Yellow Pages Is Not Your Friend

Back in 1886 a man named Reuben H. Donnelley created the first official Yellow Pages Directory.  Supposedly they were created on yellow pages because the original printer ran out of white paper.  It quickly became one of the fastest growing industries in the nation.  When deregulation happened in 1996 there were a ton of new smaller companies popping up everywhere. There are an estimated 2300 different yellow pages directories now.  This is all besides the point now though because no one actually uses hard copies of the yellow pages anymore.  With the creation of the smart phone came 24/7 access to the internet and apps that do the same exact thing (except now they also come with reviews, ease of access, and live updates).  The problem with this idea is that each individual site is not getting enough traffic to their service to justify the prices they charge.  We are going to concentrate on YP.com, formerly Yellow Pages and before that AT&T.  You might remember those thick yellow pages books you used to get dropped at your doorstep, or picked up at the store.  That’s where these guys come from.  

I called them yesterday to see what kind of services they offered along with how much it would cost me.  The guy on the phone (Matthew who I believe was from Los Angeles) answered my call and almost instantly sounded like an auctioneer trying to grab as many bids at a time as possible.  This tells me a couple of things: 1) YP.com gets enough business that he is constantly trying to sell, sell, sell and 2) They are not concerned with closing a deal on every client.  This surprised me right off the bat as I am used to spending quality time with each individual customer.  I told him I was a local web designer looking at services that I could possibly offer my clients in the future.  I knew they were a competitor with website design because their services have generally started in the $100 a month range for the design alone.  What I didn’t know is that while their website design may not be expensive, their ad placement on their site was ridiculous.  Here is their starter package:

ypWebsite Starter

First of all if you notice the details as to what they are offering you will see that their base website package is not much more than a landing page design.  While they offer up to 5 pages, most of the time this is not enough for a business.  When they say professionally design what they really mean is that they put you in touch with a developer who is going to use a template that makes your site look pretty much like all the other sites they design.  Other parts of it really seem to contradict itself.  They offer “Unlimited design support for the first 30 days” but the next line down clearly states that you only get “60 minutes per month of ongoing design support.”  I am not sure if you have ever dealt with a website designer but 60 minutes is the minimum amount of time needed unless you are sharing the same brain.  The other bits and pieces of what they are offering are pretty standard in the website world.  Reports and tracking, custom domain and hosting, mobile friendly, and social media integration are essential and quite frankly, very straight forward to integrate and setup.

900 dollars later no leads

 

billing issue

So the moral of the story after looking into them (keep in mind, almost all of these complaints were actually made the week I was looking in their services) is that they LIE.  They lie so much just to get your business, get your money.  They lie so much so that once they have your business, your money, and you have signed a contract they just go away…either they go away or they make it extremely hard to get ahold of them when you have issues.  I guess it somewhat makes sense since they have literally hundreds of thousands of clients they have to deal with.  To them you are just another number.  

Another issue that you will run into is that if you do end up making the mistake of signing up with Yellow Pages is that you have just signed your life away for a year.  Whatever monthly fee you pay (which could end up increasing) will be stuck with you for at least a year.  Even if your business fails which believe it or not has actually happened to some people [Link to this page: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/misc/yp_dot_com.html and do a search for “YP then went on to tell him” ] which is horrible considering they can be so hard to get ahold of.  Then when you do get ahold of them you either get stuck in phone jail or you end up being tossed around to different representatives until you either give in or give up.

If you don’t believe us then you should really check these links out:

Collections

Collections2

The worst part of doing our research is the videos and people we have encountered along the way telling their stories.  It’s really sad to see a small business owner that is desperate to find leads only to get taken advantage of, have their credit ruined because a big box company has come in and squashed any chance of creating leads for them.  We only charge $75 per month period.  If you want extra functionality on your website then it will cost more but we are up front and very honest about everything you will encounter with us.  We will tell you what we are charging and when.  We don’t recommend that you give us your personal information over the phone (although we can do that) and have set up an area where you can fill this information out securely.  You will be emailed a receipt which has the total amount billed each month.  We are always available by phone or online chat if you have any questions about how we are conducting business with you.  It will never be impossible to get ahold of us.  We make that promise because we know how larger companies treat small businesses.  Our success as a company is based off of your success.

cant get ahold of them

 

Here is a brief summary of what our base package offers for businesses:

  • HTML5 Coding – The latest frameworks available for websites to ensure that no one has issues viewing your website.
  • Domain Name – A custom domain name is essential for every business wanting an online presence.  Think of it like having a storefront on the internet.
  • Unlimited Email Accounts – Having personalized emails is just another way of showing people you mean business (example: Tony@YourDomainName.com)
  • Responsive Design – With the emergence of tablets and smartphones it’s paramount to have a website that can be viewed properly with every screen resolution possible.
  • Google Maps – Along with your address, it’s always great to have a map embedded onto your website which people can get directions on.
  • Pre-Written Content – You supply us with what you want your website to say and we put it on there for you. (We can also have our copywriters whip something up for a small added one-time fee)
  • Technical Support – Unlimited technical support that can be over the phone, by email, through our website, or online chat.  We are available most places.  Even social networks and instant messaging systems like Skype!
  • Fully Managed Hosting – One of the big problems that business owners can run into when trying to set up their own website is managing website hosting.  Even when you sign up for most hosting sites they always want you to do all the work once its set up.  We will create your hosting account, upload your website files, and make sure you have as close to 100% uptime as humanly possible.
  • Analytics and Tracking Integration – This is a must have for any business owner.  This will enable you to see where your traffic comes from, how long they are on your site, the most popular pages you have, etc.
  • Unlimited Edits – As long as you are paying monthly, we will keep on editing your website to your heart’s desire. If you get tired of how something looks, or want to move an item somewhere else we are here to help you achieve that.
  • A La Carte Items – We have a plethora of extra functionality and marketing at your disposal.  While they might cost extra there is no catch here.  We are competitively priced and we dare you to compare!

Here are just a few more complaints that we have found across the internet:

 closed business and never removedoverchargedhorrible customer serviceoverchargedraising pricescontinued chargeskilling businessscammed for thousands of dollars