As you know every once and a while I will jump on here and include some information about business, just recently I posted a more personal look into one of my business’s in my “[intlink id="2617" type="post"]Extreme Tan and Smoothies June Recap[/intlink]” article. That was really the first time we have ever exposed any type of business data for Extreme Tan and Smoothies, especially since it is a privatley owned company.
Most of my business related articles feature a business tip of some sort or maybe a look inside [intlink id="1456" type="post"]one of the ways we saved money[/intlink] in one of our own business’s. Being a business owner in today’s world with the current economic times you are constantly forced to look for new ways to generate revenue as well as reduce costs in order to stay competative.
There are all kinds of [intlink id="2376" type="post"]different ways to advertise your business[/intlink] and keep the name out there without spending a fortune, there are also plenty of advertising area’s that seem inexpensive and for good reason, lack of results.
In a little over a years time I have written about numerous forms of advertising on my site, in addition to the many local area business’s that I review as well. Advertising is by far my favorite thing to do, I love starting ad campaigns from the ground up, and figuring the potential cost and profit of doing such ad campaigns. My palms sweat just thinking about putting a special on a Clear Channel Billboard from Mikey B, no really they do.
Anyway, before this post gets way out of hand the main reason for this article is to take a moment and review the experiences I have had with YellowBook.com and our advertising with them over the last few months.
When we first opened Extreme Tan and Smoothies we had a paid advertisment in the actual Yellow Book that was delivered to all of the local homes in the area, this was about five years ago and let’s just say that ad campaign was hardly worth it. A few months ago while we were in the height of our season and agressivley advertising we had a YellowBook.com representative come into the office pushing advertising in the online version of Yellow Book.com
My initial answer was of course absolutley not, especially after my first experience with them and how they have continued billing that is a major pain in the ass to get them to stop. After talking with the representative he assured me that the deal we signed would allow us to break out of it and cancel at any time, this sparked my intrest because I rarely ever sign contracts.
We decided to buy the top spot on all searches in the specific counties that we wanted the ad to appear when people plugged in a search on Yellow Book.com, I figured it would have to return some excellent results with a placement like that. Our spots continued to run through out the entire tanning season as well as the entire limousine season, we have yet to have any customer mention those ad spots for either business.
Now I will say that one of the hardest things to track when it comes to advertising is advertising placed in the Yellow Pages or any place that doesn’t offer some sort of redemption, like a coupon to make tracking easier. The spots ran for enough time that had the advertisment made that much of an impact we would have heard about it, this ad campaign was very much like the ad campaign we ran five years ago.
In addition to the poor return on investment from advertising with Yellow Book and Yellow Book.com over the years, there is also the billing practices that they follow that are honestly in my opinion, a complete joke. Just yesterday I watched Michele waste another phone call to Yellow Book to try and get an answer as to why we were still be charged for advertising, even though Michele has called to cancel the advertising on at least four previous occassions.
I wouldn’t doubt it for a second if there were a higher level representative in touch about this issue, the issue would probably have been solved a long time ago. The reality is that at some point we will just charge back the continued charges of something like $249 a month and be done with it, which honestly can’t be a great thing for Yellow Book.
Can someone explain to me how a massive company like Yellow Book thinks that not canceling billing upon request will actually be good for future oppratunties? I know one thing is for sure, Yellow Book will not be getting any future advertising dollars from any business we currently have or any future business we may go into, and you can bet there is no chance I will be referring anyone to use Yellow Book or any other phone book company for that matter.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on this, especially if you are a small business owner and have had your own experience with Yellow Book.com or Yellow Book yellow pages. If you enjoyed this article please consider following me on Twitter or take a second to subscribe to my rss feed, it’s free!
I received a message at 4:30pm today from a representative of Yellow Book.com, I have returned the phone call and am awaiting a return call. As I have always said, in the event that someone from one of the companies I write about actually takes the time to resolve the problem, I will be more than happy to write an update along with the resolution.
Please keep in mind that ComCast resolved a complaint issue that a guest posted here on my blog, most of the other companies like ASD would rather walk away, let’s see what happens.
Yellow Book Customer Service FAIL – a hysterical look at the cast of chracters in the comments below, most of which work directly for Yellow Book from their Regional Office in King of Prussia Penssylvania, this is a video.