The Truth About Idearc
I have read many reviews of Idearc/Superpages.com from many angry customers that feel that have been ripped off,
but have not really read any solid explanations of why Idearc/Superpages.com is a rip off.
My name is Lisa, I work for the company in Everett, WA and have done the research to know why. It is my hope that by divulging
the truth someone will be able to use the information to take action against this company. I've made a lot
of money selling worthless advertising and this is my attempt to make it right.
First off, it's important to know that Idearc/Superpages.com employs a very specific sales tactic that they
refer to as "Salesology." This is the very basis of all training and as an employee of the company, if you do
not follow this method, you will be reprimanded. Salesology is taught to all employees by Jay Hughes. Utilizing this sales method, most customers don't even realize that they just purchased
advertising. Here's how it works:
1) A Business receives a cold call and they are asked if it's "a bad time."
2) Rep tells them that "We have people in your area looking for (fill in blank) in your area, are you
currently taking on more work/new customers?"
3) Then we ask how much more work they can handle and how much they make per job. Multiply the amount of work by
the profit per job and that's their gap. Let's say an Electrical Contractor averages $500 per job and can take on
10 more of those per month. "So, if I were able to help you close that $5000 gap per month in your business,
would it be fair to ask for $500 on the back-end in return?"
4) Customer says "of course."
5) Almost no explanation is given on how we are going to get them this promised work. We get GTI
(General telemarketing international) on the phone who records the customer agreeing to a 12-month
contract. They are told we're doing this "To enter them into our database." Most people have no idea
what just happened, but this is 100% legally binding. Our only goal is to get them through GTI.
In the initial training, they state we're to find the gaps in small to medium sized businesses and help
them grow. The funny thing is that no matter what state their business is in, no matter what they sell, how
much they make per sale...it's all the same. The solution to every business is a minimum $500/month program to
meet their objectives. They don't really encourage anyone to sell over a $500/month plan because that
requires a signed contract in lieu of a GTI recording. If you sell less than $500 you're scoffed at, even if the
business doesn't need it.
So, what does a business get for $500/month? We are told to tell businesses that we are selling "SuperLeads."
However, these are nothing more than clicks with a theoretical conversion rate. Their collateral even shows how
this works. So, for $500 worth of SuperLeads a business will get 125 clicks with the minimum of $4/click (some
categories are more). They state that, on average, for every 5 clicks, a customer will actually make a call
to the business. $500 should then relate to 25 calls in a month. Again, this is how we are trained and this
is what the collateral we can send out states.
If the above actually worked, then it wouldn't be a bad deal. However, most businesses will not get any calls
for their $500 per month. Why? Most (at least 90%) of these clicks aren't even from SuperPages.com, Google, Yahoo
or anything you've ever heard of. They are from obscure partner sites that pull out a single keyword from the
business and get the needed clicks to bill out $500. As an example, let's say a kitchen contractor installs sinks.
Let's say someone googles "sink holes." A few wrong clicks and the contractor is out $4. Again, at least 90%
of these clicks have nothing to do with what a business does. The customer doesn't have any access to
these click reports, and there are no audits done to ensure it's actually working at all. The fact is that
most sales are made to oversaturated markets where businesses will not get any return on their
investments. We can sell to the same type of business in the same cities as much as we want and tell everyone
"we have people looking for your services." In all actuality, Superpgaes.com gets little traffic, and if a business
gets even one call per month for $500 they are doing better than average.
Next, is there click fraud going on? ( i.e. the company clicking on its own ads to turn a profit.) I'm not 100%
sure here. We used to be able to see the IP addresses that were clicking on the ads, but not any more.
In the past, I did random sample searches to cross reference the IP addresses by location and a large amount
of the IP addresses were not even in the same state as the businesses. Many of these IP addresses seemed to
track back to where Idearc has physical offices. I have asked many times if I click on someone's ad from work, will
they be charged a click and have always been told no. I'm not so sure about that.
We also sell postcard mailers. When these came out I was excited to sell something that actually works. We are
told to tell customers they can expect a 0.5% - 2.0% return of them. I've heard of a few businesses getting
work from these, but I also know of businesses that have sent out 10,000 cards (at $5000) with zero return.
The artwork on these is generally poor, as they have the sales reps do the basic design and ad copy for
them with very little training. It's mostly a joke to see just how bad they come out. Many contractors have
actually gotten in trouble from the State because License numbers have to be on their ads. This also is not
[snip - no personal information please]