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Dex Media / Harmful practices in directory advertising and fidelity collection service

1 United States Review updated:

Qwest Dex (since September 2003 absorbed into Dex Media, Inc., owned by The Carlyle Group and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe) publishes classified telephone directories ("Yellow Pages") in the Seattle, Washington, area. While operating a business named Centerplex (at, I found that Qwest Dex engages in harmful practices in the sale of directory advertising.

Unfair contracting

If you seek to advertise in a Qwest Dex directory, Qwest Dex asks you to sign a lengthy contract. The contract protects Qwest Dex from almost any imaginable claims, regardless of Qwest Dex's behavior.

Centerplex made the mistake of signing the Qwest Dex contract without insisting on changes. Qwest Dex botched each advertisement that Centerplex submitted for publication. Centerplex claimed it was entitled to a reduction in the charge because of the errors by Qwest Dex, but Qwest Dex denied doing anything wrong and claimed that Centerplex was not entitled to any refund. Even if Qwest Dex had admitted to botching the ads, its contract would have entitled Centerplex only to a small refund. For example, if your ad says "ABC Widgets are the World's Best" and Qwest Dex miscomposes the ad to say "ABC Widgets are the World's Worst", the contract says you are entitled to a fractional refund, with the fraction equal to the erroneous material as a fraction of the entire ad. In this case, you would get a refund of 1/6 of the price, even though the ad would be worse for you than no ad at all. (Or perhaps Qwest Dex would claim that only the letters "Be" of "Best" were miscomposed, decreasing
your refund to 1/16 of the price.)

Dishonest dealing

If you have a disagreement with Qwest Dex, you may be able to get it to settle the disagreement, but Qwest Dex doesn't necessarily comply with the settlements that it enters into. Centerplex negotiated a written settlement with Qwest Dex's collection agency, Fidelity Collection Service. Both Fidelity, as authorized agent of Qwest Dex, and Centerplex signed the settlement agreement. Centerplex then paid Qwest Dex the amount required by the settlement, which was 80% of the original contract payment amount. Qwest Dex's collection agency refused the payment and mailed it back to Centerplex, saying Qwest Dex was renouncing the signed settlement agreement.

Moreover, even though Qwest Dex's own contract gives both parties the right to submit any dispute to arbitration under the American Arbitration Association, Qwest Dex refuses to admit the validity of its own arbitration clause and repeatedly threatens to file lawsuits against customers with which it has disagreements.

Moreover, Qwest Dex has its alleged debts collected in dishonest ways. For this purpose, it uses Fidelity Collection Service, a trade name of Portland Credit, Inc., which is located at 11818 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Suite 213, Vancouver WA 98684. Its telephone number is [protected]. When Fidelity contacts you demanding payment and you reply, in writing, denying the validity of the debt, Fidelity ignores your dispute and continues contacting you, even denying that you have responded to its notices. This misrepresentation violates the standard defined by section 806 of 15 USC 1692d (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), which prohibits any debt collector from using "any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt".


Qwest Dex directories tell customers how to deal with telephone harassment, but they don't tell customers that Qwest Dex itself practices telephone harassment. After Qwest Dex renounced its settlement agreement with Centerplex, its collection agency resumed making demands for payment of amounts substantially more than it had agreed to settle for (and even more than the contract amount). It made these demands in writing and by telephone. Its Litigation Manager, Michael Hoffman, began making up to 5 telephone calls per day to Centerplex threatening to seize Centerplex's real estate and file a lawsuit against Centerplex that would force Centerplex to absorb its own legal costs and Qwest Dex's. Centerplex demanded to Mr. Hoffman during these telephone calls that Fidelity immediately stop making telephone calls to Centerplex and conduct any and all communications in writing. Mr. Hoffman replied as follows:

Qwest Dex is legally entitled to telephone a business with which it has a payment dispute as often as it wants, regardless of whether that business has requested that it stop calling. Qwest Dex doesn't pay Mr. Hoffman unless he files a lawsuit. Qwest Dex may be in the communication and publishing business, but it uses legal harassment to intimidate customers who exercise their freedom of speech and press. After Centerplex began to notify its tenants by means of this Web page about Qwest Dex's tactics, the above-named Litigation Manager of Qwest Dex's collection agency began making telephone calls to Centerplex threatening legal action because of this Web page.

To get the flavor of Qwest Dex's telephone harassment, you need to see and hear actual telephone messages left by Fidelity on behalf of Qwest Dex.

Here is a message left by Hoffman on 5 December 2003. Notice the dual themes, "You are in danger" and "You are stupid", invoked by Qwest Dex as it tries to persuade a customer to shut up and pay.


5 Dec 2003, 10:37

So is it AT&T Wireless's fault, Mr. Pool, that you are unable to return calls? Is that going to be your stance in court, or ...?

This is Mike Hoffman. I had you on the phone a minute ago and you decided you didn't want to say anything.

You've helped my case every time we've talked, Mr. Pool. I greatly appreciate that.

I love your Web site, by the way: "Payments to Centerplex can be made with these two methods:" Sterling Savings Bank and an account number for a money market account. Not too bright, Mr. Pool, when folks are looking to sue you and looking for an asset to seize once the judgment's in place. I suggest you might want to use your head there for a second, Mr. Pool, and make a bright decision and return this call: [protected]. Refer back to case 102705.

Generally speaking, Jonathan, I see folks playing little games like you do on the telephone or make little erroneous fraudulent claims on Web sites--they generally are folks that have nothing. There's no purpose in suing them because they own nothing that can be seized. You've got four pieces of commercial property and a money market account that I am going to go after as soon as the judgment's in place. Not a very bright move, Mr. Pool.

And, by leaving yourself liable in regards to the slanderous remarks on your Web site against myself personally, you'll see a second summons and complaint with just my name on it, Mr. Pool. Again, bad move.

[protected]: Give me a call back and we'll discuss your Dex Media dilemma and maybe a settlement in regards to your slander to my name as well, Mr. Pool.

Best of luck to you.

Here is the next Qwest Dex telephone message. Where the previous message invoked the "You are stupid" and "You are in danger" themes, this message adds the "You are a coward" theme.


15 Dec 2003, 16:38

Jon, Mike Hoffman there. Must be having some problems with AT&T Wireless, because I just called you and the line went dead right after I identified myself. But, looking back at my notes, it seems to happen every time I call you and I identify myself.

Mr. Pool, I tell you, the only place that you're willing to discuss this matter is on your Web sites where no one is capable of responding. I'd think that you'd be a little braver than that. I mean, if you've got a point to make, Mr. Pool, why aren't you making it when I call?

You will very shortly have your opportunity to make your point in court. I'm hoping, Mr. Pool, that you do us all a favor like you have in the past and don't bother showing up, so that we can get that default judgment and I can really begin my work here, Mr. Pool, via the extraction.

You will have until the end of business on the 17th, Sir, to return this call, at which juncture I will have you served immediately with a summons and complaint. Again, Mr. Pool, you can dodge that as well if you'd like. I will pay for public service, being as you're going to end up paying that as well in the long run.

And, once the judgment's in place, Mr. Pool, I will be taking care of this for you.

So, the bottom line is, Mr. Pool, you have no choice. You're in breach of contract. You have no defense. You will be paying this debt. The only choice you have, Jon, is whether you pay it voluntarily and pay just the amount agreed to in the contract or whether I extract it and you pay the exorbitant costs of attorney fees and court costs from that juncture forward.

Best of luck to you there, brother.

The message that Qwest Dex's agent left immediately after the one above embellishes the "You are a coward" theme with the "You aren't even a man" theme, taking advantage of the fact that a female
screened the call.


15 Dec 2003, 16:40

Jon, you'd think at least in front of the ladies you'd be a little braver than that.

[protected], case number 102705.

Jon, the scenario hasn't changed. You can hang up the phone every time you like, but if you don't honor your contracts you're going to get sued.

So I'd heavily advise, Mr. Pool, that you pick up the phone and handle your business.

Again, [protected], case number (Washington case number) 102705.

I'll talk to you, Mr. Pool.

On 19 December 2003 Mr. Hoffman telephoned us and asked the person answering the telephone whether she was my spouse. When she said no, Hoffman replied, "Smart girl."


Does Qwest Dex's collection agency violate the law with its harassing conduct? We took a quick look at the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 USC 1692) and saw obvious violations: The Act prohibits misrepresentations in debt collection, as mentioned above, and requires collection agencies to to stop contacting alleged debtors except for pacticular purposes when asked. We pointed these violations out on this site.

Fidelity responded on 27 January 2004 with (of course) a telephone message. In its message, Fidelity denied that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to a commercial debt. We read the Act more carefully and found that Fidelity was correct, because the Act defines "debt" as a personal debt, not a commercial debt. So, Fidelity can victimize Qwest Dex's alleged debtors with any tactics it wants, without violating the Act. We apologize for having mistakenly asserted that the Act prohibits Fidelity's misleading and harassing behavior. We have been duly corrected, and we now understand that Fidelity practices misleading and harassing debt collection for Qwest Dex because the Act exempts Fidelity from punishment for this conduct. Giving Fidelity the benefit of the doubt, we presume that Fidelity's behavioral principle is to perpetrate only legal deception and only legal harassment. We're relieved.

Is there, then, no law against what Fidelity does on behalf of Qwest Dex? That's a matter of interpretation. Washington State's collection agency law, unlike the federal statute, regulates the practices of licensed collection agencies with respect to all debts, including commercial ones. Washington's law provides (RCW 19.16.250(12)) that no licensed collection agency shall "communicate with a debtor or anyone else in such a manner as to harass, intimidate, threaten, or embarrass a debtor". An agency that does this is barred from collecting any interest or collection costs from the debtor and, under the Consumer Protection Act, is liable for a $2000 civil penalty. Do the communications recorded above violate this prohibition? That exercise is left to the reader.

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  • Mi
      6th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had several problems with Dex media and I am currently trying to build a case against them. I would like anyone who has had trouble in any shape or form to e-mail me at I am only asking that small business owners reply.

  • Ro
      26th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    We have been in business for just over 13 years and every year we have been in the yellow pages, every sales pitch, every year the sales person empasizes the point of how important the yellow pages are! For the 2006 edition we were closing our towing co. we thought it best to increase the size of our yellow page add to let people know we were still in business. The new bok was supposed to be published and delivered on or about December 2005. i actually came out in march 2006, 3 months late. the book was not delivered in the Ridgefield, Washington zip. When i finally got one i discovered that Bob's Automotive Inc. was not listed in the alphabetical listing, we should have been on page 119 listed as Bob's Automotive Inc. with the sale driver listed below "see our add on page 122". Our add was indeed on page 122 however we were left completely out of the alphabetical listing. As well our towing adds were still in the book and they had not been deleted. It was approximately 3.5 months since the publication date that I found the error on their part and initially contacted them. When I contacted DEX Media they told me they would have the dispute resolution department contact me. That call never came, a couple weeks passed and I called again and was told by a gentleman that a number for my case had been issued, they were very busy as the book had just came out, and a new publisher they had contracted made many errors and as soon as he could he would issue my complaint to a resolution specialist and we could get this issue taken care of. In retrospect I understand what they were doing and i understand why i was led to believe they were actually working on the problem because after May rolled around and i was blown off yet again i could never get through to speak with anyone. My error there contract specifies you must make your dispute in WRITING WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE DISPUTED YELLOW PAGE'S BOOK PUBLICATION DATE. I continued in vain to resolve this but i was very naive, I assumed all good businesses would make good their obvious errors. So here we are 1 year later and a company called Global Financial calls and informs us they will be collecting an unpaid balance or $6963.71 which is for both adds even the one that wasn't supposed to be there. After some discussion a Mr. Quinn told me he would accept $5663.71 as full payment with much trepidation and on the advice of my lawyer I agreed and he agreed to accept $500.00 down on Friday and I would pay the rest Monday after i had transfered some money, Monday comes and an indignant condescending woman calls me and informs me that she is with globals legal dept and my file is on her desk, I must pay the entire balance of $6463.71 immediately our she would start proceeding and bury me with legal bills, turning $6500 into $800-$8500 probably more cause their lawyers could charge what they wanted, after all I was going to have to foot the bill. They had been down this road enough to understand how to write their contract to make it ironclad, they do not loose! Shortly after i hung up on her another man called not identifying himself, he just started threatening me with immediate legal action if i did not pay the full amount immediately and the only payment he would accept is credit card with a faxed authorization allowing the payment. I caved and payed the bill, but I feel bad that I did. I only wish I had the money to see it to court. I can't imagine that I would loose. Quest Dex Media is the epitome of what wrong in business in America. No Ethics, No Morals, No Concern, No care. I will never use Dex or yellow pages again. I will spend those advertising dollars with a company named CustomerLink, they send beautiful cards to new movers in our area and they send similar cards to our regular customer data base. Its been 2 years that we haven't been in the yellow pages and our business continues to grow at our historical average. So &^^$& of Quest. ALL BE WARNED ! DON'T BOTHER TO READ THE CONTRACT THEY WON'T ADHERE TO IT ANY WAY.

  • Mi
      3rd of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    This is the REAL Mike Hoffman (And yes, I am standing) The above complaint is not only 90% fiction, but makes me laugh when I read it. He has taken messages and altered them to make himself look like a poor innocent victim.

    All calls at that agency are recorded for compliance purposes and had even a bit of what he states here were true, he would have filed a complaint with SOMEONE! The fact is, not even Dex Media heard anything from him because he was what is known as a 1st payment default. Someone who orders services then never pays for it intentialy.

    Seek out his own website and you will see he is writing complaints about nearly every single corporation he has ever had dealings with. He has a screw or two loose is my personal belief, lol.

    I have one suggestion for him though. If you create a bill for services, pay your bill like everyone else does =P

  • Aa
      13th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Dex almost cost me my business through Unfair and misleading Sales Reps.

    I am a small business owner myself and was mislead and tricked into signing a $1,700 a month contract when I clearly stated I only had $1,700 for advertising for the YEAR TOTAL. My sales reps in Beaverton Oregon were Christopher Zigomalas and Tersa Van Calligan of Dex Media.

    I told them I was a new small home business and new to the yellow pages. I told them I had a budget of $1,700 for the year and was looking for a small ad with Dex directory.

    They insisted they meat with me in person. They both showed up and sat down at my kitchen table. Again, I told them what I was looking for and again said I only had $1,700 for the year.

    They said "GREAT! Dex just joined RHD and are running specials! We can get you into a much larger ad in all 3 books and on the internet for the same price as the small ad!

    After scribbling some figures on a piece of paper I was asked to sign it. They NEVER gave me a copy and drove off. I NEVER received any confirmation or contract in the mail.

    It was only at the end of December I got my first bill. It said $1,580.00 dollars. First 30 days.

    I thought for sure there was a mistake or I was reading the bill wrong. So I called my reps and informed them there was a mistake. They said "No, there is no mistake, your bill is $,1580.00 PER MONTH.
    I about crapped my pants. I said "THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD HAVE EVER SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR THE AMOUNT HAD I KNOWN! I'm a small home based business and just started 3 months ago! We need to cancel this ASAP!" To which they said "Oh, I'm sorry the books have already been printed" There isn't anything we can do." CLICK.

    So I'm stuck with over $15,000 in debt I had know Idea I was getting roped into. To make matters even worse, in the last 10 months, I HAVE NOT GOTTEN 1 SINGLE PHONE CALL from ANY of my Dex advertising.

    If you are reading this and thinking about using Dex... DON'T!

  • Ri
      19th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    DEX MEDIA SALES REPS ARE CON ARTISTS! They almost put me out of business and I now have over $20,000 in credit card debt because of them.

    I can't believe there is no such thing as an honest company any more. They will say and do whatever it takes to make a dollar. That is all they care about. Nothing else.

    I am not trying to run a company and work part time just not to lose my business because Dex lied to me about what I would be paying in advertising.

    AVOID DEXMEDIA AT ALL COST! Don't make the mistake!

  • Ja
      16th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    To every business person that has had issues with Dex; So why don't we do something about it? I think it would be extremely beneficial to get together and compare notes. Please contact me at

  • To
      25th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    Qwest dex has totally messed up my advertisement and now I am going to go through legal process to settle this. This company is very unethical and unreasonable. I will not usr there service ever again.

  • Ja
      11th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have delt with dex for three years and have always sighned a year to year contract with no problems. This year I closed our business (lack of business) after six months and went to work for school district in Idaho. At renewal time (this January) I get a bill from Dex advertising for the monthly payment. When I called to say I am not renewing (out of business) they said they have a option to extent for six more months and that I had sighned it! Well I sure never discussed this with the agent when we discussed a years contract! I got no help from supervisors from Dex they said it was final their hands were tied! I do not care if they sue I refuse to pay because I was decieved by their advertising agent! (DO NOT USE DEX UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE) Janice Martin!

  • Ly
      27th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    They continued an ad for me for an additional. Year without my approval. However, I understand that they can keep renewi the ad, because I agreed to oral agreement, which was recorded and may have signed an agreement, which ref another agreement. Any suggestions for lowering or fighting this. I have contacted an attorny.

  • Ro
      5th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    Where to even begin? I signed up for DEX Media a couple of years ago with a person I had never met out of Duluth, MN. We agreed to place the add in the Yellow pages, and also in their internet advertising. The bill seemed high, but I always used the yellow pages, and felt that most everyone else did also. I was guaranteed so many 'hits' on my internet advertising, so I tried to keep track of how much business I was getting from it. After several months of less than 5 hits per month, I called to ask why I was still being charged the full amount when the web advertising was doing nothing, and they apologized and told me that they would reimburse me for the 'hits' I didn't recieve. Well, lo and behold, the next month, my internet 'hits' went through the roof. The problem is that now I was being assailed by other businesses trying to sell ME something. Personally, I believe they put me on some kind of mailing list to satisfy my 'hits', and I have no way of proving one way or another. When the first year was close to expire, I was contacted again from another DEX Media employee out of Duluth telling me that I needed to sign an agreement for the upcoming year. At that time I told her that I was not happy with my advertising with them, and that I wasn't going to renew my business with them. After the first year expired, I got another bill from DEX Media, so I called to inform them that I didn't re-up with them. At that time they informed me that my original contract automatically re-up's my contract unless I cancel with a cancellation letter. They don't take cancellations over the phone, and they advised me to the fact that it was too late to cancel already, so I would be responsible for the entire next year. To top it off, they increased the cost 60% without even talking to me about it. Too go over the many conversations I have had with them would take longer than I can stand at this point, but what they are hanging their hat on is the 'Terms and Conditions' in the contract. They are not out to do above the board business with their clients, but to mask their intent on hooking unsuspecting clients into contracts that do nothing for the consumer, but make it seem legal to extort money from small business owners. Right now they have my bill at $2400.00 and I got a call from Allied American Credit trying to collect. I gave them a quick synopsis of my stance on this fictitious bill, and right away they said that I must not have read the 'terms of agreement' with DEX Media.
    Most above board businesses try to provide a service that compliments the companies they are dealing with. From my experience, DEX Media has gone to great lengths to protect a cash cow contract that not only makes it very difficult for the company doing business with them to opt out, but tramples any form of recourse from said companies. Now if I don't pay this $2400.00, Allied American Credit has already stated that they have sent notice to the various credit bureaus, and a letter to DEX to initiate litigation against me. So where do I stand now? Because of these questionable business practices from Dex Media, my credit will presumably take a big hit, as well any legal fees I might accumulate trying to fight this extortion. This is my opinion, but I think DEX Media does this purposely because they know that most people will just pay up to protect their credit. DEX Media is not out to promote your business, they are out to line their pockets any way possible, and if they have to dupe people to accomplish this, then they are all for it. I wouldn't doubt that the word 'extortion' is disguised with fluff in their mission statement.

  • Xy
      8th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    Dex media is truly an outrageously run company.

    In the course of starting up my small business in October 2005, I purchased ads in the local books, totaling roughly $250 per month. (This was stated to be my standing contract with Dex Media, per my sales rep.) After the first year, my costs jumped to nearly $400 a month in October 2006. When asked why this was, I was told that it was because the first year was discounted rates, and the new rate was the correct standard rate. At this point I stated that I did not want to renew my contract with Dex Media, as I could not afford the new payments.

    Come around to one month after the contract was supposed to end (November 2007). I had now closed down my business due to lack of customers, and had proceeded to liquidate all assests. I get a call from Dex Media. Apparently, they had "re-staffed" and the person in charge of my account hadn't bothered to update the account with a cancel order. So I told the new account handler to go ahead and cancel the account, as the business was no longer running.

    I was told that because I didn't cancel the account (I did), that I was obligated to keep the contract for another full year. This would mean that I was paying for a year of advertisement in a phonebook for a company that no longer existed. When I stated this to the new account rep, and asked why my cancellation order had not been put in, he simply stated that my company had "slipped through the cracks" and that even though the error had been made, I was responsible for the contract.

    Last time I checked, when your company makes the error, your company is the one to correct it. Not the other way around.

  • Vm
      27th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Dex Media in Horrible. We own a small business and have used them for about three years. We signed a contract for $440 a month, I have a copy of it. I have yet to see a bill for $440. It has been for $600, $576 and even up to $979. The advertisement has been wrong since March and I have called at least 15 times and I am told it will be researched and I will get a call in 5-7 days. NO CALL has ever been made to fix it.
    They are idiots, everytime a I call I get transfered to someone elses voice mail. They are excellent at passing the buck. It is now July and they have us advertised under things we don't even sell. I get calls for things we don't have or sell because that is how it is displayed on dex. IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT DEX... DONT DUE IT. YOU WILL BE UNHAPPY and SPEND LOTS OF MONEY FOR CRAP! The article is 100% correct and if the idiot employees at dex sign on and say the article is wrong, don't listen to them. DEX IS CRAP!

  • Li
      24th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    To Aaron B- That is exactly what they pulled with me. I met with the rep in person, and spent an hour crunching numbers, indicating that my gross MONTHLY income of my tiny one-person business was approximately $1200 per MONTH, and that I needed only the smallest phone book ad, or just a one-line listing. Being a total newcomer to the world of advertising, I didn't believe I would end up getting financially raped by the rep or Dex Media. They also pulled the whole, "oh, we have this great special we can give you" at the very last minute- "we can get you into all of the phone books and online for just a little bit more per month- BUT, we need to get you signed up for it TODAY, because it goes to print tomorrow". I agreed to this insane contract 'over the phone' which I am still not sure is legal- nor does my lawyer. Has anyone else ever agreed to an 'electronic' signature- where they record you agreeing to a (supposedly) pre-recorded agreement over the phone? The smartest thing I did was hire a lawyer as soon as they turned my account over to collections. Lucky for me this lawyer works with one of the most powerful lawyers in my city (Seattle) and also happens to be a bankruptcy attorney, and really knows her stuff. The collections agency Allied American Credit have backed off considerably since she became involved. Interestingly enough, it was 3 years ago they threatened to "sue me within 21 days if I didn't pay up". Hmm, wonder why I haven't had to appear in court yet. Perhaps because they know they can't win, and by appearing in front of judges around the country it may raise suspicions on the part of the legal industry and consumer protection agencies as to the kind of business Dex and their lawyers and collection agencies practice, and increase the chances of a class-action lawsuit against Dex Media. I refuse to let this unethical, 'above-the-law' company destroy my business. They can try but the only one it will end up costing money to is them. BTW: I never made a DIME from my Dex ads. Not a one.

  • Lo
      11th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I really think we should seek out a class action law suit against Dex. We also owned a small business and signed a one year contract. In July we recieved two calls asking if we wanted to rerun the ad at that time we told them no we were selling the business. Then in August they called again saying they were getting ready to go to print were we sure we did not want to rerun the ad and again we said no we had sold the business. At no time in those 3 conversations did they say we had to cancel the ad in writing or they could re new the ad. Well guess what they renewed the ad and mysteriously the phone conversations in July and August must have gotten erased because they don't have them. Well to ad insult to injury they now say we were on an incentive program and I just received a bill for $9, 500.00 we went from $2, 800.00 to almost ten grand. I don't think so. I will sell everything I have and file bankruptcy before I pay these crooks a dime. I am going to contact my local Attorney Generals office and send emails daily to my congress men with a link to this site. These people need to stop ripping the small business owner off.

  • Da
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Do not do business with DEX! You will find it hard to cancel future options to the contract.

    I have a small business. I tried to cancel our ads with Dex over the phone. Dex said it would have to be in writing. We sent a letter to cancel the service. At the time we spoke on the phone there was time to cancel. I do not remember the Dex person advising us that we had to get the letter there by any closing date. We sent it out right away. They continued to bill us. They say it was late and was not signed. I complained that a reasonable businesse would have at least mentioned the closing date on the phone. I am sure we got it to them well before the date anyway.

    I challenged the contract coverage period. They played a tape of a verbal agreement. No time in the tape is notice that they can automatically re-new the contract. Instead they refer to a written contract that they were to forward to us at a later time advising that we should review it in detail when we get it. We cannot find that contract.

    I asked that they confirm and acknowledge that all future extensions would be cancelled. They would not agree to that. They said their system does not allow them to cancel next years contracts until next year. This required me to remember to send them a written cancellation notice during a limited time period otherwise the contract will continue to renew. They would not send me a confirmation that it was in fact cancelled. This told me a bit about their practices. They seem to do what they can to keep you on the hook.

    I registered my complaint with the Attorney Generals Office in Washington State. The AG office got Dex to review the file and respond. Their response did not address the issues. Rather they just indicated that there were no errors on their part.

    I have been in business for many years. I have never registered a complaint to the AGs office. Dex's business practices changed that. In my opinion Dex takes advantage of an unknowing client where they can and they get away with it. It seems to me that there should be a class action law suit. That is the only way they will be affected. One individual at a time has no impact on them.

    When you hear of a large company like Dex you tend to feel comfortable doing business with them. Usually large businesses are interested in maintaining their image in the market place. Dex does not seem to care about that.


  • Sm
      9th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Briefly. For five years I have advertised in the Dex phone book in Lewiston/Clarkston. I moved my office during the first year and the phone number listed didn't get corrected for four years after! People still called the old phone number to reach me. After the second year, I asked to have my cell phone removed from their phone book. This didn't get done till the 5th year! The ads from year two to five for my new business have been very disappointing. I have had misspellings, procedures that I don't do put in the ad, faded copy enough I couldn't make out phone number, name of my business and all of the ads were hideous graphic layouts. The last two years I wasn't even given a chance to correct their work before the ads went to printing. Each year they offer me % off of the ads. This year I got fed up and refused to pay for the inferior work. However, for the work I felt was decent, I have been making my monthly payments. Our office has sent them three letters and telephoned them over 25 times. We have had several calls back, but 90% of these calls do not get returned. Their last letter said they are taking me to collections and not letting me advertised with the anymore. I suppose I should get my lawyer to help me. Why is it so difficult to get quality work? Feel free to email your experience with the people that advertise for Dex.

  • Dc
      24th of Dec, 2008
    -1 Votes

    We just filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's Office due to Dex harrassment and the fact that upon receiving the payment they had to have within 24 hours (even though we told them we made it online and provided a confirmation number) they held that CERTIFIED check for 3 weeks before posting to our account; then debited it electronically anyway. Our debt was 3, 000+ for our ad; Dex received 6, 000 and while they admit to the error, we were told it could be 'several weeks' before we see a refund. In addition, when contacting us for payment they threatened to notify other colleagues of our debt and tell them we were the reason their ad would not run unless they saw the money in 24 hours. I'm not sure how this will all turn out, but prior to this year we had advertised with DexMedia for nearly 20 years -- with very little return, frankly. So while they may have snagged an extra 3, 000 - they lost far more than that as a 20 year customer will no longer do business with them, and is now sharing their story with their colleagues as well. If you've been hurt by DexMedia, you can contact your State Attorney General office or go online, complete and submit a consumer complaint form. The AG's office will assign you a representative who will work with you directly and investigate your complaint. DexMedia is required to respond to the AG's office, and those complaints add up and help paint a picture for the Attorney General. Even if your case is minor, or you in fact got behind, or even failed to read the 'small print' -- I would still encourage you to contact your AG and file your complaint. DexMedia are, in my opinion, utilizing bullying tactics and unfair practices. Let the people paid to represent you at no charge to you, know about your experience. Together we just may be heard.

  • Vj
      3rd of Apr, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I was the co-owner of a small business until March of last year, when I sold it. The new owner was supposed to take over the bills, but despite the fact that I faxed over the bill of sale to DEX twice, and repeatedly called the one contact I was given in letters from DEX, a Barbara in billling, they sent it to collection, and I was forced to pay the bill. What makes me angry, is that when I did call, Barbara told me it would be taken care of, and to ignore letters! I was never told that they needed more info like they claim despite the fact that I called several times over the last year. They never called me, and the last time I called to try to talk to Barbara, I left a message and she never called back. If they had told me they needed more info, or that the new owner wouldn't pay, I would have paid a lot sooner and had them take the late charges off, because it was not my fault.
    I have registered a complaint with the BBB in the Chicago area where their headquarters is located, requesting a refund of the late fees, and making sure that BBB has a record of a complaint against them. I suggest that everyone register a complaint with the BBB!
    So far they have not responded, of course. I have also had experiences of sales people blantantly lying to me, that's another whole story! They seem to have no regulated prices, it's just what the salesperson can get out of you. DEX is practically a monopoly, and will do what they want.

  • Ca
      2nd of May, 2009
    -2 Votes

    I have never had a problem and I know from experience that all stories have two sides and all you see here is one side. Products worked fine for me. Great ROI and that is what matters. I have never and never will be tricked into anything? Don't know how some of these people can honestly admit to such dumb things if it is even true?

  • J3
      18th of Sep, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I closed my business at the end of 2002 to help my parents due to my dad's quadruple by-pass heart surgery. After collecting all money owed, all the bills were paid, and the bank accounts were closed. Well, guess what I get in the mail September 2009? You got it, a past due notice from DEX for over $2000. Seriously, have they lost their frickin' minds? Almost a full seven, count them "7, " years later. This is, of course, a form letter which states that "due to our extensive attempts to contact you" if you don't pay up we will report you, sue you, etc. Great, the never ending crapfest has begun.

    First of all, this is NOT owed. Second, you mean to tell me that after extensive collection attempts over "7" years, which includes "1" letter you have not put this on my credit report? It's flat out not there. Here's the thing, my credit score is over 760. It may not be 850, but it's not to damn bad. I have good credit, I can and do get loans, and I PAY MY BILLS.

    If they sue, the statute of limitations has expired. It expired 2years ago. A judge will not rule in their favor. Second, when they argue "extensive collection attempts, " they will not be able to produce anything other than one letter. There are no phone records, there are no other letters. A subpeona of their communications to me will show nothing...over 7 years.

    This company should be chased out of every city and town with a stick. Should they attempt to put this on my credit report and damage it, they had better get the big check book ready.

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