after years of receiving them post invention of the internet and after years of assuming they would realize the internet was on and they no longer needed to send out phone books except to old ladies, i finally decided i needed to stop their flow.
i've been on this email writing campaign to find out what, exactly, is in some of the processed foods i've been eating and to ask people to stop mailing me their paper recycling and to find out why they wrap coconuts in shrink wrap and could they stop please and to find out why they make tower fans hell bent on falling apart in five pieces so that the fan blades can amputate my toddler's fingers.
i went to sbc.com and grappled with the warning that their internet certificate is not up to date when it comes to people contacting them and sent them a request to cease and desist with the phone books, please.
within an hour, i had received one email saying they were thinking about it and to make sure i remove att.com from my spam filter in the meantime so i would receive their answer and then another email saying they needed one of four possible pieces of information to verify i am who i say i am. i emailed the amount of my last bill.
within an hour, i had received a phone call where i was being tag teamed by one rep with another rep on the extension. it's like i was being called by my grandparents. they really wanted to make sure i was aware that should i stop the annual influx of their ream of useless paper, i would be charged once i grew lonesome for it or once the internet stopped working and i requested it again. charged! it was blackmail.
i informed them the phone book has been useless to me for quite some time and that it was wasteful. they said okay and they just wanted to make sure i knew i would be CHARGED if i ever wanted to get it again. it was kind of like the time they used to charge me every month for declining to let them publish my personal information in the phone book. they charged me to do nothing. every month. so i wouldn't have to worry about a crazy ex looking for me if i decided i didn't want to be found.