I wanted to follow up from a previous post that I did about some Online Advertising Agencies and Big Name Brand Companies and the quality of the services that they provide. I spoke, in that article, about how I felt it was important that the public know about how those companies conduct business and to be careful if and when entering a working relationship with any of them.
Firstly, I received an comment from someone, likely a current or past AdZoo employee, telling me that they would like to know where I got my information from. They went on a bit of a rant and while they may have had a few good points, offered no way for me to get back in touch with them. They used an anoymous email address (anonymous@gmail) and did not put their name or any other way of contacting them. If that person reads THIS post, I would invite them to email me directly to have a conversation about their concerns. I would be more than happy and infact pleased to retract AdZoo from the grouping and give them a better review.
Second, I wanted to add another company to my list of ones to watch out for. YellowBook. Now YellowBook, not to be confused with YellowPages, operates much like the other ones I have mentioned. They offer services, ranging from SEO (search engine optimization) to PPC (pay per click) as well as Click to Call and more (check out their list of services on their website – YellowBook. I spoke with two former employees of YellowBook recently (both left within the past year to year and a half on their own accord) and they had very interesting and honestly shocking things to say. I have included a direct email from one of them for your “viewing pleasure”. I seriously hope that you take a careful look at the information provided. It clearly lays out ways that YellowBook not only takes advantage of their clients but also actively and continuously finds new ways to swindle you out of your money.
In addition to the information below (which is unedited and direct from the former employee) please take a look at this website with tons of consumer complaints about YellowBook and their services. – ComplaintsBoard.com. There are dozens (just what I found in my short search) of sites just like this with countless complaints from advertisers unhappy with the reps, but more importantly the results they saw (or didn’t see) for what they paid for.
I received your message about questions concerning the Yellowbook internet products, web design and google ad words advertising. I wanted to get back to you right away before you, a customer or group you belong to poured money into something that would be a waste. As you know I worked at yellowbook up until a while ago and was there for over 5 years. I went through their training and am google ad word certified. The only way I would send someone to use Yellowbook was if I really disliked them and this is why I left the company. Here are a couple of examples and resources for deciding on YB.
1. They fudge #s and don’t tell you the whole story. Ex- we had 25 million unique visitors, left out is the part is that is for the entire country do the math and thats not much per state or NY. We used to have books with results but we werent allowed to bring them out because they could be used against us due to the lack of results.
2. Under trained webreach managers- The sales reps get a vague training to sell it and then its turned over to a webreach mgr that has slightly more training then the rep. I had to deal with customers that were asking for a 20 mile radius and the so called WR mgr expert would extend them into the LI sound rather than doing the radius going out from the water (true story and not just once, we had a meeting on it).
3. Way over priced, they were going to charge a friend $700 a month for what I did for $200. They are a middle man and have a ton of in between overhead (AE, WR Mgr, IT dept, pay Google, etc)
4. They constantly have changed the pricing, methods and programs almost yearly leaving their customers in the dark as to what’s coming. Intro started at $15o, few months later, $300, then $400, then $500.
5. I sold a friend’s boss to later be embarrassed by the only calls after 4 months and thousands of dollars later to find were for solicitation. Not one prospect, and zero management or interaction from the so called manager. When I grilled them on it I was told we have to wait till 6 months and they would then get a better handle on how to do it.
6. The results were so bad that retention was non existent. I sold 7 accounts in a month and not one lasted beyond 4 months with zero positive results. This was not an individual thing as management and office wide this was the common theme. YB added a landing page because the results were so poor and they needed to come up with something to show a customer that people were using it.
7. We had a regional meeting where they were telling us to go onto yellowbook.com and and write fake reviews for 20 accts that we had in print, then go to them show them and ask them to buy our Internet product.
8. They began to offer website design, but they are the worst, nothing but some templates that you can do yourself except you over pay them.
9. If you do any google search on feedback, peoples result, rating they are trashed everywhere. If you need more information I am still friends with current and former YB employees and they would tell you the same thing.
10. Yellowbook sells yellowpages and began to lose many of their advertisers. They jumped into the internet as a way to save themselves. They have been trying every gimic you could think of the past 2 years and now included direct mail to survive.The internet is not an area of strength for them and I would not suggest anyone use them for that. The latest thing that they are doing is going around offering people a free web listing where they gather a ton of information from you. they then enter you in their database for solicitation for telemarketing.
Sorry for the long e-mail but there was a lot to share.
former yellowbook employee