When I started submitting to free directories in 2006, I knew virtually nothing about SEO. But I read somewhere that people should submit their sites to directories, and I discovered a forum where new directories were being annoounced. At that time at least 4 or 5 new free diratories were being launched everyday. I used a form filler to submit to them, and as a result the anchor text and descriptions were always the same. I was hoping to get some traffic, and actually did get 2 or 3 visitors a day, which at the time was almost as much as I got from Google..
Anyway, as I said above, some of these directories later started charging a fee, and some of these are still around. But I've got better ways to spend my time than to try to get any listings removed, so I suggest to Google that they simply devalue all directory links.