I’d like to start this post off by saying I don’t condone speaking negatively about competitors because it only brings them attention and you know how that saying goes – if you got haters it means you’re doing something right.
Well… what if they are taking advantage of their clients’ lack of knowledge, ripping them off, and hurting their businesses? Do I get a one time pass to speak on it?
I’d like to think I do because if you’re a business owner looking into getting a website with Yellow Pages I’m about to save you a bunch of money, a big headache, and your company’s image on the web. If you already got a website with them, well, at least you’ll know exactly how your getting screwed.
On top of the countless conversations I’ve had with business owners that dealt with Yellow Pages, which have provided me with the materials for this post, they’ve also been blasted by several news outlets, have a ton of complaints filed at the Better Business Bureau, and there’s also a class action lawsuit being put together against them so this isn’t my opinion – this is based on real experiences.
Websites aren’t their only products, but for this article, websites are the focus.
I’ve seen more YP websites that I can count and one thing they have never failed to do is to make me think “wow, what a garbage website”. I have never ever been impressed by their websites, not a single time. I mean, the best thing I can say about them is that they go on a scale from bad to absolutely f**king horrible.
What’s so bad about them, you ask? I’ll tell you.
First of all, the majority of their website are not responsive meaning they are not mobile friendly. In 2019, something like 70% of traffic comes from phones, so this is an absolute must. Google’s search algorithm punishes websites that are not responsive and pushes their rank down so nobody finds it in Google searches.
Second, they look outdated. They look like the websites from 10 years ago. Like bad websites from 10 years ago. Just ugly.
I like to use the meat grinder to hotdogs analogy. Their web design process is not a web design process at all. It involves putting all your information and content into this automated meat grinder and crappy hotdogs come out the other end. Same meat grinder for everyone, same crappy hotdogs.
Third, the on-page SEO (search engine optimization) is awful to non-existent. There are keyword strategies that, if done right, can help your website rank high in Google searches.
How does this affect your business? Well, if your website looks like low quality outdated shit that doesn’t even look right for 70% of visitors, then that’s exactly what the potential clients visiting your website will think of your company, products, and services. Also, it likely won’t show up on the first page in Google searches.
Here’s another reason: you don’t own the website. Cancel the contract – goodbye, website. Which brings us to the next point.
Expensive Contracts, Difficult to Terminate
Their contracts are expensive for what you are getting. I had conversations with owners that told me they were paying between $200 per month to $1,150 per month. Yes, $1,150 per month!
I’ve asked what are all the services that are included for different prices and there doesn’t seem to be a solid price structure; they simply get you for as much as they can.
Even though these are yearly contracts, they auto-renew.
If you want to cancel, you need to give them a 3-month notice.
Often, even when you give them a 3-month notice, they still auto-renew and bill you for another year.
If you want to terminate the contract early, they say you can’t, or they bill you hundreds to thousands of dollars in early cancellation fees. I guess it depends on their mood that day.
Also, they throw you in circles to make it difficult to speak with someone that can cancel the contract.
Furthermore, if you cancel the contract, say goodbye to your website.
Unethical Sales Tactics
From what I was told directly from some of their clients, as well as what I read in publicly available news coverage and BBB complaints, they blatantly lie in their sales pitches.
They claim their services will guarantee you an X amount of clients, and it doesn’t happen.
They claim the Yellow Pages website gets more traffic than Google. LOL!
They’ll tell you that only they have the capability to get you ranking on the first page of Google and if you cancel the contract you lose your ranking.
The lies go on and on. I don’t care how common lies are in the sales, web design, or digital marketing industries, it’s unethical and it makes a bad name for everyone in these industries.
Before wrapping it up, let’s do some quick maths. Say you paid $200 a month, which is on the low end of the prices I’ve heard, for 2 years. You’ve paid $4,800 in total for a sub-par website which is hurting your business, that you don’t even own. You could’ve paid the same amount, or maybe even less, to a decent and ethical web design company as a one-time cost and got a great website that helps your business succeed, and saved you money in the long run.
I hope you found some value in this post and moving forward, you will choose a reputable web design company to design your company website.
If you’re looking at getting a new website for your business, reach out for a free consultation over the phone. I’d love to learn more about your company, as well as take a look at your current website if you have one. Let’s connect – no obligation or pressure.