Power Breakfast: AT&T hanging up directory, jobs, renters

It’s another sign of the times. AT&T in Georgia has asked state regulators for permission to stop delivering residential “white pages” to its customers, AJC reporter David Markiewicz writes.

The company called delivery a “substantial hardship” that is no longer necessary. AT&T said consumer use of the Internet to find numbers is a key reason, along with the growing number of homes without landlines and the ability of wireless devices to store numbers.

Customers could still obtain a hard copy, at no cost, upon request.

I guess Rick Watson, a business professor at UGA, summed it up best: “We stopped riding horses, too,” Watson told Markiewicz. “It’s just part of the technological change that occurs and the move to electronic services, which are more convenient.”

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7 comments Add your comment

Joan

August 18th, 2009
6:24 am

Many older people do not use computers. Occasionally, we have to use dial up when away from home–it would take forever to look up a phone number. Hopefully, AT&T would send a post card to check whether you want one or not, using postage paid return.

Mark

August 18th, 2009
10:28 am

I hope they keep delivering the yellow pages. It sure is a ton easier to use than firing up the computer every time I want to call a business. Sometimes my power goes out too and what about that little one I keep in my car? I need my yellow pages!

Brad

August 18th, 2009
10:38 am

I can’t believe this is even a possibility!! It’s the easiest, fastest, way for me to get things done. I don’t have to boot up or log in. It’s right there in the room. In 10 seconds I have a ton of companies to choose from.

KM

August 18th, 2009
10:41 am

Landlines are a dying breed, and being replaced by wireless. Wonder who is benefitting? Landlines are being replaced by U-Verse, DSL and 2 year commitments. Yes, at&t is struggling making a profit.
I would think the YP and White pages should always be an option to all their customers. A once a year copy shouldn’t be too expensive to manage?
Substantial hardship? I don’t think so…just a way to say we want out of an obligation.

Derrick

August 18th, 2009
1:53 pm

Err, nothing has been even mentioned about stopping Yellow Pages delivery or even business White Pages. Only the residential White Pages would have to be specifically requested.

Michael

August 18th, 2009
11:02 pm

If you love your white pages, then request a copy. It’s just stupid to continue dumping all of this paper on people who don’t want it. I have an iPhone, so I can pretty much look up anything at any time. I’ve used Maps to find local businesses like you used the white pages in the past, except it takes about 8 seconds and I can even see where it is on a map.

Bob

August 22nd, 2009
11:44 am

Cable Companies and other providers are taking subscribers away from AT&T and do not issue or maintain White Pages Directories nor do they have the expense built into their service prices. They are “skimming the cream” and leaving the low fat for the wireline providers. I challenge you to use your cable phone when your electricity goes out or when your cable goes out. I found this out the hard way last year during a storm. Now I am back with AT&T-BellSouth and recently called the power company to report an outage. AT&T told me that they provide their own talk power to their lines and don’t depend upon competitors. You will notice that serious businesses still use AT&T because they don’t want to be cut off from their customers due to substandard service from one of the hundreds of companies offering telecommunications services. I personally will request a directory and will request a Real Yellow Pages also. My business got stuck a few years ago buying advertising in yellow books sold by other companies when we found they had limited distribution and very few listings in their books. Our customer calls dropped significantly that year and next year we went back to AT&T’s real yellow pages.