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 **. 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 **. Utilizing this sales method, most customers don't even realize that they just purchased advertising.
Here's how it works: A Business receives a cold call and they are asked if it's "a bad time." 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?" 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?" Customer says "of course." 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 anymore. 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 audited. Good Luck!!!
CALIFORNIA -- I don't know how a reputable company like Verizon could turn their advertising customers over to a bad outfit like Idearc Media. For years Verizon Yellow Pages was the only place I advertised. I had just one bold listing, and it brought me enough business. Then they turned their advertising sales over to Idearc Media. Late last year, one of their reps convinced me to take out six small ads in the 2009/10 edition. She was so pleasant and called and emailed me all the time. That is, until she'd firmed up my contract.
After that, it was impossible to reach her. She had promised to send me proofs which I never received. Out of frustration I left a message for her supervisor. But he never returned my call either. Finally, I spoke with someone in Customer Service. Shortly after that, I got a curt voicemail from her saying that the phone books had been delayed and that I'd be getting my proofs shortly. I never did.
When the phone books finally came out, they were of appallingly poor quality - cheap, thin paper, blurry printing, binding so far to the inside that parts of some ads are unreadable (like when a used book has been poorly rebound). But, my main complaints are that the 2009/10 small, companion book, which is used at least as much as the larger book, is just a copy of the 2007/08 edition.
My six ads aren't even in it. Yet, I'm being charged as much as if the ads were in both books. Also, there's a problem with the ads themselves, which could have easily been corrected if I'd seen the proofs in advance. I certainly won't ever advertise with them again unless Verizon takes back the Yellow Pages. With all the complaints against Idearc Media, it seems that customers should have recourse of some kind.
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I cancelled my advertising with Idearc Media and they continued to bill me. I cancelled again, but they wouldn't stop. I tried contacting them and finally after getting through, the call mysteriously disconnected in the middle of the conversation. Had to start all over with the automated system and then once I get someone we're disconnected again.
I gave up. I try calling them from time to time, and now their latest voice mail message now is: "we're in a meeting right now and can't come to the phone." Huh? What are you, the corner ice cream shop? I've tried emailing, tried everything and they will not respond. So now they're ruining my credit by sending a collection agency after me. I will not pay the damn $116.00 to these scam artists. They are evil.
I believe I will sue them and let's see if they show up in court. Maybe then, if they show up in court, I can finally have a conversation with someone without getting disconnected, or told they're in a meeting. That is, if I can restrain myself from throwing the person up against the wall by his neck.
This company cares nothing about their customers or about their reputation. I can't believe it was associated with Verizon, who has great customer service. This company is evil and should be put out of business. NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM! They will screw you. Trust me.
I am a new plumbing contractor in the Richmond Virginia area. From the beginning dealings with this company were very irritating! I couldn't get a hold of my rep either at his office or on his cell. Once I signed the paper work to go in the Yellow Pages I couldn't get him! I guess he didn't care anymore just like the company themselves! I told him of certain things that needed to be put on the ad and he told me he would take care of them. Well when the book came out I had people calling me (friends) telling me well the ad looks good except why doesn't your ad have licensed and insured on it!!!
Well that was 1 of the things I told him about and wasn't taken care of!!!! I called him and he said he would look into it. (I actually got him!) Well he called me back and told me they messed up in the art department and that the company would be contacting me soon. Well about a month later they called me and said that because it was not a text error they could do nothing! I went off. Then they offered me free advertising for the next year. I told them “Well how does that help me now!”
I may not be in business next year. I'm a plumbing service company. I need advertising and if people don't know I'm licensed and insured they aren't going to call me! She tried to feed me a bunch of bull about business and that if my company messed up that I wouldn't give money back or fix the problem! I don't know what plumber she deals with but my company does not work like that! Well she offered me 200 dollars off a 1400.00 ad!
Then when I laughed at her about that she said there was nothing else she could do for me or my company! And she denied me talking to a supervisor! I started making more calls and e-mails and had no response. Then I sent them a letter. They called me after I called and told them I had contacted my lawyer. And she told me I had signed a final with the ad that went in the paper. I told her I never signed a final. I never saw one!!!
Well they sent me the fax with the supposed final and the paper she is talking about was the rough of the ad! Not the finished ad! That paper was only the paper stating that I would be putting an ad in their book and somewhat what it would look like and that when it was done to my approval that I would sign the final to go in the book! And the agent said nothing would go in without my approval!!! Well it did!!!
And now they are saying it is not their fault that it is my reps or agents fault!!! So I said to her "So now I have to pay for something your employee did not do correct. I have to pay for your employee's screw-up!!!! And she said “yes you do!!!”
I cannot believe this company!! How do they stay in business!!! There are other plumbing companies in the area that they have messed up to and they are not going to advertise with them again. The only way my company is making it now is off other plumbing companies that know my work and by word of mouth. I WILL NEVER AGAIN ADVERTISE WITH THIS COMPANY AGAIN! I am on my way to taking them to court! I'll let everyone know how it went. What needs to happen is everyone needs to take them and they need to be shut down permanently!!!
TEXAS -- This is ** Messenger of Truth. The truth is that Verizon Yellow Pages and Idearc Media etc. are 2 companies that have conducted business with me in an unprofessional manner. I am advertising in their Verizon yellow pages in Miami, Florida, and I have many issues with them ranging from artwork mistakes, no artwork proof given before they printed the book, and the internet campaign I had done with them was not done right. They just don't seems to care about their customers at all. They just seem to care about money.
After they get your money, they forget about you. My rep given to me by their company ** is a rep who is really working at Idearc Media Verizon Yellow Pages for a paycheck only. When it comes to taking care of customers, she really does not care just like the company she works for. Her supervisor ** is really there for a paycheck. She does not care about fixing problems at all.
I had been doing business with Verizon yellow pages for 2 ½ years with no problems. Now that I have a problem I have tried to fix it, and I called every phone number that I can find for the company. I spoke to many different people from their company from New York to Texas, Saint Petersburg, Hollywood Florida, to Jacksonville Florida and the list goes on and on. I just get transferred from one place to another and no one knows how to help me or give me info to resolve my problems. I just keep getting transferred or given a phone number to call etc.
Finally, I got to Idearc Media Headquarters in Texas after a month and many hours of trying to figure out who can help me. When I finally got someone on the phone who said they could help me resolve the issues I became hopeful, but ultimately my hopes were dashed and nothing was resolved. All and all the negligence and lack or follow through by Verizon cost me an estimated $200,000 in revenue. This page was made to warn people about doing business with this bad company - Idearc Media and Verizon Yellow Pages. You can add your complaints to this page so the truth can be told and heard.
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- Idearc Media does the Yellow Book advertising for Verizon. They contacted us for an ad. We submitted what we wanted. They always sent incorrect proofs, then we canceled. We went to Customer service, handed in all our proof including times and dated faxes, certified letters. "Nothing we can do. You signed a contract." Yes, BUT WE CANCELED BEFORE DEADLINE! Too bad, we are not doing anything. We were cursed at, by sales rep and all they do is laugh. SHAME ON IDEARC MEDIA. And SHAME on VERIZON for having such companies defraud the public. Contact us with any similar complaints. Class action lawsuit.
CALIFORNIA -- I am a small business owner in Southern CA, and have had a horrible time trying to cancel Idearc advertising in a Verizon book. They renewed my advertising contract without my consent, and when I realized what had happened, was told that it was too late and the book was already published. I refused to pay for advertising that I didn't authorize, but have been turned over to a collection agency.