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At&t Advertising / lying scammers

TX, United States Review updated:
4.6
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In October 2007 we received a call from an AT&T salesman trying to sell us advertising for the following year. I told him I wasn’t interested. He called again and said he had this super deal on advertising at yellowpages.com, but to get this deal we had to advertise in the phone book. I told him that if they could do it for sixty a month then I could do it. It turned out to be sixty per month for the ad in the book plus six dollars per month for a smaller phone book ad for a total of sixty six per month for a year.

The advertising for yellowpages.com was a tenth position display banner ad on the first page on their site with a link to our website. It was a ninety day trial for ninety dollars per month. We would get a tracking phone number in the ad and 30 clicks/calls guaranteed per month with search engine solution (SES). He said he would call us within the ninety days to see if we wanted to continue after the ninety days and the rate per month would change to eighty dollars per month for the remainder of the year.

When he called to do the voice verified contract in Nov.07, he stated that he would call us within the ninety days, but apparently we agreed to SES for a year at ninety per month for ninety days then reducing to eighty dollars per month for the remainder of a year. We said, so this means we will be on the first page of the search engines like google, yahoo and the others and the salesman agreed. The ad didn’t actually start until April 08.

Well it turns out that the salesman never called again. After the ninety days was up AT&T just deleted our ad from their site it appeared as if we just suddenly went out of business. They have a free ad buried way back on their site with reviews from customers and that worthless tracking phone number for us which we have requested many times to put our phone number in.

AT&T does not offer first page placement on the search engines. That makes it a breach of contract. They have been billing us for ninety per month not the stated eighty per month on the contract after ninety days, when I pointed these things out to them they wanted to cancel the contract. When I pointed out that they have us on yahoo search engine on the 3rd to 10th page plus they are using our website address as a search term, placing their ad at the top of the search page which points to our website. That is not legitimate advertising for us. They claim clicks to our website as theirs.
We found a great company that advertises us on several first pages of google and some on yahoo. We have done very well without AT&T and NO LONGER advertise with them. But AT&T wants me to pay full price for several months they claim they delivered clicks, yah sure they did?
I told them I want a refund of what I’ve paid because they breached the contract. I sent them a certified letter requesting a copy or transcript of the voice verified contract. They ignored it and customer service told me I had to get a lawyer to get the contract. Since their Terms and Conditions state that we would have to sue them in St Louis, Mo. I think I will settle for small claims court here in Texas because I’m pretty sure this lawsuit falls under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act here which wouldn’t really be applicable in another state. If I win I could collect treble damages to the max small claims court allows. I could just go on with the lies they’ve told me and arguments I’ve had with them, but I’ll save that for court.
Lastly I would like to say why would most people searching for a service or something go to all the hassle of first typing in yellowpages.com, then typing what they are searching for and the city and state, then to a page to click on the exact item you want then taken to page with a max of 20 to 25 advertisers. When all they have to do is type in their search terms in their browser with their favorite search engine, and Walla there they are with plenty to choose from immediately? By the way when they tell you they have a million search’s don’t ya think they are including every town in the US and probably every possible thing people could search for as a total.
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Gr
  5th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
Hello I agree with you, I sold advertising for Yellow Pages for over 20 years... There is an alternative to directory advertising, visit www.GREENis theNEWYELLOW.com to find out more!
No
  1st of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Worst experience ever.

All they do is trick you into staying a customer. Do not sign up and do not fall for free trials. The yellow pages banner isnt even a banner. Just get the free one online. This company is very sneaky and it is the only way they are still in business. As most people know even when you sign up for the free listing on yellow pages, they try to trick you by sending you an important letter that looks like you owe them something. It even comes in an "urgent" envelope...but if you fill it out you automatically sign up for the full listing.

But back to At&t advertising...you pay for a certain number of guaranteed hits on yahoo. But they sell you however they feel like it...even if it doesn't pertain to your required demographic. I sent them a list of copy that was to be used for the ads and they were never used...even after we complained. Once they get the hits for the site using their own verbiage...they stop. Meanwhile they arent properly representing your company. If you like throwing money in the trash...join today. They especially like companies that sign up for stuff like this because of the "low" monthly rate and then forget about it...it will add up in accounting...trust me.

AND THE WORST PART: You have to spend HOURS, DAYS and WEEKS of your time if you want to stop service. You can not just stop service. They write it in the contract that you cant stop service early even if you want to pay them for it. You must do it within a short window of a few weeks and then guess what? AUTORENEW. If you tell them you want to stop and its not within that window they say you have to do it at that time. AND it must be in writing. Trust me it will take a long time and a lot of effort to stop them from billing you. To top it off, after you do get out you will have a rep calling you every month or so harassing you like a debt collector, trying to get you to sign up again. HERE's the kicker. If you dont return their call after a certain number of tries they will say that they tried to call about renewal and since they didn't hear back from you that they are assuming you want to renew. So they renew you even if you closed the account due to bad service.

I got a closing statement which was settled from them...paid it...and somehow they added about thirty something dollars to it after i paid what was written in the letter. It is now in collections! Not to mentioned i was threatened, yes threatened with auto renew several times already. When i called to tell them to take me off their calling list because i already closed the account as a very unhappy customer...they said they can't. Once they have my account info they can call and harass me all the time and threaten to open up my account again.

Overall I was shocked that this was AT&T. Don't be fooled by the name, this is nothing like AT&T for your phone or cable. HORRIBLE sales tactics and very sneaky. AT&T must do something about this division. It needs to realize what is happening and close it down.

I don't typically write complaints but this was a nightmare that has caused me serious stress. DO NOT SIGN UP. Use google adwords or go to yahoo directly. This way you can control what is written in your own ad and what you pay for it.

The sales people are the best in the business...they make the offer sound great. If one calls you...tell them to F**k off.
At
  9th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Courtney Clemmer a employee of AT&T Fake Yellow Pages in Birmingham Alabama intentionally removed my free listing for having a AT&T land line for refusing to advertise in the current book. I have spoke with a Janice Statum from AT&T and all she could offer is I am sorry.
Ms
  11th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I WAS APPROACHED BY YELLOW PAGE REP ABOUT PROGRAM THAT WILL ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN YELLOW PAGES ON BY LEAD BASES. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT LEAD MEANT ANY CALLS MADE TO BUSINESS NUMBER. I DID NOT RECEIVE COPY OF CONTRACT UNTIL THE ADVERSTISEMENT WAS ALREADY LISTED THIS IS WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT $13 PER CALL. LEAD MEANS IF PHONE RINGS FOR DURATION 18 SECONDS OR MORE. NOW I GETTING CHARGED FOR CALLS THAT I NEVER RECEIVE. THE NUMBER GOING TO MY VOICEMAIL SERVICES. BUT THE NUMBER DOESNT SHOW UP ON MY E-MAIL. I FELL THAT I WAS TRICK TO GET THIS SERVICES. I WORK OFF COMMISION AND ONLY MADE $200. THIS COMPANY IS TRYING CHARGE ME $300-$400 PER MONTH. I DIDNT GET CHANCE TO CANCEL DUE TO FACT THAT REP DIDNT GIVE ME A COPY OF CONTRACT. I SPOKE TO LAWYER HE SAID. I WOULD HAVE TO PROVE THAT I SIGNED UNDER PRESSURE. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!!! ANY ADVISE EMAIL ME AT KCHAPMAN1@LIVE.COM. THANKS(I WAS PUNKED)...
Ad
  10th of Mar, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It was end of September 2009 that I was just got married and unfortunately was unemployed as well, I was doing computer support job for over years part time and when ATT sales representative called me and talked to me over 45 minutes, he was promising that I would have over 100 customer per month minimum if advertise at ATT online yellow-pages, for $15 per months for 12 months. After first three months that I have not received any single call, send email three times and call them three times, but none answered my call, until today march 10 2010 from ATT collection called and asking for pay my monthly payment !! Indeed I must pay from my pocket because have not made any single dollar from advertisement. My advice is please STOP advertise with them and do not even listen to their words because they will not follow their promises, I am a live example. If you want can email the conversation we have with each other through email. Stop wasting your money with advertising AT&T online yellow-page
Ma
  8th of Jan, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
What a shame:::
A company like att/yellow pages, doing business like this, with a sole intention to benefit oneself, themselves, My name is Frank a few months ago, purchasing an advertising package worth $ 1200.00 per month, before the contract nice people would call me all the time, , I went to a meeting in their office (att/yellowpages) at the address >>
100 1st Ave
Charlestown, MA 02129 <<
I was very clear with my health and business goals, , , I'm bipolar and have a rare disease, my immune system is broken, any change in my feelings, of sadness or happiness, I get sick, I feel unbearable pain, my head and my whole body swells, sometimes I ### in my pants for not having control of my physical reactions, I could die for not be able to <<>> I spoke with, Nolan and Lolan's manager about it all ((Nolan salesperson # 01 (617) 580-4430),

Everything was clear, I made clear about my health condition, and we agreed that all I would have do was to contract Nolan, to downgrade to $ 1.00 minimum, I should call, att/yellowpages if I no longer wanted their services, or downgrade it temporarily, we agreement that i would be top in the region that includes Greater Boston ( Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Plymouth & Barnstable ) in about 150 websites networks, Nolan and his manager showed me a map with the searches for my services during one month, with more than 23.000 searches, we also agreed in 400 guaranteed clicks per months ( secured by a total of 4800 per year), while I was occupied with many projects, Nolan and his manager come to a project in the city of Jamaica Plain, MA between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning with a contractor for me to sign, and receive input of $1, 200, 00 then I asked to build a website, , Nolan told me it would be $89.00, it was clear it would be one time fee, not per month, as i know how to work with html, I knew that a website with 5 pages could be fixed with just hours of work, with a minimum cost for those who already have a website builder .. then I made it clear that I would buy the domain name http://mastercraftsman.us, The website should be a copy of this website (http://www.annapolispainting.com/) we also agreed that the advertising would be undertaken at the same time, only a few days passed someone with this email >> rbarinaga@atti.com come to contact me, i said again that the domain name would be www.mastercraftsman.us I would buy it on my own it would be important for me to have control of the domain, , only a few days later someone called me, and then everything had already changed, he told me that I only had 3700 guaranteed click (308.33 per month, with a shortage of 92.77 per month) so I called Nolan to complain, than checked if I was in the top of yellowpages/yp.com as agreed, their was another list on top, my Listing was second not 1 first as agreed, I contacted Nolan again, I waited a few days then I started calling the office< no one returned> . also I contacted the general office :::::

Hello Mr. xxxxx

We have emailed the Sales Mgr. to contact you regarding your complaint. Please
allow 24 to 48 hours. Please contact us if no one contacts you.

Your confirmation number is 02861400

Thank you
Customer Care
YP.com
PH: (866) 570-8863 option 2 Customer_Care@attinteractive.com
again
Hello,

This e-mail is to verify that an e-mail has been sent for your representative,
Nolan Boike & his manager, Kent Johnson to get in contact with you regarding
your program. Please allow 24-48 hours for the return contact.

Thank you,
Customer Care
YP.COM
PH: (866) 570-8863 option 2
Customer_Care@attinteractive.com

the struggle continues, then a certain man called me, I made it clear that their service do not work for me, as I am sick (already mentioned) I can not deal with them anymore for of lack of confidence matter, if I have to deal with it. them I'd get sick again, we agreed that he would close my account, today January 7th 2012, my list is at the top, also at google adwords, another attempt to rob me, if they wanted to make it right, they would have made at the begin ...

I'll call the office again, if they do not solve it, I'll take att / yellowpages to small claims..
Jd
  10th of Nov, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Pacific Bell Directory & AT&T, Assisting The Underground Economy?
What is an underground economy? "Underground economy" is a term that refers to those individuals and businesses that deal in cash and/or use other schemes to conceal their activities and their true tax liability from government licensing, regulatory, and taxing agencies. Underground economy is also referred to as tax evasion, tax fraud, cash pay, tax gap, payments under-the-table, and off-the-books.
Pacific Bell Directory, a subsidiary of AT&T, proliferates advertisements supporting the underground economy in Los Angeles. Because AT&T claims no responsibility to screen advertisements. Hundreds of false, deceptive contractor ads are being published through their print and online directories. The underground economy cost the city and state millions of dollars. Consumers are getting ripped off, Senior Citizens are being taken advantage of, and legal companies loose business.
The Federal Trade Commission, the Direct Marketing Association and the US Postal Inspection Service have industry guidelines for the screening of advertisements. The LocalSearch Association (a national yellow pages association) provides industry advertising specifications standards and guidelines. AT&T and Pacific Bell Directory say these industry standards and guidelines do not apply to them.
AT&T and Pacific Bell Directory allow advertisements with unregistered/untraceable company names. The illegal advertisers also have hundreds of untraceable fake addresses. These fake addresses make the illegal companies look like local companies.
I have a garage door company in burbank with a true physical location. Since 2008 I have had to compete with 80+ false advertisements that AT&T allowed in the Burbank book with local addresses. Currently my company must compete with 380 garage door companies listed by AT&T within 10 miles of my location. About 85% of these ads are false and 10 % are miss listed. That is 95% inaccurate and misleading. These are horrible advertising ethics and AT&T’s products cannot be trusted.
jdcvr4@yahoo.com

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