Telstra phone books

Last year I complained to Telstra about the waste of printing new phone books every year as 90% of them never even get opened.
They told me that I could opt out but it should be if you want one you can pick one up at the post office.
It is a terrible waste of trees.


I agree, but unfortunately change is easier to say than to practice.

If Telstra/Sensis stopped delivering phone books across the board, there would be a ‘revolt’ from those not connected to the Internet…predominantly seniors or low socio-economic groups. It would also be seen as profiteering over providing a ‘social service’.

It would be great to post the link to have one’s name removed from the delivery list and also share with friends/on social media.

Maybe Choice could also run an article in an upcoming magazine with info for others to read and act, as I am sure many would be interested in going off the delivery list to reduce unnecessary waste.


This is the link

Directory Select is owned by Sensis who produce the Yellow Pages and White Pages books. The Directory Select website lets you easily order or cancel printed directories to suit your preferences.


Thank you for posting this link. I have just cancelled mine.


Not sure about that 90% claim across the board, though it may be correct in some particular areas.

Perhaps they could utilise the savings to go back to printing phone books we can actually read.


Thanks Phil

I thought I would just check via the link you posted as I thought I had previously cancelled my subscription. Much to my surprise I was still subscribed.

Must have been a brain glitch, so I’m glad you posted it. :slight_smile:

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I used to live in a block of units and 90% was conservative.
And yes the print is very small I struggle with my glasses but google is easy.

I agree, in any case it seems there are only Telstra numbers anyway.

I do like to have a phone book for the yellow pages mostly, but do on occasion look up the whites. I would be happy to pick up a book at the GPO rather than have them posted in everyone’s letterboxes.


Must also say I’m in the bush, so a lot of our tradies and service providers aren’t on the google pages.

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I wholeheartedly agree! I opted out of phone book deliveries years ago, as soon as an opt-out was available. Nonetheless, the local business pages directory was still dumped on my doorstep. It went straight into the recycle waste without a single use. What a monumental waste of resources! I haven’t used a phone book - or for that matter a street/map directory - for years.

I keep an old Melway because at least one factory GPS does not know Whitehorse Road even though that is what is on the street signs, that it is a major thoroughfare, and Auspost and all the business along it use. One has to know it is also called the Maroondah Highway that the GPS database recognises, although it then gets addressing quite wrong from city to city. :rage:

The Melway has been useful more than once to find other alternative names for major thoroughfares to appease our dodgy map services as delivered through the GPS databases.

Oops I’ve been tempted to go off topic with you. I do keep an old Melway in the car as a contingency, but haven’t used it for some years. I routinely use the free mapping/navigation app on my Android smartphone for my daily 50km (each way) commute to and from the CBD. It knows the contemporary names of roads and is up to date on recent road construction. The main reason I use it is for the live traffic status warnings and diversion options provided by the app. It has proven to be extremely accurate in showing real-time congestion points and has rapidly identified sites of accidents and incidents, which cause sizeable traffic gnarls on major thoroughfares. The estimated times of arrival (ETAs) have consistently proven to be accurate for my hour-long (sometimes longer, depending on congestion) journeys. For incidents causing protracted delays, I have opted for the diversion and have been accurately guided to entry points for an alternative freeway - through routes that I have never taken before and had no idea offered rapid and seamless transitions to an alternative freeway. I believe some of the data regarding traffic patterns is automatically crowd-sourced from other’s smartphones, which is probably why the status indications and ETAs are so dynamic and accurate.

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I live in rural Queensland and pick up my phone book at the local post office mainly for the yellow pages which I often use. I would not like to be dependent on my internet service to obtain phone numbers because of power outages etc… Please don’t assume that only the “oldies” don’t have internet…there are still many areas where one can’t get internet and/or mobile phone reception.

What I really ment was we don’t need a new book every year. I don’t mean for you to google everything.
Also most local comunities also have a local phone guide.

Ah, but you can look at white & yellow pages on line too.

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Don’t forget, we’re talking about an advertising business here - their aim is not to provide the folks at home with a useful directory of business and personal listings, it’s to sell advertising. And to sell advertising they need to be able to demonstrate that their directories have a huge distribution (otherwise why take out a yellow pages ad if it’s only going to 27 households?). Being able to show you’ve distributed a huge quantity of your directories looks great to potential advertisers, even if the reality is that a large proportion of those go straight from doorstop to recycling bin without ever being opened.
Apathy is a powerful force and it’s what keeps the majority of us from opting out of receiving them. How powerful? Look at the thousands of dollars we waste on our mortgages each year by staying with non-competitive lenders rather than putting in the little bit of effort required to find a better deal.
Switching to an opt-in model would see their distribution numbers fall through the floor as those same people who don’t bother to opt out would more than likely not bother to opt in, which would be very bad for business.


That is another way to look at it. Big bussiness advertising.

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The need for big numbers to boost advertising also seems behind the excessive annual charge imposed for not printing your details. This impost clearly must bring in far more than the modest one-off cost of removing an entry, and is one of the great unchallenged ripoffs still current.