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The Berry CompanyDeceptive Sales Practices

Review updated:

I was contacted by a very chatty and friendly associate of the Berry Company and offered an advertising contract for advertising in the Windstream yellow pages. I asked if I had to make a decision now and the representative said no. I told her to fax over the information and I will look it over and decide later. After about nine minutes of conversation the call was over. I never received a fax, only a bill for $400.00 due immediately.See Top 10 Worst Companies in Lubbock, TXI called and said there must be some kind of mistake. They said they had recorded the conversation in which I agreed to the advertising contract. So after they sent it to me I listened to it and still I never agreed to anything except to look it over. I am still in the process of canceling the deal and it has wasted alot of my time. It's really annoying that they can just send me a bill for nothing. Beware of the Berry Company and the Windstream advertising pages!!!

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Comments

  • Ki
      Aug 04, 2009

    I've had the EXACT same experience. I too said I would look over their proposal. The next thing I discover, I'm getting charged for over $400 to my phone bill forcing me to pay or lose my business phone line. I have trouble getting in touch with anyone who can even help me attempt to stop charges. Have you or anyone else had any luck resolving the problem? I could use some help.

    0 Votes
  • Please contact customer relations department available Monday thru Friday 8am to 8pm eastern time at [protected] for a full investigation of your claim.

    +2 Votes
  • Kw
      Sep 23, 2009

    I have also had terrible experience with The Berry Company, printing our ads. in The Windstream Yellow pages. I will never do business with them again.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
      Oct 05, 2009

    In performing a detailed review of our company phone bill (which isn't done often enough), we discovered the charge listed as "Internet Adv - The Berry Company" and the amount of $45, which is charged every month.
    I discovered, after some research and speaking to the branch personnel about the service, that no-one remembered ordering the service.
    I called The Berry Company and they said they would cancel the service immediatly and would obtain a recording of the phone conversation in which a company representative "authorized the order". Now, over a month later, they still haven't produced proof that the service was ordered. I've called back to speak to a supervisor and had to leave a voicemail with our area rep.

    +1 Votes
  • Rk
      Nov 03, 2009

    I don't work for The Berry Company. In fact, am not even a customer of theirs, yet.

    However, I am thinking of using them for a leads-based Yellow Pages Ad in the Savannah, GA area.

    I just checked with the Better Business Bureau and found that they have been Accredited by the BBB since May 1995, and they currently have an A+ rating. That is the highest rating given by the BBB.

    They have had three complaints in the past 36 months, and all were resolved.

    It appears to me that this company is a relatively low risk to deal with.

    Russ

    0 Votes
  • Mo
      Nov 10, 2009

    That sounds a lot like what happened to us. I think I must have agreed to run an ad, but I said I would send them our information- things like font and color, etc. I understood they would wait for it. In the mean time I changed my mind. I thought I communicated this to them. The details our fuzzy in my mind because this was about a year ago. Even if I never directly told them I changed my mind, wasn't it very unprofessional of them to just go ahead and run our ad when they never received the details we had talked about? It's their ploy. The whole "we got you on tape" thing. That's what they told me too. Now we're receiving calls from people who don't even know what we offer in product and service. My husband and I were very unhappy with the whole experience. We got the bill and complained to the company, then to the BBB, but the whole thing got to be such a hassle, especially with them threatening to turn us over to a collection agency, so we paid. Beware of this company!

    0 Votes
  • 44
      Nov 18, 2009

    YES, they're a pain in the ###. I lost about $700 using them. I only had about 15 calls w/ my advertisement in the yellow pages. Only 2 of them were paying customers. None have returned yet. All my other customers return. Again & again. They're very happy. I wished I bought golf bags for my # one referral customers instead of wasting on the phone book. I know BIG companies who don't use the phone book. They know it's a waste of money & time. Especially $.
    They didn't even want to try & make me happy by lowering my rate they just hurried me out of there when I mentioned a legal blog where there were lots of people who found them to be crooks. I guess they can pull the wool over some eyes. Not mine. No thanks--beware business's.

    0 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 18, 2010

    I will never use the Berry Company again. I got suckered into an online ad with the local telco's online phone book. When I moved, I notified them and it took over a year to update the address on their website. I have sent several written letters requesting cancelling this service, including return receipt. So far, 9 months later they are still billing me and have not responded to any of my complaints.

    The BBB rating is bogus. They had 65 complaints in the past 36 months with an A+ rating. Look at how many were "administratively closed" vs resolved. But, when you search bbb.org, there are multiple listings...one for their corporate office and one for each field office (don't forget they go by the Berry company as well as L.M. Berry Company). So, actually, they have hundreds of complaints per year.

    0 Votes
  • Should your company have any concerns with The Berry Company Please contact us at [protected] 8am-8pm M-F for assistance with your concern.

    +1 Votes
  • Di
      Feb 01, 2010

    Berry Company accounting, billing, and accountability is a nightmare!!!
    We have had yellow page advertising double billings and two account numbers for the last 2 years as well as internet billing which had the wrong address and telephone listing. After monthly attempts for almost 2 years to correct all of these problems over the phone with one person after another and having a representative come to our office, nothing was done despite the company's assurance that corrections would be made. And they just keep billing. I wonder why phone companies sign on with them for their publishing at all??

    +2 Votes
  • Pe
      Feb 04, 2010

    For God sakes be careful with this company. They are as slippery as eels. They have all kinds of pricing schedules with hidden cost. I have work with them for the last 5 years in 2 differnt markets and have had 7 differnt reps. Each one blames the privious one and always is trying to change the original terms of the contract. Be especially careful with the yellow pages. They will sign you up for a year with a contract, however there is fine print that allows them to extend your contract after the year is up. I just went through this with 3 county directories. On the Yellow page directory cover's they tell everyone when to discard at a specific date. Yet they keep charging for advertising after that date. Hardest company a small buisness will every have to deel with. Be careful of their internet sales pitch also. Your asking for trouble with this company if they can get control of all your web traffic. If they do...they will own you and they will jack your prices to the moon. This company is pure evil! Upset in Cincinnati!

    0 Votes
  • My
      Apr 05, 2010

    the SCAM that i'm dealing with is that they chose not to publish a book when they normally do and now want me to pay an extra 3 months even though my contract was up after a year. They say well ... our terms and conditions say that we can shorten or lengthen our book time by 6 months and you agreed to that in the terms and conditions. Like anyone reads that stuff anyways! I will from now on you can be sure of that!

    0 Votes
  • Ac
      Apr 06, 2010

    very true, this berry's company sucks!

    0 Votes
  • Ac
      Apr 06, 2010

    I don't understand how this berry's company still can treat their customer like this! Yes, they do have 800 number, but every time when there is issue coming up, all they could do is transferrig you to different department and have you waiting them to call you back, which you will wait forever, and Yes, you will be charged late payment fee due to waiting for those disorganized, lazy employees to call you back, as they promised.

    Anyone try to do contract with berry's company need to be very careful and cautious, once you sign the contract, there will be no one in this company really care about any problem you have with your ad.

    If you do need putting an ad for your business, YELLOWBOOK or IDREAC company are better choices.

    +1 Votes
  • Bo
      Apr 27, 2010

    Again I received my business telephone bill with a "monthly internet yellow page advertising" fee. My problem with this is two fold. First, my local telephone provider charges this in their bill without any form of contract fro the Berry Company. I belive this to be a federal offense since money is changing hands without any form of contract through the mail and without any sort of contract. Who is going to finally take these guys out?

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      Apr 27, 2010

    DO NOT USE THE BERRY COMPANY. If you are thinking about it Stop right away.

    I am an independent contractor with a major financial firm. An acquaintance of mine was working for the Berry Company and talked me into taking out an Add in the Rochester Yellow pages. We spoke about it over the phone and I agreed to a 12 month add. I paid the 12 months in full.

    There representative then called me asking me if i wanted to extend my add for another year. I told him no. I then get a call from the collections department of the Berry Company claiming I owed them money for the next year I had clearly said i didn’t want. They put my information in the yellow pages anyways.

    After finally agreeing that i didn’t need to pay for the extra year i had said i did not want, they then said i owed them for an extra three months b/c they had extended my contract. I explained that the representative I had taken the ad out with had never gone over this clause with me on the phone, and they said it didn’t matter because i should have received the "Terms and conditions" in the mail. I NEVER RECIEVED THEM IN THE MAIL. This is a total scam and the "customer service representative" i talked to about all this was extremely unhelpful. She said no she couldn’t help me, and that no one there could or would.

    Ripped off in Rochester NY

    0 Votes
  • Di
      May 04, 2010

    I too dealt with the Rochester office. They gave me two reps and when I tried to cancel kept handing me off to the other rep. I have called, sent letters, filed a BBB complaint and got nowhere with them. In fact, they lied to the BBB and said I never contacted them!

    BE CAREFUL WHEN DEALING WITH THE BERRY COMPANY!
    DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR BBB A+ RATING!
    Two scams in one!

    0 Votes
  • Bb
      May 14, 2010

    I have been fighting with the berry company for over 15 months I signed up to do a phone book add and was promised that I would get ad proofs after not getting any I called in 3 times before the proofs went to print, I was told every time I would get it in the mail I NEVER got anything the sales rep made an ad and the berry company put it in the phone book and published it. I have all this in writing and much more like phone records. I tried the B.B.B. and other places that didn’t help my lawyer has been talking to them and if they don’t stop trying to charge me for an ad they made and I had nothing to do with. We’re going to start a court case next week and sue the berry company. The ad was bad I was willing to pay them something but they won’t help. With all of my proof that I have that the berry company messed up BAD on my add I have a strong case agents them. At 1st I was going to just sue them for as much as the bill was but now with all the pain and suffering I see the berry company is causing people. Ill sue them for more and give the extra to my church. The berry company has to learn you DONT RIP OFF PEOPLE.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
      Jun 29, 2010

    Absolutely true! I've run ads for my small business with the Berry Company for the last three years and the ads are always wrong! I don't get my proofs back until it is too late to make changes and the book is already "closed." This year I didn't even get proofs at all, despite weekly emails to my rep asking when I would be receiving my proofs. I also had my local book extended by 3 months so I was stuck pyaing last year's rate for another15 months instead of 12. (They've got a lot to learn from Yellowbook. Yellowbook always sends my proofs immediately and lets me mamke unlimited changes right up until the day of print! I've had the same sales rep with Yellowbook every year and he comes to visit with us in person, even driving an extra 25 miles from our business to meet at our home!) Berry Company you ought to be ashamed of yourselves! I'm never doing business with this company again and furthermore I have actually cancelled my phone and internet service with Windstream just because they use The Berry Company. Windstream beware--you are losing customers too!

    +1 Votes
  • Ne
      Nov 08, 2010

    This company needs to be put out of business!!! We got a letter from them stating that unless we contacted them they would automatically renew us for another year. I contacted them immediately and left a message at the number given stating they weren't worth the money and to cancel any and all advertising with them and if they had any questions they could call me. No return call so I figured it was taken care of. Instead, we get a bill from them. I've been dealing with this crooked company since July (and I've been calling the number that the idiot keeps giving ---like it does any good) regarding being billed for "advertising" that we didn't approve. I was told it would be "investigated" and they'd get back to me. When they didn't get back to me I called AGAIN! I finally got some guy named Michael to answer me and stated that he had approval to "cancel" the billing and we now had a ZERO balance with them. When I asked for a letter to this fact he stated it would appear as a ZERO balance on our next billing statement. Here it is Novmber and we're STILL getting billed for this and of course each month it's for more plus late charges. I continue to call and all I get is "you have to talk to Michael" and of course, even though I leave voice mails for Michael, he never returns the call. The BBB is a joke. My next contact will be with our State Atty Generals office filing a formal complaint against the crooked business practices of this company.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      Nov 24, 2010

    I have a horrible time with the Berry Co. I have been a business owner for the better part of 33 years, and I don't ever remember having a good experience with this company. When I opened my current business 5 years ago the phone number I was given for my business cards was wrong. After fixing that, they never put me in the white or yellow pages. They claim it was an oversight. My 1st year with a new business and it isn't listed in the phone book. To add insult to injury, when someone would call directory assistance for the phone number, they were told there was no business by that name. They had my listed by my last name with family after it. Example; instead of
    SSS Salon, it was listed as Smith Family. Then one of there inside sales reps came into my place of business as a client. We did strike up a repoire, but after I signed the dotted line for over $500.00 per month for the ad, I never saw her again.
    Then I had a catastrophic illness, where I was hospitalized for 4 months, and missed 11 months of work, and when I asked them to please cancel my ad they wouldn't do it.
    This past year they kept calling my personal phone instead of my business, very early in the morning after asking them to please not to call until after 10 am or at my business after 12 pm. In November, I called them to stop my extensive listings and just give me basic listings. I was told that it was to late because the printer already did the work. Lo and behold, the phone book never came out until March instead of late November. I have not paid my bill, I told them I would pay the cost for what I asked for, but they said no because they have an automatic renewal system. Now they won't even list me in the Rochester, NY phone books.
    THEY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A MONOPOLY AND THEY KNOW IT. THEY HAVE NOT HEARD THE LAST OF ME!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Pa
      Dec 03, 2010

    Berry is a disgraceful company. In [protected] publishing book, my business made a very bad decision to advertise using Berry. We ran 2 ads with them, both of which we ran incorrectly and by incorrectly I mean-wrong phone number, wrong BUSINESS all together, wrong address, wrong hours, everything wrong. One ad was ran as we drew it up but in the wrong category. We got an immediate adjustment for the bad service but the fun part was... THEY RAN THE SAME BAD ADS AGAIN IN 2010!! This time they were not so friendly, to this date its STILL NOT RESOLVED. I had to call DARYL BUTTS in the CLAIM DEPARTMENT multiple, multiple times when asked WHY the ad was run, he faxed over some chicken scratch that was one of those disclaimers in very fine print that said if not notified the ad would run again. However, I had done the voice recording with VERONICA GAHERTY saying NO no more ads with Berry and the damn thing was bad, so how could it be possible for the same bad ad to be pushed right on through again unedited?? SO despite ALL this 1) Bad Ad 2) Cancellation of BAD AD 3) RE-RUNNING of bad. I still get billed for it?? Crazy right? Sit down the nightmare has only just begun. SO after months and months of calling their offices which you on avg wait on hold for 25 mins before you speak to a collections rep. I finally was able to work SOMETHING out with Mr Butts where I would pay 13.45 per month for my ads for a grand total of 161.40. Well today is Dec 3rd, 2010 and I am still getting BILLED. So I called again today to the collections department and got some punk named Brian. This guy was very rude with me, told me he was sorry that I couldn't appreciate berrys hierarchy structure and despite that I still gave him my credit card to pay for the 161 just to get the headache over with right? Guess what, after taking card number we exchanged a few words where he said im not the complaint department-you need to call customer service for that and said he would NOT process my payment because I was unreasonable. So after all that-when I actually try to pay for this god awful service this punk kid Brian hangs up on me and refuses to take my money!?!? Just so I have to call back and sleep on it another day. TO HELL with BERRY. I've got a huge file on them and I know everyone there for calling daily the past year. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE PEOPLE.

    -1 Votes
  • Nc
      Dec 04, 2010

    I am a North Carolina business that has also suffered financial harm due to the Berry Company's unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, intentional/negligent infliction of emotional distress, and harassment. It is imperative that others having the type of experiences described on this website file complaint with their state's attorney general who can follow up. If there are a sufficient number of complaints in your state, Berry could be banned from harming others in your state by no longer being permitted to do business in your state. It is my opinion that their actions are also in violation of NC's unfair and deceptive trade practices act which is a civil complaint an individual can file against Berry for compensation and punitive damages, you may have similar laws to give you recourse in your state.

    0 Votes
  • Do
      Dec 11, 2010

    I to am getting arunaround with the berry co . I finally got 1 person on the phone 3 months ago I pay my bills which are in several counties through Windstream I was told my total bill was a certain price I sent a check paid in full per the man I talked to now they are taking the same bill adding it on my wind stream bill Just beware people! They are a rip off

    -1 Votes
  • Re
      Dec 29, 2010

    This company has been taking advantage of my elderly parents, ages 80 and 87.
    They have a resort on Norfolk Lake in Arkansas. They keep telling my mother
    that her contract has been canceled over a year ago. They continue to extract $200.00 a month from them. They never received a refund for last year and and are now up to $800.00 after many representatives have told them everything would be cleared up in 14 days. This is very worrisome for my honest parents who still believe in doing the right thing and don't want their credit damaged. I tried calling the Customer Service Number only to be cut off.
    What is the next step? How can this company continue to scam small business people? I am thinking of placing an ad in the newspaper.

    -1 Votes
  • Wo
      Jan 17, 2011

    I have to agree that berry company is living in the stone ages and preatty much sucks. I canceled 2 phone book adds last year. they canceled one and not the other one. called them and they said would credit my account so thought was taken care of. now 2 months later get bill for both adds. person talked to said no record of other calls made to them. I think is selective amnesia. not sure if anyone uses yellow pages now anyway. and I will never advertise with them again.

    -1 Votes
  • Ci
      Jan 20, 2011

    I too have had a problem with this company. They renewed my ad, without giving me any type of notice. I have been trying to get this issue resolved since September 2010, with no success. It is now January 2011. This company sucks. I don't know how they stay in business. I have talked with the local phone company because I am going to send a certified letter to the Berry Co. in order to cancel the ad that will renew in September 2011. If the Berry Co. automatically renews the ad in September 2011, I was told that I should deduct their charges from my phone bill, as long as I had proof that I had notified them of the cancellation. This has been the worst experience I have ever had. It's a rip off.


    Cincinnati Realtor

    -1 Votes
  • Ci
      Jan 20, 2011

    I totally agree with everyone of these complaints. This company sucks. I don't know how they stay in business.

    -1 Votes
  • Avoid Berry at all costs. They continued to bill me for three months after my 12 month contract was up. I, also, called them several times trying to get them to send me a copy of my contract.Each time they told me that they would. Still waiting five months later, and getting billed for a late payment each month. Each months bill had a notation on it stating where we were in the contract (1 of 12, 2 of 12, all the way to 12 of 12. Then I got one for 13 of 12, 14 of 12, and 15 of 12. Plus, it says right on their phone book to recycle it after the 12 months was up. Very deceptive, to say the least.

    -1 Votes
  • Cl
      Feb 09, 2011

    It seems that many of these issues are due to the fact that people are doing business over the phone. I never do business that is of any substantial monetary commitment without first doing it in person. Make the request or even demand to see a physical rep in person.
    Another thing to consider is how effective or ineffective was your last bit of advertising. On one hand, if your business gets customers from the advertising placed, then it's a good thing (isn't it?). Now if your advertising isn't working, wanted or desired; then shouldn't you demand to see a physical rep to get it removed.
    I believe there is always more to these stories. Especially, when there are people saying that things have been wrong for multiple years (proofs, billing, internet advertising, etc). Why, on earth, would you ever let something that contracts for a whole year, that was wrong last year, not be done in person this year to make sure it's done right?
    My last point is that there are a ton of businesses that are in my local Windstream Directory, so my belief is that there must be a reason (i.e. $Money$ & Profit) in why so many of these businesses are in this directory & do business with The Berry Company.

    +1 Votes
  • Br
      Mar 07, 2011

    Looks like berry co is posting under clear conscience. I have had been trying to cancel my contract since september 2010, it is march 7 .2011 I made numerous phone calls, sent an E-mail, and sent a letter . They deny there was any cancellation. They are crooks.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
      Mar 10, 2011

    I finally sent The Berry Company two registered letters--one to my local office and one to the corporate office. In both letters I told them to cancel and void all future contracts, renewals, and extensions, and that the only advertising they are authorized to do, whether online or in print, is my one FREE Standard Regular Listing. We'll see if that makes any difference this year.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
      Mar 10, 2011

    Oh, and I'm also cutting off Windstream. I got a wireless credit card swiper, unlimited long distance on my cell phone, mobile broadband for my internet needs for my computer, and switched my business phone number through Windstream over to my cell phone.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      Apr 12, 2011

    We'd like to add our complaints to the long list about this awful company. We have been trying for 6 months now to resolve a problem with them charging us through our Windstream phone bill before our contract actually started for internet advertising. The first month we discovered this billing error, my husband called the rep who sold us the ads and was told that the rep had just resigned from the Berry Company because of other instances like ours. Just today, my husband has been on hold with the Berry Company for an hour and half without ever talking to anyone yet! When he has gotten through to someone and told our story to them, they say they can't help us but will need to get someone to call us back which they never do! Run in the opposite direction when the Berry Company rep comes through your door!!!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
      Apr 12, 2011

    After holding for 45 min I finally spoke to a customer rep who told me it was up to me to contact the yellow pages if my ad was not there even thou they are getting paid to have the ad up and posted. This company is very hard to deal with its always someone elses job to get the problem handled and it NEVER gets handled but they are very quick to bill!

    0 Votes
  • Je
      May 10, 2011

    Berry company are a bunch of theives caceled my add over 2 years ago and they are still sending a bill for service avoid them at all cost !!! jeffrey mckane jamestown ny [protected]

    0 Votes
  • So
      May 12, 2011

    We have had the same experience, no proof of renewal they said we auto renewed. We never agreed to this. They have been dunning us for money for a YEAR !! We always got a call from the sales person to renew our order. Now they say we auto renew with NO proof of such agreement !! Isn't this some sort of mail fraud ?

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Jul 14, 2011

    I have advertised with them for years. Every year I was charged way to much for what I recieved. Every year all my ads that I made and sent in were always redone so they looked horrible! They also would place wrong numbers in my ads as well. Every year, we would be offered a small discount that didn't amount to much considering we were paying way too much. We had a double truck for three years with them where we were told that we had senority and no competition could get in front of us. One year, a competitor got a double truck in front of us. When we asked about it, they told us that we had two one page ads in our section instead of a double truck like we were told. Our competitor was not even paying half the price of what we were to get in front of us. They told us they would once again drop our charges and give us a deal. If that was not enough, another competitor of ours called us to tell us that a rep called her about us. She told them that it was not her business, but they proceeded to tell her exactly to the penny the amount we owed them which was a ridiculous amount. I then started recieving calls from them with that same exact price which was years of the charges not paid because they said they would be dropped for wrong numbers and mess ups in ads. I will never place ads in the windstream here again. They are straight criminals and use illegal practices. I never would have thought that a phonebook would not only steal money but offer your competition a perfect placement at half the price and cut you out of the way. How does that make sense? I used to pay for two and a half pages and a business card in one section and a full page in another heading. It almost broke me paying them every month. I have the same amount of business without the book and have saved so much money in the process. I would definitely advise anyone not to advertise in this book. Your money is well better spent on the internet and in other books. Oh yes, did I menton they allowed my competition to start using our DBA's? Yes, I will be seeing a lawyer soon.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Jul 14, 2011

    Oh yes I have called to complain about all the wrongs they have done to our company. I called the complaint line and they told me since I owed money they were sending me to billing. I told then that was the reason I was calling to make the complaint but she was so rude with me. She told me with an attitude that she couldn't take my complaint since I was behind on my bill. A bill that they said was no longer since they messed up all my ads! Noone should pay for ads with wrong numbers listed in them.

    0 Votes
  • Wi
      Jul 14, 2011

    We are sorry to hear of your recent Windstream experience. We take matters like yours seriously and want to resolve your issue with your service. Please contact our Complaint Resolution Team at [protected] Monday - Friday 8:00am-5:00pm EST. You may also email us at [protected]@windstream.com

    0 Votes

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