General Question

syz's avatar

Do you use a phone book to look up a business?

Asked by syz (32820 points ) August 11th, 2012

I’m looking at my marketing budget, and I’m considering continuing to pay for listings but canceling the ads. Personally, I use the internet for pretty much everything these days, and I suspect that I’m not a minority. Do you keep phone books in the house? Do you use them?

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19 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I had to use one the other day, but that was because the place had no internet. It brought back old memories and old skills.

CWOTUS's avatar

Sometimes I use the Yellow Pages, as it’s generally quicker that way.

I don’t use the White Pages, though. The Connecticut phone book (at least for the Hartford County listings) is screwed up because each little town has its own listing. So if I’m not sure whether a name that I’m looking up is in East Hartford, South Windsor or Manchester, for example, I have to look in each separate town’s listing. And these are not major towns, either.

I don’t know why they do it this way, but the Hartford County telephone books have been generally useless to me for all the time that I’ve lived or worked in Connecticut.

gailcalled's avatar

Only when my internet connection is down, which seems like every other hour. The server for our area has a monopoly and thus uses shoddy and cheap equipment to improve their profit margin.

So, it is still important to have the old-fashioned tools, like phone books, land lines and check books.

cookieman's avatar

Nope. My town stopped automatically dropping off yellow pages as 90% of them ended up right in the trash. Now you have to go pick one up at town hall if you want it.

snowberry's avatar

There are several companies that put out phone books. I get frustrated with the ones that do not include ALL the listings. I’ve tried the internet version of the yellow pages. I’m not impressed.

filmfann's avatar

I use the phone book for urgent home issues, like getting a plumber or a pizza.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think there are still many people who are not on the internet or who do not use it as frequently as I do, so we continue to advertise in conventional ways as well as with internet. But we have downsized our ads substantially, using them as a link to the website.

Pandora's avatar

Sometimes for discounts. They usually have coupons for businesses.
But I look on line first.

Bellatrix's avatar

We get phone books and the Yellow Pages delivered automatically here. It ends up in the cupboard and doesn’t see the light of day until the next one arrives. They should allow you to opt out to save on paper I think. I may use the Yellow Pages but I will use it online.

JLeslie's avatar

I do keep phone books and I do use them. Especially my very local yellow pages. I like to give my business to local owners, some of them are not on the internet. Plus, sometimes the yellow pages is better than the internet, because sometimes the internet comes up with a bunch of junk. However, I do use the internet more often than the phone book.

I have used old white pages to find people from towns I have moved away from. I moved with my phone book from the last city I lived in, and have used it a few times for yellow and white pages.

I guess that sounds like I use phone books all the time. I probably look in a phone book once every 3 months or so.

augustlan's avatar

Personally, I find it quicker to look up a business phone number (as long as I know the name of it) in the ‘business listings’ part of the phone book (not the part where the ads are, the part where they’re listed in alphabetical order) than to look it up on line. In fact, I proved that to my step-son just the other day, as we raced to see who could get the info quickest.

If I’m not looking for a specific business, but for a type of business (say, electricians in my area), I mostly use the phone book for that, too (the ads portion). Internet searches for that type of thing don’t seem very useful, honestly. It’s all a bit hit or miss.

Blackberry's avatar

This isn’t the 1700s.

trailsillustrated's avatar

A what? what’s that?

Symbeline's avatar

@Blackberry Yes it is, damnit.

I mostly use the Internet if I know the name of the place. @augustlan is totally right though, if I’m looking for something specific in my area and need all choices available, the phone book is way faster than searching for shit online. Say if you want to find all movie rental places in your city or town, just look that up in the phone book and they’re all in the same place, conveniently listed with phone numbers, addresses as well as all the districts and areas of town they find themselves in. or maybe I’m just some kinda redneck

Jeruba's avatar

A Yellow Pages, yes, I do.

lynfromnm's avatar

If I know the name of a business it doesn’t matter whether I use the business section of the white pages or use the internet, so I go with whichever is closer. One advantage to using the internet is that I don’t have to put on my reading glasses.

I never use the Yellow Pages. They never seem to categorize anything the way I do, so it’s difficult to locate a list of businesses that may meet my needs. How do you look up a general handyman in the Yellow Pages, for instance? I find it far more efficient to google “handyman install doggie door Albuquerque”, for example. This may be more my own failing than it is the Yellow Pages’ failing, but it is a moot point. The point is to get the information without wasting my time.

bookish1's avatar

Well this thread has convinced me that my way is not the most efficient way, but I have never courted efficiency :-p

I never use the phone book, and I find local businesses by word of mouth, local advertising, or the internet.

zenvelo's avatar

I haven’t been able to distinguish the “official” phone book in about twenty years, because in the 90s it seemed like i got a new phone book of one sort or another every month.

And they had varying advertising so I could never tell what was the most complete.

I have not used a phone book in a good 12 years.

Deshi_basara's avatar

Pay for the listing if you’d like; there are still people that use them. But in my opinion, I wouldn’t waste much time or money on it. everyone I know looks to google, whether it be on their computer or on their smart phone.
The times have changed a bit, but some people have resisted it as best they could. Change with the times, but leave something to legacy for those who still use it.

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