BBB issues warning about misleading Yellow Pages offer

Vancouver Island businesses expecting to advertise in the Yellow Pages could be left red-faced if they fall prey to misleading marketing.

The Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island is reporting that a number of businesses have received unsolicited offers to advertise with a business directory called YellowPage-BritishColumbia.com on behalf of Yellow Page Marketing.

Yellow Page Marketing is based out of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. On its website, the company notes that “Yellow Pages” is not a registered name within the U.S. and is used by more than 200 companies within North America.

The BBB is advising businesses that YellowPage-BritishColumbia.com has no affiliation with Yellow Pages Group or yellowpages.ca, which publishes telephone books commonly distributed within Greater Victoria. It is also not associated with yellowpages.com or AT+T Real Yellow Pages.

Businesses that complete and return the order form from Yellow Page Marketing could be legally responsible to honour a two-year contract, payable one year in advance. The BBB says one local business was billed $1,400 for advertising it didn’t realize it was purchasing.

“Businesses like consumers really need to pay attention to the details, fine print and do their homework before filling out any forms and signing any documents,” said Rosalind Scott, executive director of the BBB-VI. “In this particular case, the order forms appear to be for an online Yellow Pages ad, when in fact it is for something very different.”

For more information, see vi.bbb.org.