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Yellowbook / Deceptive Sales

1 United States

I am the former owner of Julian’s Home and Office Cleaning and Maintenance of Manawa, WI. In January 2009 I was contacted by the Yellowbook sales rep, Tim Calnin, regarding advertising in the 2009 directory. At the time I was awaiting the outcome of a pending real estate/business purchase in Maine which would result in my relocation and the closure or sale of Julian’s Home and Office. Hence, I told Tim over the phone that I was unable to make a decision regarding advertising at that time. He suggested that he could come out anyway in order to discuss advertising options in the event the Maine purchase did not transpire. At our meeting Tim assured me that I could call customer service and cancel anytime before April 1st as the directory would not be printed until May. With that assurance, I signed the contract for the advertising on January 8, 2009.

As it happened, in March the purchase of the Maine property was finalized. I contacted Yellowbook customer service as Tim suggested, but was informed that it was now too late to cancel the advertising. I then contacted Tim, and after speaking with his supervisor, he told me to write a formal letter to Yellowbook stating that I would no longer own Julian’s Home and Office. I sent the letter March 20th which Yellowbook received on March 23rd. On March 31, 2009 I sold Julian’s Home and Office and relocated to Caribou, Maine on April 13, 2009.

I thought the matter was settled until I received an invoice in June for the advertising . Again I contacted Tim who promised to look into the matter. For the past month I have been calling him for updates weekly as he continued to discuss the matter with his superiors. Finally, today he said there was nothing more that he could do for me. He told me that his manager said I should call customer service and open a claim. When I called I was told that I could not open a claim because the advertising was already in print.

Because of the uncertainty of my plans at the time, I would never have signed for the advertising if I had thought I would only have a week to cancel. It was only because of Tim’s assurance as Yellowbook’s company representative that I would have until April to cancel the advertising that I signed for it. However, Yellowbook has not been willing to do stand behind what Tim--their sales representative-- told me. Having exhausted all means to resolve this matter with YellowBook, I am now appealing to both the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General for assistance in this matter.

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