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Monday, May 29, 2006

Small Business Owners - Beware of Dex Yellow Pages

Recently, I've noticed several hits on BlogArizona.com from people looking for small business information.  While the primary subjects of this blog are Arizona and real estate, many REALTORS and other real estate professionals are also small business owners.  So, for all the small business owners, today I will write about something near and dear to my heart...crappy yellow page companies!

As a small business owner myself, I have dealt with pretty much all of the yellow page companies... Dex, Verizon SuperPages, YellowBook, YellowPages, Phone Directories Company, etc.  Yep, there really are that many and more!  While Dex is the largest of the major directories in Arizona, it's also the most expensive and in my opinion, it's the biggest waste of money of all the directories.

As a small business owner, you need to beware of the really sleazy yellow page directory companies (that's most of them!).  There is one company that will just out of the blue, send you what looks like a bill for your listing even though you didn't buy a listing.  I always throw that one away and never have considered advertising with them, so I don't know if a listing in their directory would be worth it or not.  I'm guessing 'not' since they apparently have to trick people into buying their product.

My company has had good experiences with both Verizon SuperPages and the YellowBook.  Verizon is my favorite of all the yellow page directories because they are very professional, competent and reasonably priced.  I will say the representative for the YellowBook was really hard to get in touch with after we signed the ad agreement, but our ad came out perfect.  Both Verizon and the YellowBook are not only less expensive than Dex, but they are also smarter than Dex in the way they do business - they deliver their directories after Dex does because studies show that people keep the last directory they receive and they throw all the others away.  And unlike Dex, the Verizon SuperPages and YellowBook keep their Phoenix directory down to one volume, which I think people appreciate.  Who wants 5 different phone directories to store for that rare occasion when they actually get used?  Verizon and the YellowBook are also the most effective directories.  Contrary to my expectations (because they are smaller directories), my company has received a much greater response from our Verizon and YellowBook ads than anything we ever put in Dex.  I guess it's because the Verizon and YellowBook directories have less listings to choose from, so when a potential customer goes to your section of the book, there is less competition and your company is more likely to be called.  I think the rest of my industry has figured that out also, because the section in Dex where my company used to advertise is almost empty now!  Dollar for dollar, Verizon and the YellowBook are definitely the way to go.

Dex, the biggest of the directory companies in Arizona, is also the biggest waste of money (that's just my opinion of course!).  In fact, I am currently involved in a lawsuit against Dex due to serious mistakes they made in my company's ad.  Not only do they routinely make mistakes, but then they still want you to pay for the messed up ad, and they blame their mistake on the customer instead of just taking responsibility like a respectable company would do.  Number one rule in business: DO NOT BLAME YOUR CUSTOMER FOR YOUR MISTAKES!  It has been my experience that Dex is all about money, not customer service.  Dex is also unethical in my opinion.  On several occassions, Dex has asked my company to sign something saying we received the terms and conditions when we didn't.  Then when the ad gets messed up (and with Dex, it often does!), they will try to hold you to those terms and conditions you never got to see.

Keep in mind that the information in this article is my opinion, based on my experiences with the companies mentioned.  Hopefully, by blogging about my experiences, others can be spared the headaches, lost business and lawsuits which can easily result from dealing with a bad yellow pages company.

NOTE:  Lately, I've also noticed a BUNCH of hits on BlogArizona from people searching for information about little old me!  Based on when it started, I'm betting it's Dex's attorneys and they're probably looking for even more ways to blame me for Dex's mistake!

Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
Realtor®-Investor

Great American Realty, Inc.

Cell: (480) 695-6672
Email me

Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on May 29, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

I've had similar experiences and agree with most of what you've said here. Dex is definitely the most expensive but not worth the money. I also agree that Verizon Superpages and Yellow Book bring in more business than Dex anyday. I am not a realtor but I own a real estate related business in Arizona.

Posted by: Dan | May 29, 2006 9:30:10 AM

Boy did this article hit home for me! Dex is by far the worst of all the yellow page directory companies I've ever dealt with, and for your hassles they reward you with a ridiculously high price that will get ridiculously higher every year. Im glad you wrote this article even if their lawyers are reading. Maybe its time to introduce Dex to the power of the blogosphere.

Posted by: Randy | May 29, 2006 10:14:05 AM

Isn't Dex owned by Qwest Communications?

Posted by: Dennis | May 29, 2006 11:16:04 AM

No they are 2 separate companies now. In my opinion, they still act like one company when it's to their benefit, and from what I can tell, they still share information like one company (so if you have an unlisted phone number and address with Qwest, DON'T be a fool and think your information is actually being kept private just because you pay extra to keep it private!). In my case Dex used Qwest as their scapegoat when Dex make a mistake. In fact, in my case, Dex blamed their mistakes on everything under the sun except themselves!

Posted by: Shannon | May 29, 2006 11:33:45 AM

your right, i think dex sux too! i dont know about the other companies. after trying dex, i quit advertising in all yellow pages. the internet is the only place i advertise now and its more effective than yellowpages for sure.

Posted by: sarah in az | May 29, 2006 12:52:17 PM

Dex totally messed up my company's ad and then offered us like a 5% discount. Gee how nice of them.

Posted by: Pat | May 29, 2006 10:35:55 PM

Thank you, I just started a business and was looking for info on this very topic. The google search led me to this page, in fact. I still will have an ad with them, but will settle for something more basic than planned.

Posted by: Dave | Jun 28, 2006 1:15:20 AM

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