AT&T Yellowpages / unfair treatment!
I started advertising with Bellsouth Yellowpages a few years ago. Last year they were absorbed by AT&T. In March, I was contacted about renewing my advertising and increasing my internet exposure with more of their products. I had no increase in business for the previous year, but thought that it might help to do as they suggested. The salesman assured me that I could cancel prior to the start of the new contract- November 1. In September, after a brutal year, I called to cancel and was told that I would have had to have called within 30 days of signing. I called a few "customer service" numbers and got nowhere. I finally got to someone who was helpful and she gave me the number for our local sales manager. He told me that he would research whether there were any grounds for terminating the contract (non-performance or lack of response by the original salesman seemed to be the only possibilities; neither seemed provable). I paid the last installment of my 2007 contract- 60 days late... business was so bad. Today I got a call telling me I owed two months in the new contract. I told them I wasn't going to pay it- I had offered compromises after asking to cancel (said I'd pay for print or a reduced internet program) and they had rejected or ignored me. I'm not willing to bankrupt my business to pay for worthless advertising.
I just left a message for the sales manager. I'm going to ask him one more time to do something. If he doesn't, I'm considering taking the story to a local consumer advocate and publishing more details of this story on the www. I can't afford the lawyer if they sue me, so the choice is that or shut down the business and start again under a new name. Just great how much they care about helping their customers, eh?
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