How to Get Unlisted

By Carrie Burns
Contacting the phone company directly is the best way to get your phone number unlisted.

mobile phone image by Vladimirs Koskins from Fotolia.com

Between cell phones, e-mail and the proliferation of social networking websites, it seems almost impossible to make yourself unreachable. Whether you just want your home phone to stop ringing for a little peace and quiet or if you have concerns about your family's privacy and safety, you can get your phone number removed from public listings. If you have a home phone and want to make it unavailable to the public, you will have to go through multiple avenues to get yourself completely unlisted.

Call your local phone provider and ask to be unlisted and unpublished. The company that publishes the phone book for your area will remove you from the next publication of that book. Look for a customer service phone number on your most recent billing statement or in the phone book itself.

Search for your name in online white pages. There are multiple online phonebooks, and since each one is owned by a different company, you will need to contact each company individually to have your name removed from their database. Visit the website of each company that shows a search result with your name and phone number.

Click on your search result for each listing. Many of the online white pages ask you to click the listing for “more information” or “detail view.”

Look for a link to remove your listing. Some of the online phonebooks will have a link underneath your listing that says “Is this you? Remove your listing.” Click on that text to remove your information from future searches with that company. Repeat for each company with a listing for you.

Click on the “Help” or “Contact Us” section of any website that doesn’t offer an obvious solution to removing your name from the site. There is usually a simple form you must fill out to request that your information be removed from their service.

Look in the next published edition of the white pages that arrives on your doorstep after your removal request to ensure your name has been removed.

Look yourself up in online white page sites four to six weeks after your requests for removal. If your name is still showing up, send the company an e-mail directly or locate a customer service phone number and complain. Ask that your request be escalated immediately as it was not processed appropriately when sent through the correct channels the first time. Request formal confirmation of your removal from their listings.

About the Author

Based in Austin, Texas, Carrie Burns has been writing professionally since 2004, primarily ghostwriting corporate white papers and reviewing local theater productions. She has also spent time devising new works with cutting-edge theater ensembles. Burns holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

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