The Better Business Bureau
(BBB) is warning local businesses to beware of a yellow page directory invoice being faxed and mailed to area businesses.
The BBB received several calls Tuesday from local businesses who received faxes or mailers from a yellow page directory called Yellow-Pages-Ohio.net or Yellow Holding LTD. The correspondence is asking businesses to verify their company information.
The official-looking verification form shows the company's basic contact information and touts the image of fingers flipping through the phone book. However, the verification form is not from any local yellow page phone directory but for a national online directory.
The verification form clearly states in large print "THIS IS NOT A BILL" but the BBB advises businesses to beware. A disclaimer at the bottom of the form, in very small print, states that by verifying the information you are purchasing a two-year online directory listing that will cost $1,099 per year. Termination of the agreement is required in writing to cancel and must be done three months prior to the listing's expiration date or will be automatically renewed for another year.
"This is clearly deceptive," states Frank Cilona, BBB chief executive officer. "Yellow Holding, LTD is clearly hoping businesses will think this is merely a verification for a local listing and not pay any attention tot he small print disclaimer at the bottom of the page."
Cilona recommends the following tips for those who receive any sort of phone directory renewal:
- Make sure to designate a single person within your business to handle such matters. The will be aware of any and all directory listings your company is placing and when they renew.
- If you have filled out this form, make sure you contact the company immediately to cancel.
- Be sure to read all small print on any form or contract you sign for your business.
- Many fraudulent or scam companies will use similar names or logos of known companies. Be sure you are dealing with the company you think you're dealing with.
If your not sure if an offer your business receives is legitimate, contact the BBB to check on the company at 330-454-9401 or www.bbb.org.