”. That’s never happened. (The pile of directories rarely gets any smaller either.)

So I’m wondering: has anyone successfully managed to cancel these deliveries? Let us know your experience in the comments.

Sensis’ Directory Select appears to be totally useless [Fat Duck Tech]


  • The white and yellow pages should be opt-in. I haven’t looked at a phone book for over 10 years.
    At the last place I lived, an apartment complex, the delivery people left them in big piles near the entrances and the body corporate had to get rid of them as nobody wanted one. If any other organisation dumped several hundred kgs of useless paper on your front step they would get charged with littering.

    • I agree, although it should probably be opt in for people under 60 but over people over 60 should probably be opt out.

      The last time i used the paper yellow/whitepages was when my ADSL was offline and i had to call iinet but didn’t have their number and this was 10 years ago, so using google via WAP to get the number would have taken longer than the paper pages.

  • Haven’t had them delivered for over 4 years, I get the postcard. I’m in a detached house so maybe it works for them and not apartments.

    Have had to find alternate monitor stands though….

  • We cancelled ours a couple of years ago. No sign of white or yellow pages since. Also no sign of junk mail from the same time!

  • I used to deliver phone books back when I was in scouts 15+ years ago, half dozen kids running down a street between a trailer or van and houses just dumping them at the door or sometimes seeing how far you could throw them or how much of a THUD noise you could make :p It would have been impossible to try manage a program to not deliver to some houses then used to have a photocopied melways page and a highlighter and go street by street marking them off doubt its too different now.

    Should change it to an opt-in or with tech nowdays just get rid of them all together and print a small number and make them available at the post office or something for people to collect if they need/want one.

  • Paper directories are a dinosaur, and should be discontinued.
    Here is an idea…. Stop advertising in them peoples! They only exist because businesses waste good money on advertising there. I say “waste”, because nobody uses them any more. Do you understand that? NOBODY reads them. Spend your advertising dollar on something that will give you a return on investment. (And save a shipload of trees!)

    • I wouldn’t use te yellow pages myself, but its too easy to look at your circle of friends/colleagues/acquaintances and assume that because they don’t use the yellow pages, no one does. That just isn’t true. My dad runs a small business. He has a website, but 90% of his business still comes from the yellow pages! I don’t know who the hell these people are, but they’ve kept him money.

  • Thanks for that, didn’t know they could be cancelled

    I’ve just put 2 requests to cancel (one per person, just in case its linked to a specific person)

    Let’s see if they stop sending them to me, they go straight from doorstep to recycling bin anyway

  • last year when my yellow pages got delivered, they threw over the fence, into the garden…almost killed the cat. not …happy… jan… !

  • Things rarely happen without a good reason and it is unlikely there is someone out there just delivering a wad of paper to every house in the Country just to be a troll.

    We probably don’t use them but as an above poster pointed out, it doesn’t mean people aren’t.

    I’m almost ready to give up my irrational nostalgia surrounding the Yellow Pages but not quite there yet.

    All of this is of course an aside to the opting out program, which should be upheld (but does seem very difficult to manage from a delivery point of view. Especially regarding apartment blocks.

  • I cancelled mine 4 years ago, and have only received one this year (and promptly cancelled again). My guess is that some delivery staff don’t bother to check while others do the right thing.

  • I want the directories and have never opted out, but they have stopped delivering them and there is no card telling me when and where they are available. I have to guess when they are likely to be issued and cart them from the post office. Not just for me, but there are other neighbours who are not on the internet.

  • I’ve signed out of both yellow and white pages at least 4-5 years ago and still every year I get them! Did it again last year and guess what? Received the yellow ones in the mailbox again today… How can we sue them for littering and illegal paperwaste?

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