I just had a very frustrating experience with a phone book company yesterday. I don't advertise in phone books anymore, so why would I be having a problem with them still? Because phone book companies are online now. I think they know that their physical book gets less and less users every year, so as they are making a switch to being online they are using the same techniques that they use when selling advertising space in their book, the problem is that there are already some standard practices for online advertising and when you start breaking these practices it just makes people upset. Back to what happened to me. In the past I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with this particular phone book company for advertising, so they used my previous information they had on my company to provide me with free online profiles, it's free so it shows up at the end of the list, no biggie, but the main problem is that because it's free, I am not allowed to make any changes to them. It was quite some time ago when I was in the phone book so with my company changing so much, my free online profiles had horribly bad information on it, service areas hundreds of miles away that I don't service any more, bad webpages, wrong phone numbers, even a made up little paragraph about my company with very inaccurate information.
So I have a few bad online profiles, I want to increase my seo, and be more consistent across the web, I have got to get these taken care of. Right off the bat, it was a no go for having them just correct the information themselves. These listing are in an online directory, I could pay to be an advertiser, and then just fix them myself. Maybe I would just advertise a few months and then drop out. sure I would expect my listing to drop back down, but at least it would have accurate information. I went to this companies web page where the price for getting listed in this online directory was stated as "starting at" $25 but I can't just click to buy it, I have to call up and get a salesman to call me back, so I few days goes by, he calls me back, I tell him what I am trying to do, and he tells me he will send me a quote, a few more days go by, and I get the quote in my e-mail. and the cheapest option is $60 per month locked in for 1 year. A little too much money for just trying to get updated information, or bad information taken down. After talking with the phone book online salesman again, I find out that the "starting at" price is for smaller markets and that Bellingham is a medium market, larger markets have to pay even more. To me this seems just wrong, I mean I can understand charging more to be in a physical phone book in a larger area because more phone books have to be printed, but for a simple online directory where it doesn't cost them anything more to provide you with the service, to charge someone double or triple because they are in a bigger city seems absurd. We are all in cyber space, it's a great equalizer. I can buy a webpage for the same price as someone in New York, or someone in the outback in Australia. But the phone book company is applying their old sales techniques to their new online content, but now they have some new tricks up their sleeves, they can extort you by publishing bad information until you sign a new contract for online advertising.
Maybe I can get them just to remove my profile altogether. I don't know anyone who uses it anyways. It's just a phone books desperate attempt at staying alive.