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Has anyone else had problems with Yell/ Going to court?

in Small biz MoneySaving
85 replies 67.7K views
I've searched the forums but I can't find anything that relates to my specific problem. I took out a "good" package with Yell last November that was supposed to include a new website, Google SEO, Yell mediumweight ad and Netreach (eg Facebook ads +)

From the start there were problems and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get to speak to a manager. I made several telephone complaints as the weeks went by, covering various aspects of the service that I was paying for.

By Feb I went to trading standards as Yell were not providing the service, eg the site didn't show up in ANY Google search results, there was no sign of Netreach being provided (their staff could not confirm if it WAS being provided!) & the website was very poor quality, completely unsuitable for a photographer. They were also very slow to make amendments to the website (as promised within 24 hours) so this meant that as I had to wait a week or more for changes I could'nt lick the website into shape.

The mediumweight ad was the only component being provided but that backfired! Instead of getting customer enquires I only got calls from other companies trying to sell me their services. Sometimes I get 4 calls within 30 minutes. I never had a single sales lead generated during my time with Yell.

So, I gave them 14 days to provide the service (as per Trading Standards instructions) - they did not respond in writing at all. They phoned me on about day 13 of the waiting period and I said that the time for talking was over and they needed to make a written response by email within the next 24 hours. They agreed to this.

However, they did not make any further response for another 2 weeks! I had, by then, sent another letter cancelling my contract due to their breech of contract. I also cancelled my direct debit at that point. I specifically asked them to remove my mediumweight ad because it causes so many spam phone calls.

All that was during Feb/March 2011. Today I got an email from Yell telling me that they are still counting up debts against my account. I called and explained the situation, but the lady I spoke to said that I couldn't cancel the advert (even though I had already cancelled in writing due to breech of contract). Yell intend to continue charging me and then refer the matter to debt management team because I originally signed a 1 year contract.

Has anyone else had similar problems? What happened?
Please get in touch if you are in this situation.

I'm willing to let them take me to court so a judge can decide on this case. The product was mis-sold and I feel it's unfair that they can sell a whole package then only provide one component of it, yet force me to pay by weighting the charge in favour of that one component.


  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    45K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I've done a quick skim of 'Yell' threads on this board, and there's nothing clear cut either way as far as I can see.

    However, have you written (not emailed) confirming the problems you've had and citing breach of contract on their side as the reason for cancelling the advert? Have you read your T&C to work out what their breaches are?
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Yes, I wrote them a lengthy letter about all the different problems I'd had. They didn't reply for nearly a month. By then, I'd sent the next letter cancelling the contract.

    Their investigation did discover that the reason my site had never shown up in Google searches was because they had made a mistake with it. However, I'd been complaining about that since early on and they obviously hadn't checked or they would have discovered their error months earlier!
  • Hello Paula,

    Hmm, let me ask you this, do you use Yellow Pages to look anything up? How can you ask a directory company to do SEO inconjunction with another directory service. You seem to have had a very bad experience. I know of someone who had a sales rep sign him up, this particular person paid nothing for the service and received the service which makes me think there is no real structure within Yell.

    As an SEO I get phone calls from Yell and I just ask basic questions to their sales people which usually ends up with them hanging up.

    Whatever you do I hope it goes well for you in the long run.

    Tweet Me @BlinkBrian
  • So far, Yell continue to advertise my business, despite me asking them not to because being a Yell mediumweight advertiser causes a lot of spam phone calls.

    I have now received a letter from their debt collection company. They are threatening to take me to court for an outstanding balance of over £500. This is for a service they did not provide!

    I have given the debt collector a brief overview and they will contact Yell and then get back to me.
  • I am just beginning to realise what a total waste of space are.

    They recently attempted to take a Direct Debit from my account in the sum of £1500 for some reason even though my monthly spend with them is in the region of £300.

    With regard to debt collection agencies make sure that you always reply to their letters stating that the amount is in dispute and that they should refer to their clients. They are not allowed to proceed any further if you do this.
  • edited 30 August 2011 at 8:58AM
    Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
    5.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 30 August 2011 at 8:58AM
    I agree with the last poster in that you should not just ignore the invoices and letters.

    It might seem unfair, but they probably can quite validly take court proceedings against you to get what you owe them. They might have provided an inferior service to what you thought you were going to get, but you still have to pay them as far as I can see. Also if there is a fault with the website, they should be given the opportunity to fix the fault. Refusing to pay until they fix the fault will likely get you nowhere other than more demands for payment I suspect. You could claim a refund for the "down time " of the site, but a refund is different from waiving of payment which I think you are looking for in this case.
  • Thanks. Just to make it clear, Mistral, my bill was paid in full up to when I cancelled the contract with Yell. I cancelled due to their breech of contract but they refused to acknowledge cancellation. I did complain to Yell many times but they refused to respond to my complaints or let me speak to a manager.
    Yell did not occur any charges as a result of my contract cancellation - it was their decision to continue to bill me for a service I had already cancelled.
  • oldoakeyoldoakey Forumite
    146 Posts
    I have recently had problems with Yell. One of their agents rang and offered a me a deal on for 3 areas at a fee of £200 for the year.

    I agreed to this and a few days later received a call from the same agent who said he had got the price wrong and it should be £260 for the year. I thought this was unprofessional but agreed none the less.

    A couple of weeks passed and I checked the adverts were actually up. I soon found that none of the adverts were showing after the supposed launch date so I rang and the same agent and he told me he would sort this out. So again a couple of weeks or so later I checked again.

    This time there were 2 areas showing but nothing for the 3rd area as discussed. So I rang the agent and he now says that the deal was for only 2 areas not 3. Now I know for a fact that the deal was for 3 areas as I used to advertise with them using these same three areas for years with yell.

    Now that I have a complaint no one will return my calls or emails the original agent whose phone I have now left many messages for never returns my calls and no one has return emailed me back.

    This company should be avoided as they seem a right bunch of cowboys now who don't deserve and will never again get my business. I would like a person to talk to any one have any phone numbers for a manager or should I just stop the direct debit. :mad:
  • oldoakeyoldoakey Forumite
    146 Posts
    Well I have just rung yell on 0800 328 0028 and got through to a lady who looked into this case and she stated that the 3rd area should carry a charge of an extra £120 for the year but because should could see that I had advertised previously with them in the 3 areas in question that she would waive this fee and set the advert to start from tomorrow.

    I have asked for this in writing via an email as she stated that they will invoice me for the £120 and then credit this back.

    Still not convinced that I will receive the credit though. ;)
  • Oldoakey, I made many requests to speak to a manager and was never allowed to. Even when I wrote to Yell I got no response at all for a month.... and by then I had cancelled my contract with them.
    My battle continues and they are still threatening to take me to court because when they did not provide the service I was paying for I cancelled the direct debit due to their breech of contract.
    In your case, there are also contractual issues but I suspect you won't be able to get Yell to look at your complaint while you are still paying them. I did once speak to a lady who was helpful and tried to improve the service but only once and she still couldn't find out why certain aspects of the service were not being provided.
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