Local Sanpete County phonebook
seeks cell phone numbers
MANTI—Unique Directories, the phone book arm of the Sanpete Messenger, is urging county residents to voluntarily list their cell phone numbers in the next Sanpete County Telephone Directory.
A form is inserted in this week’s countywide newspaper that residents can fill out and either mail in or drop off at the Messenger office at 35 S. Main in Manti. Otherwise, residents can call the office at 835-NEWS to give their information or go to http://www.sanpetemessenger.com and fill out the form there.
Unique Directories is working on the 11th edition of the book, says Suzanne Dean, publisher of the Sanpete Messenger and of the phone book. The book should be ready to mail to every household and business in February. At the time the book is mailed, a searchable version will also be posted online at http://www.sanpetephone.com.
“The problem is that the only phone numbers publicly available by under federal regulations are land lines,” Dean says. “Over the years, as more people have given up their land lines and gone to cell phones only, the number of residential listings in the Sanpete phone book has dropped by almost 2,000.”
“That starts to reduce the value of our book,” Dean says. “And it cuts into the sense of community, which is one of the main reasons most of us choose to live here. We’ve all experienced the frustration of needing to get hold of someone we interact with frequently in the community but not having the person’s cell number.”
Dean says local government officials have asked her if there is something the phone book can do to make cell numbers available.
“Some people do want to keep their cell numbers private, just some people have unlisted land lines,” Dean says. “But most people who have cell phones only do it to save money. They just don’t want to pay for two phones.”
“The past several phone books have carried somewhere between 100 and 200 cell numbers voluntarily provided by residents,” Dean says. “If your cell number was listed last year, you don’t need to do anything.”
The phone book staff will be verifying that previously listed numbers are still valid. If they are, they will automatically be published in the 2018 book.
Meanwhile, Dean says she is committed to using a variety of methods to gather a lot more numbers and then seeking permission from those cell phone users to publish them in the phone book.
“We will not publish any cell phone numbers without resident permission. And we don’t release our phone numbers to any other phone books or telemarketers. Of course, if they get a copy, there’s nothing stopping them from using the information. But our book is obscure enough that no one bothers.”
Dean says she has had her personal cell listed for many years. It has helped a lot of people reach her, since she’s away from home so much she rarely answers her land line. And she says she’s never had anything negative happen because of making her cell available.