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AT&T Yellowpages / unfair treatment!

1 United States Review updated:
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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?

St
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Comments

  • De
      27th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I took out 6 different word ad listings for my business for $100 a month, I'm an artist. I do photography, graphic design, faux finish painting, and art commissions. Well, it's been six months and I've only received 1 phone call which turned out to be nothing because I didn't want to take photos on Christmas day. I called AT & T originally because they never sent me the forms for autopay and they added late charges onto my bill. They still haven't sent me the forms I requested but they keep sending me monthly bills. 4 months into the contract I called and told them I wanted to cancel due to to non-performance and they responded by saying I had signed a year contract and that it was too soon to know and I hadn't given them a chance. Then I asked if I could reduce the amount of ads because I couldn't afford the monthly payments. I asked for the manager and she said she was the manager. She said she could remove my listings but I would still have to pay for the ads because I was still under contract. I told her why would I want her to remove the ads if I still had to pay and that she was being ridulous and unreasonable? Then I called back and asked for my sales representataive to call me back that I wanted to make some changes to my ads and got no response. So, I have not paid my bill since my conversation with the manager. I'm going to send a letter to the Better Business Bureau, the California State of Consumer Affairs, and the world wide wide. I may be just a small fish in a big pond but my voice will be heard. After all isn't it the little people who are trying to feed their families and makes ends meat what makes up most of our society. There are way too many rules these days and whoever said America is the land of the free obviously hasn't lived here. About the only thing that is free anymore is the freedom of speech. I have been in the faux painting business for over 8 years and I can't even get the City of La Quinta, where I live, to give me a business license unless I get liabilty insurance and a home inspection, because I'm not a contractor, how ridulous is that? DC 1/27 2009

  • Ja
      27th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    AT&T Yellow Pages gets away with murder. It is basically an adhesion contract: take it leave it, and if you do not read the ambiguous fine print, you are screwed. Their salesman is not about to spend a couple of hours going over the contract, and even if you have The Yellow Book in your neck of the woods, the old Yellow Pages are still consulted. They hire very slick attorneys -- educated suits -- to do their dirty work in court: lie, lie, lie. They repeat the same lies on the stand. You cannot win.

  • An
      8th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same here. First time I am refusing to pay a bill. REAL YELLOW PAGES are dishonest and unethical. I will never use them again. EVER! I would like nothing more than to smash a yellow page salesman in the mouth. If your a business take heart to these complaints and do not advertise in the yellow pages.

  • Su
      15th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma cancer right after sign up for ATT Yellow page Video - I called and asked to hold the order-it had not gone live- After calling enless numbers, I finally got a supervisor. The bottom line is she told me that even if I died, ATT would expect my hires to pay the contract. This coming after the Drs had told me I had maybe 6 months to live-totally destroyed me. She further said that even if my website became in active when the business closed I (someone would have to pay ATT from the my estate)
    Today ATT is still charging me and the Video on line has never worked.- I don't know where to turn- my health/life is more than ATT but they have made me absolutely insignificant in their greed. Where can I turn.
    [email protected]

  • An
      27th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Just an update. I have decided to sue AT&T yellow pages. If anyone is a lawyer send me some good tips for succesful procedures. Im going through small claims.

  • Ca
      1st of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have been advertosong with them for 11 years and always paid the most to do so thinking that was the way to build business.! Well about 3 years ago the book is printed and they have a new column ad! This is a $200 column ad that is listed first in the book so my $3000 ad is on the next page. I asked why I was not offered this ad and instead it went to a first year company in our field, and was told they had no idea so sorry blah blah blah we will discount your ad. Then the bills come and instead of a discount I get an $895 increase! They decided they would give me some additional online ads! I have email copies where the sales rep admits the seach online was messed up for 2 years but they could not help I had paid for something for 2 years that I did not get. So I go back and forth and back and forth for 2 years and nothing, nothing, nothing! I stopped paying and then I get attention I am not and will not ever advertise with bellsouth/at&t again and we all need to file a class action lawsuit they get by with charging two companies that are in the same category $1000's different for the same size ads, there is no price other than the one they make up! We should be allowed advertise if we choose and the ads should be priced based on size and placement. ( Oh but they don't print the book) they can't guarantee placement! Anyone who would be interested in a class action lawsuit please email me I am working with an attorney in NC right now.

  • Ti
      18th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Word of advice... go with the local Telephone Company book as primary (Whoever it may be), add another independent on if it works well.

  • Dc
      11th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    We are dealing with AT&T as well except from another angle. I had originally used their yellow pages to advertise our business like many here. We didn't see the results so I told the rep we where not likely to renew, she said she would like to come by and discuss it. I said I would visit as a courtesy but wasn't likely to renew. She came by the office when I wasn't there and when my mother in law was waiting for us to return. My mother in-law(who has no involvement with our company at all) signed the papers with my signature at the behest of the representative.

    Weeks later I get a bill, I call and say I never renewed this and won't be paying. They said they have a signature and a contract. They have turned us over to collections but to me this is simply theft. They played a seniour citizen and have a fake signature but heh it's good enough for AT&T. We are thinking about suing them.

  • El
      24th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    We are in the middle of a nightmarish dispute with AT&T yellowpages.com. The basic story is that the salesperson fraudlently applied my signature to a contract that we were never presented with. We filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau in St. Louis and about to file a consumer complaint with the Missouri States Attortney Generals office. Better Business is working with us to find a resolution. It may go to mediation and then to arbitration. AT&T is required to respond to BBB complaints in 10 days. Attorney General takes longer. Go to www.ago.mo.com to get a complaint form. AT&T is out of Missouri so you must file in that state. I am passing this information along, since it was very difficult to figure out how to get help. We do not have a resolution yet, but I will continue to post with updates on our situation, hopefully it will be helpful to someone one else in the same situation. If anyone one else out there has had success in beating AT&T, I'd appreciate hearing how you did it.

  • St
      3rd of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I advertised with Bell South/AT&T. I started with a 3 column 1/2 color page for $1470 a month and did OK. The next year I was approached by Sprint and offered the same size add for $800 a month. I took this to AT&T to see if they would match the offer and they did not. I reduced their Ad to a 1/4 page B/W for $900. a month and got the Sprint add also for $800. to be in both the books that serviced Orlando. $1700. a month I was paying now but did not get any more calls that year than before. I added Internet advertising by both YellowPages.com from AT&T and DexKnows.com from Sprint/Embarq the next year and now was paying over $2000. a month. for the next 2 years with no increase in calls. AT&T told me that I needed a Full page add at $3000. a month to get by plumbing business off the ground and get enough calls to hire employees which is what I was trying to do so I went for it and asked each customer that call how they found my number. $4000. a month between the 2 books and still no more calls than the last year. A full Page 2 Color Ad in AT&T and a 3 column Color Ad in Embarq/Sprint and no more calls. My customer were coming from Google or was repeat business or referrals. Very little from the YP books.
    I could not pay the bills and got $35, 000. in debt to AT&T and $6, 000. in Debt to Embarq and it was time to renew. Nether book would let me Advertise in the next book till I paid up or prepaid for the next year. Without any advertising I would go out of business and then how would you get your money I told them. I put $6000. on my company credit card to Embarq and signed up for in-column adds for the next year at $600. a month. I put $4000. om my company credit card to AT&T to prepay for Internet ads on YellowPages.com.
    The new year starts and I am out of contract from AT&T but they still kept sending a late charge bill each month for $500. adding to the now $40, 000. I owe them and the Economy tanks and I cant come up with the money to pay my own pay check every week now let alone the YP bill. Now this year I am in debt with Embarq again as well as maxed out company credit cards I used to pay them last year but 6 months into the year AT&T stops sending me the late charge bill and I think they gave up on getting any money from me, then I get a call from them saying if I sign up with them for next years book and Internet with a minimum of $400. a month and not default. They would cancel my back bills and I would owe them $0.
    I look at the paperwork and it said I could not enter into any suit against them and was wondering if there was a class action suit I was missing out on.
    I know that a $400. a month ad would bring no calls at all and I would be just settling with them for $4800. /$400 a month but I still have no calls coming in and may not be able to pay that. Then they would just ad that to what I owe.
    Any advice? They pushing a deadline on me.

  • Re
      27th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    AT&T advertising is suing me for a 1/2 page ad I spoke with a rep about, but never saw a proof of. The ad went to print, was not what I wanted, and I am now being sued over this. any advice?

  • Co
      8th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    Had a dishonest rep who kept telling us to go bigger, bigger & bigger. We did and lost money each time our ad increased in size all the way up to a 2 page ad. We got rid of that rep and was on the their next rep. He lied also and we once again got scammed. No one at the company would listen so I quit paying the bill. 6 months later they wanted to talk and admitted they were wrong. Then the send me a manager to take care of the mess. He knows I'm losing money on my ad by my metered calls. This person tells me he created the ad next to mine and that competitor was getting 3 times as many calls as mine and that we needed to let him create our ad. I knew this was a crock and naturally I contacted the competitor. The owner never heard of this guy!! He had not created their ad nor was he their sales rep. We had a lengthy conversation and he said they had been losing money on their ad also.

  • Sa
      22nd of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    We have had a dispute with at&t yellow page (bapco) based out if Georgia. We were misrepresented by the sales rep (he actually lied) and had us sign the contract without any proofs. As the book cameout we saw the ad and others, which he told us will have their city, state listed (NC new ruling that any co. not local must list their city and state on the ads -for perishable goods)...When we brought this up with the regional manager
    he told us that the sales rep was not authorized to tell us such things. After writing to them several times and mailing the NC ordinances etc. now they are suing us for nonpayment. we have written a complaint to NC attorney generals office -consumer affairs department. Additionally, our new book is out, we are not on one line listing in the yellow pages (they have tens of complimentary listings of businesse who are not in existence, but took us completely out). Additionally, their new ads from our out-of-state order gatherer (reduced by 50%) have listing of the HQ, which we insisted and were lied to. We will pursue further, but don/t know what the
    attorney general's office will do...any other suggestions out there for us. Our case is different but same story, we were lied to and nothing is given in writing.

    sardhadm

  • St
      24th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was talked into a full page add in the 08 Orlando Bell South/AT&T Yellow page book and a Internet ad on YellowPages.com for $3000, 00+ a month. They showed me a return of investment print out that stated 100 calls a month and with only 33 sold calls I would get $10, 000.00 in sales.
    The most calls I got in a month from AT&T Yellow Page users was 15. And the most sales from people using AT&T ads for a month was $2000.00.
    I paid what I could each month but could not keep up with the bill. They sent me to a collection company named Credit Watch. They called every day and told me they would call my neighbors and tell them what a deadbeat I was and They are going to take my house. I told them that I know they can't do that because I was a corporation, but that did not seem to mater to them. I stopped answering there calls and then started getting calls from a different collection company. When the 1 year contract was over I continued to get a bill from AT&T for a $500.00 late charge each month. At that point I realized I would never be able to catch up and stopped paying the bill.
    I was served a summons Nov 24 2009 and am being sued for $44000.00+
    I can not believe that a company that I hired to make my phone ring and make my business successful is now destroying my company and life. I will have to close my business and file chapter 7 because the Yellow Pages do not work and I signed a contract.
    To anyone out there that thinks that AT&T will just write off your debt and leave you alone. Take it from me, They will destroy you and not bat an eye. DO NOT SIGN A 12 MONTH CONTRACT WITH ANY ADVERTISER. GO WITH A SEO THAT CAN GET YOU ON GOOGLE ON A MONTH TO MONTH CONTRACT. I have got more calls from customers using Google than I ever got from AT&T Yellow Pages or YellowPages.com
    And if there is a class action law suit I can get in on, Call me.
    www.DrainDoctorPlumbers.com
    I may only be in business till spring. Good Luck to all of you on your fight. Call if you think I could help.

  • Ce
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am interested in joining a class action suit against AT & T yellowpages (they renewed my account without my consent despite the fact that the rep has it on record that I was undecided). His manager just told me AT&T 'can' renew without a consenting signature if they wish. BTW, I have been an AT & T yellowpages advertiser for over 10 years on a year to year annually renewed contract but decided to quit this year as it seemed ineffective. Recommendations please ([email protected])

  • To
      10th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I'm 22 and I signed up with ATT yellowpages last August. My sales rep told me I was getting my ad with a website included as part of a "bundle package" He says my first bill starts in March for $580.00, so I agreed in the voice contract. November comes along and ATT calls me saying I'm past due $1, 060 for my website. I told them "No the websites included with my "bundle package" I dont pay you until March, thats what my voice contract says" The ATT collecter then said that if I dont pay a minimum of $580 my ad wont be published. I paid the $580 then found out that I'm paying $300 a month for my yellow page ad and $280 for a website through yellowpages.com. I told them "Look you guys tricked me into your bundle package, my rep never told me I'm paying $280 for a website. I can make my own website for $30 a month, this is B.S. I wont pay that. I'll pay for my yellowpage ad but not this crappy website". Since early december when I started my buisiness, I've advertised on craigslist everyday and have gotten all my calls from them. I ask every customer where they saw my ad and 99% said craigslist, only 2 people have said yellowpages (although the book has just came out) I have yet to pay yellowpages until they get rid of my overpriced website that has my last name spelled wrong. They call me once a week wanting money money money! Its always more than the last time! I would like to join a class action lawsuit against them if there is one in California. I will cancel the yellowpages when my contract ends. I only wish I read this negative feedback last August, lesson well learned.

  • St
      13th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Take it from me, Pay there bill. they will sue you into bankruptcy. They know there days are numbered. They are scamming as much as they can before they lose all there customers to Google. I will dance on there grave. I laugh with glee every time there new book is less pages than the year before. DIE DIE DIE!!!

  • Go
      25th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    complain to the attorney general where your from. there is alot of people including me that is having a dispute with att advertising. Also call better business bureau.
    good luck with the deceptive advertisers. who lie and cheet don't pay the rip offs

  • Wl
      5th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have to pick up legal mail today from them ###-I already know it's a lawsuit. They couldn't get the ads right in the first place and I even called and cancelled before it went to print. Also-on the proofs they sent that were all mispelled-I wrote on that proof I already cancelled the contract/advertising thru At & t and you people can't even get it right to begin with. It was also a listing for a area in Cleveland-30 miles away and for my business it wouldn't help me anyhow-people don't come to me from Cleveland. Low and behold-they put it in print then when they started calling for payment I slammed their ### for even printing it. Now they say if I was to cancel it's in the fine print I had to send a certified letter stating this. I said it didn't take a certified letter to start the contract-they are full of ###. Yes any class action suits out there ? Please send me info to [email protected]

  • Re
      15th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am sorry that you are not happy with yellowpages.com. I was looking online found a website that you can have a ebillboard for FREE. Just go to seekshallfind.com. I was talking to my friend Frank he sign up for a ebillboard. He told me that he is glad that he got a ebillboard. His business just moved to a new building he went to change this info with yellow book and was on hold for 35 Minutes waiting for someone to talk to. When he went to his ebillboard and change his info and it took him just few minutes.

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