So, you don't think that phonebooks are a big deal, huh? Well, let's take a look at the incredible noise that Dex caused when it chose to re-scope the Quad-Cities telephone book. The Quad-Cities include Davenport and Bettendorf, IA, and Moline and Rock Island, IL. I must admit I don't know much about the Quad-Cities, but Dex sure hit a nerve when it decided to put out a directory that only included the Iowa side of the Quad-City area.
Dex, of course, is owned by Donnelley, which also publishes the AT&T book that includes listings for the entire Quad-Cities area. From where we sit, this makes perfect business sense, but good luck trying to convince the nice folks who live in the Quad-Cities. It is clear that they take their Yellow Pages both personally and seriously.
When it comes to comments about the change based on the story in the Quad-City Times, it turns out that the people of Quad-Cities are not so nice. One of the more mellow comments was from “Patriot” who wrote, “If everyone will save the unneeded phonebooks for me, I will try to get a new bridge built out of them.” And many people blamed poor old Qwest, which of course no longer is affiliated with the books. Here are the results from a poll the paper took:
The newest Dex Qwest phonebooks that will be distributed throughout Scott County will only include Iowa phone numbers. What will you do with it?
Use the phonebook 13%
Pitch the phonebook 49%
Leave it on my doorstep 2%
Give it to someone I don't like 5%
Add it to my collection 7%
I live in Illinois, fools 13%
I really don't care 11%
My guess is despite the negative publicity, the people who live on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River will come to accept this telephone directory as a community book and will soon use the book for the purpose for which it was intended. I have no idea how much marketing effort was put into trying to educate people about the benefits of the new book. I live in New Jersey where every city is on top of its neighbor and so you take this kind of scoping for granted. If Donnelley hasn't preceded distribution with an educational campaign, then maybe it deserves the negative publicity.