Monday, April 07, 2008

No.... what I'm saying is I don't want a paper version

This past week I saw a tweet* go by from Crunchy Domestic Goddess suggestion a great green tip - opt out of getting a paper copy of your phone book. I thought this was a FABULOUS idea. I never look at ours - I exclusively use the only phone book, and really, if I'm going to refer to the paper copy once a year, I can pay the $1 411 would charge me to look up the number - it's worth it to save the trees wasted for unused phone books!

So I went to the Bell Canada site to figure out how to opt out. I did searches, read through FAQs, and couldn't find anything. Ok, no problem. I sent an email asking how to opt out and got a very nice reply this morning telling me how to get my bills online instead of paper copies. Ok, also a nice tip, but NOT what I asked.

I went back to the Bell site and this time, since it was during business hours, used the live chat option to ask my question. After a zillion canned responses I get "so you would like to be removed from the printed version of the phone book". NO!! Goodness, is this really that rare and bizarre a request?

Next "Shane" disappeared for about 5 minutes to come back and tell me I had to contact the company that distributes the phone books. I got a really fast reply from them telling me that I couldn't opt out, that the phone books are a blanket distribution and so they can't take people off the list.

Ok... fair enough, but then there must be plans in progress to change this practice? This can't possibly be something you plan to CONTINUE doing. So I asked and was told that she thought there were plans to make a change, but she didn't know what they were and so maybe I should contact the executive offices at Bell to let them know how I felt. Overall, I had no negative feelings towards this woman, it sounds like she doesn't work for Bell but simply is a service provider for Bell and was telling me what they've been contracted to do.

So back I go to Bell and their live chat. Where I ask how to contact the executive offices (because I can't find any info easily on their site). And I get a zillion canned including what is my name and phone number and what is my concern. I tell them and continue getting canned responses (which was starting to make me mad) and when I finally get "Alan" to understand what I'm saying, because again, NO, I'm not trying remove my listing from the phone book, he starts back into giving me the contact information for the company that distributes them. In the end, he finally gave me a generic email address to write to, and I'm left feeling very frustrated with Bell - not only because they won't let me opt out of getting a paper copy, or that nobody could tell me if they were planning to change their practices, or that nobody understood what I was talking about, but because I felt like it shouldn't be remotely so complicated to just make a formal complaint about something!

I sent my email and am waiting to hear back... but I think maybe a facebook group... an online petition... something else is in order. Because really, when's the last time YOU looked something up in the paper phone book?

*Twitter? Follow me!


Anonymous said...

I know that every year I pick the one they drop off at our house up and drop it right into the recycling bin. It never even makes it through the front door - we keep our recycling bin in our front porch.

Lida said...

I am the wrong person to ask that question to. :)

Nuzzy said...

The Bell online chat in general is useless.
You are talking to people overseas who don't know anything about Bell other than the canned responses in front of them on their desk.
I tried this service for both Sympatico and ExpressVu and not much comes out of it.

Lindsay said...

I can't imagine the number of phone calls I'd have to make to do that. We get 4 different phone books, including two "large print" ones, but I suppose the amount of paper is still less than one of the crazy Ottawa phone books. We actually use ours quite a bit though.

Anonymous said...

here's my two cents - but remember, you've caught me on a "put Linda Blair's performance to shame because I have had one of those days where if one more person asks me an inane question or to do some menial task that they think falls under communications I'm going to spew vomit at them".

I too just got a new yellow pages that is not the bell one but another advertising one. And I move them from new dwelling to new dwelling and just can't be bothered anymore. THe latest one is sitting on my garbage can so that I can unwrap the plastic wrap, put that in the blue bin and the book in the black bin. If I had a car, and because I feel crusty today, I'd be packing it into my car and heading for a Bell World or even better, heading right to the downtown bell offices and leaving them with a bewildered part-time minimum wage employee or disgruntled front counter receptionist.

Now, the closet environmentalist in me would likely say that those Dumas' would throw them in the garbage instead of recycling them but truth be told, maybe message would get to this mysterious head office you've been referred to.

Anyways, can you tell the bitchy demon has possessed me today? ;o)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you start a facebook group/petition, let me know. We'll find some VP at Bell and send them the link... ;o)

BTW, I have several friends who refuse to leave stores with excessive packaging. Ikea, home furniture stores, Walmart, Canadian Tires, etc. have all been victims of them marching the cardboard back into the store when they are done with getting the new bookshelf pieces into their cars. Maybe one day, if enough people do this, the message will get through...

nottryingforaboy said...

Ours go straight to the recycle bin. It is such a waste.