About a year ago last February (2010) I had made several phone calls to set-up my business with a simple (2) line add in the local yellow pages (Flathead County, MT) and eventually was directed to the Berry Company who handled the yellow pages for Centurytel and was told a salesman would contact me soon.
I received a call from Randy Gilpin who was the local rep. for the Berry Company who told me that time was short and we needed to get this set-up right away as the new adds submitted for the next phone book would expire soon. I already new this but was confident a (2) line business name, address, and phone number should be quick and easy to set up.
Mr. Gilpin contacted me and made arrangements to meet at a local caf as he told me we needed to meet to set-up my listing and he didnt have a local office. I thought this was quite unusual
and seemed to be much more than I expected for a simple listing that should be able to be set-up over the phone but maybe there was something I didnt know.
Mr. Gilpin and I met at a local cafe in late February 2010. Mr. Gilpin proceeded to go into a sales spree about a new program that they call pay for performance (P4P), or jobs a business gets from yellow pages phone calls. He then said he needed things like business logo, business description, area of service and other information. I supplied this information but told him I
really only wanted a simple, cheap, listing since the construction and housing industry had recently crashed and couldnt afford an expensive listing above the basic.
On our third meeting, Mr. Gilpin presented me with a small add to be printed in the yellow
pages. I asked him how much this add would cost and his reply was nothing. I asked whats the catch? He then went into more detail and said, I would be assigned a phone number that would link to my business number at my apartment and would be charged for calls that turned into profitable jobs for my business. He then assured me he had several business people on this program that were very successful and were making a lot of money. I asked, How much per phone call would I be charged? He replied that he didnt know exactly how much it would be but it would be small compared to the profit I would make (referring to others). I then asked what about sales calls? He said, I wouldnt be charged for sales calls. I asked how is it determine what is a sales call and what is a profitable call? He replied, There is a time limit on calls. I asked, what is that time limit and he replied (15 minutes). I replied, That should be more than enough time to determine if a call is a business call or a sales call! He agreed and the meeting ended.
After the phone number was set-up I began to receive phone calls, all of which were sales calls mostly from out-of state area codes. I thought this was quite unusual unless someone had sold this
number to a sales list. I also received an email from the Berry Company after the fact that stated I was being charged $70 for calls that lasted longer than 15 seconds. This was not the same information I was told by Randy Gilpin of 15 minutes. I realized at that time that the time limit was much to short and the charges were excessive. I couldnt see how this would work as my answering machine message was about 12 seconds long and couldnt answer the phone with a greeting and determine if the call was a sales call until well after 15 seconds. Ive only received sales calls, wrong numbers, bogus calls, or calls that had nothing to do with profit that I was charged $70 for each call.
After about (3) months of receiving invoices by the Berry Company for approx 60 sales calls and calls that have nothing to do with any profit to my business, wrong numbers or bogus calls. I called
the Berry Company and told them to cancel my tracking number because it was a total waste of my time and didnt have time to deal with calls that had no profit potential to my business. They said they would do this and some one would call me. No one ever called. I then set my answering machine to receive calls and hang-up after (4) seconds. The Berry Company continued to send me
bills that were not my tracking number before canceling my tracking number as I had my business phone line disconnected. This was a problem with my business as I had to redo my other promo with a new business number. This has been a total waste of my time and now believe the Berry Company is the only one that will profit from this scam. They have since turn these charges over to a collection agency and are trying to collect over $4000 for calls that had nothing to do with profit or performance (P4P). I will never get involved with the Berry Company again even for a simple add.
Don't get involved in the Berry Company's P4P plan. You'll be very sorry.