Generally the tactics of Yell.com are to cold call your business out of the blue in an attempt to obtain either your bank details or credit card details, once they have these it is fairly easy for them to set up recurring payment for one of their automated advertising services.
If this doesn't work then the next step Yell.com will do is send a salesman to your business under the guise of a consultation or something similar, however for the most part the ultimate aim of this is to get your signature on a contract, which they can then use to sign you up to an automated advertising service taking regular payments from you.
It is highly likely that in both of these situations you will be unaware of what the service is or what it does. Yell.com know this and will actively make their services appear as complicated as possible when in reality they are very simplistic and for the most part not worth the money you will be paying for it.
One of the most serious complaints that we have heard is from a customer who said that someone had phoned them saying that they were from Google and in order to have their business kept on Google they would need to take payment from them. This is quite simply a lie and was told so that they could get our clients debit card details and their bank details.They then proceeded to take their credit card details as well as their bank details and set up a direct payment. No contract or details of any service was provided to our client and they had no idea that it was Yell.com that had called them until we investigated. They were shocked to discover that they had set up a direct debit payment for 2 x services which were simply listed as reputation and local presence.
Now this article is not to say that everything that Yell.com does or offers is bad. It isn't.
Their free business listing does provide good SEO value and a few of their paid services actually do provide some value to a customer however it should be noted that they are essentially re-sellers so most businesses even when factoring in administration costs, you could get the same service cheaper elsewhere. Furthermore they will only sell you the good services they provide as a last resort - once you have purchased the rubbish ones.
We would advise all of our clients to take the following steps in order to protect themselves from miss-selling.
1. If a someone cold calls you out of the blue and you are not expecting or did not ask for the phone call be very wary as to what details you provide. Do not provide your personal details, do not provide your bank details or your credit or debit card details over the phone and do not agree to any service and do not agree to meet anyone.
2. If you are interested in any service offered by someone who phones you then take as many details as you can and arrange for you to call the company back. Speak to someone independent that you trust and get a second opinion, that way you can properly evaluate whether the service is something you really need.
3. If you do need a consultation or meeting in person then arrange for someone else that you trust to be at the meeting and don't agree to anything and do not sign any thing there and then. A genuine company offering you a proper service will let the service speaks for it self and allow you all the time you need to make such important decisions.
Yellow pages was a big large yellow phone book dedicated to businesses that was delivered to every home in Britain in the 80′s and 90′s. Having an advert in Yellow Pages used to be vital to small businesses.
However the internet has changed all that. Sensible businesses used their hard earned money to invest heavily on online promotion and advertising.
Now days the only people who still use Yellow Pages are elderly people, which is fine - as long as they are part of your target market - and are your potential customers.
For most small businesses advertising in Yellow Pages is a waste of time and money. The company that owns Yellow Pages knows this, which is why it created the online advertising business called Yell.com.
The question though is whether it is worth paying to advertise your business with Yell.com?
Here are five points to consider:
*HIGH PRESSURE MIS-SELLING
Yell.com employs an army of salesmen. Their job is to sell you as many of the most expensive services to as many businesses as possible, irrespective of whether or not your business even needs that particular service.
If a yell.com salesman comes to your business or even your home, you are likely to find yourself paying a lot of money for a lot of services that are of absolutely no benefit to you or your business at all.
Once a yell.com salesman has your signature that is effectively it. You are now locked into a minimum twelve month contract and you can do nothing to escape it.
If something changes in forthcoming months, for instance you find a better way to promote or advertise your business, then it is too late, you will still have to pay the yell.com services even if you don’t use them. Worse still if you can’t afford to pay yell.com they will take you to court and try to make you bankrupt.
*LACK OF PERSONALISED SERVICE
You are just a number to yell.com. Whilst they employ an army of highly paid salesmen, they have very few actual people (if any at all) whose job it is to promote your business, most of any work or service is done by automated computer programs.
Your account manager with yell.com will be the same salesman who talked you into signing the contract. It won’t be a professional who works with you regularly to promote your business so don’t expect to hear from him unless it is to sell you more services.
*NO OWNERSHIP OR CONTROL
Any adverts or promotions created by yell.com are only rented by your business, you won’t actually own any work that yell.com do for you.
If yell.com create your business a website - you won’t have any control over it! You won’t be able to access it or upgrade it. The only thing you will be able to do is email or phone and request a change. But this can take month, which is not good when it comes to ranking highly in Google.
Not only that, but if you find you need to move your website to new host, you will effectively have to start again from scratch meaning a lot of wasted time and effort.
*HUGE DEBTS AND BANKRUPTCY
Yellow Pages and Yell.com is now owned by an American conglomerate called Hibu.
Hibu Plc is bankrupt. It has been sliding further and further into debt. In recent years it has twice failed for bankruptcy in the US with over £2.3bn pounds in debt. The situation is so bad that creditors have actually taken over control of part of the company and de-listed it from the stock exchange.
With the company itself stating it will cease Yellow Pages from 2019, and with a spiraling online business. The company go bust at any time, taking any money that you have invested as well as all your promotion and adverts with it.
If you need help with promoting your business online then why not contact Westech Media. We are a small, local business and we don’t employ salesman and you can speak to any member of our team and we are all dedicated to helping you and your business succeed.
Contact us today:
020 3051 9505