Report: #69078

Complaint Review: Pacific Bell Directory

  • Submitted: Tue, October 14, 2003
  • Updated: Sun, November 04, 2012
  • Reported By: Corona California
  • Pacific Bell Directory
    2170 Towne Centre Place
    Anaheim, California

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I recently started a carpet cleaning business on April 2003 and called Pacific Bell yellow page to place a small ad($200-$300 range) in Corona for September issue, but Pacific bell sales rep told me that small ad is not really working so I need to go with the largest size in that category and he also told me that I'll get $10 return on every dollar I spent on their yellow page ad.

So I followed his direction to go with the largest ad even though it's away out of my budget, with 2 different areas for $30,000 a year and $2,500 a month. As soon as my yellow page ad came out, which was in May 2003, whatever the pacific bell sales rep told me was 100% LIE! Response from the yellow page ad is horrible, not even 1 phone call a day! Like, May 16 calls, June 16 calls, July 22 calls, August 14 calls, Sept. 19 calls and average sales are less than $1,000 a month.

This is not what pacific bell sales rep told me which is I get $10 back on every dollar I spent with their ad and according to pacific bell sales rep, I should make $25,000 a month and get thousands of calls a month. But that was total Lie! I called pacific bell on June and asked my rep for what's going on? and he told me it's too soon to tell because the directory just came out. I waited a couple of a month to call back on August 2003.

Pacific bell sales rep told me that there's nothing wrong with an ad and he sent me other advertiser's phone call report saying that other customer who has quarter size ad than what I have is getting 50 calls a month so when my other directory come out, which is Sept. 03, I'll get better result so I didn't cancel another directory ad and waited couple months but result I'm getting is worse. So I called this month to get adjustment and help from pacific bell but my sales rep and his manager just tried to make another sales for next year.

I already paid about $11,000 including down payment. I want this company to refund my down payment and reduce total purchased price to $1,200 a year. (This figure according to pacific bell sales rep, $10 return on every dollar I spent with their ad.)I'm losing thousands of dollars every months because of this matter and this is a life threathening matter for my family. If this problem does not solve ASAP, my only choice is to go bankrupt. Please HELP! Thank you.

Corona, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/14/2003 02:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Betrayed by Pacific Bell Directory

AUTHOR: abraham1122 - (United States of America)

I was betrayed by a subsidiary of AT&T called Pacific Bell Directory. After 25 years of paid advertising in their yellow page print directory, At&t changed their policy or procedure of screening false advertisements in their publications. multiple false and deceptive advertisements were placed in the yellow page directory under the heading of garage doors side by side with my paid advertisement. This caused unfair competition between my company and many illegal advertisers. 

Not only did AT&T betray my trust, but they betray public trust. By AT&T not screening advertisers, the public is deceived. Some consumers receive substandard work, some elderly are taken advantage of and consumers are put at  a risk of injury.

Although AT&T claims to have high values and ethics in their company policies. AT&Ts  yellow page directory advertising from 2007 to current has not met up to industry standards and guidelines for screening advertisements. To me, it is a crime to publish unlicensed contractors and fake company names with fake addresses. Yes, fake addresses so a service man can appear to be a local company.

I am the only garage door company in burbank with a true physical location, but by 2009 I had to compete with 80+ false advertisements that AT&T allowed in the Burbank book with local addresses. Currently my company must compete with 380 garage door companies listed by AT&T within 10 miles of my location. About 85% of these ads are false and 10 % are miss listed. That is 95% inaccurate and misleading. These are horrible advertising ethics and AT&Ts products cannot be trusted.
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#2 Consumer Comment

The Directory Business Needs to Clean Up its Act so We Can Tell Them from World Wide Source and the Scams

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Dear Steven,

Being responsible for marketing a small business myself, It seems we are constantly saying "NO" to a host of advertising opportunities that are thrust our way.

A red flag to me is anyone who says he can guarantee results with a 'bigger' ad. Any reputable advertising counselor (and your yellow pages rep. does NOT qualify) will tell you that half of your advertising spending is wasted. By this it is meant that people don't look in the directory, they toss your mailer and a hundred other reasons why your ad is never viewed by the intended customer.

But advertising and promotion is important. It is a necessary investment.

I would advise anyone starting a new business to begin with direct marketing to those who would be potential customers. In the case of your cleaning business I would probably do a mailing or call on businesses who would need this service. The money you spend on advertising would be better spent on a 'gift' of say a bottle of spot remover with your name on it. The idea is to be remembered when they need a full service cleaning company.

Usually the complimentary listing is all the directory advertising a start-up company needs, but don't count on the directory rep to tell you this.
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#3 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Linda - (U.S.A.)

As a consumer in southern California, the first thing we do when we get our huge editions of the telephone book, Pac Bell and Verizon, is throw them in the recycle bin. We have found out that the numbers are often out-of-date, companies are no longer in business, etc., so it's more efficient to look it up on the Internet. I think the salesman was not completely truthful about recovering your money with the larger ad. You probably can't get your money back, but keep in mind what we do with our yellow pages, and I know several other families on this same block that do the same thing, before you place another large ad.
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