Trouble with Verizon advertising

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tacoma200, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I called Verizon up last year and ask about putting an add in the local yellow pages and I named the yellow page book I was interested in. We came to an agreement but the put my ad in another yellow pages about 40 miles away that overlaps my area to some extent but it was not the yellow pages I requested. I sent this problem to the Better Business Bureau and they have replied and told me they are working on it. In the mean time I'm getting collection calls and mail where Verizon has turned this over to different collection agents. This has been going on for some time. I don't feel I should have to pay for the add since I let them know the name of the yellow page book I was interested in and they put my add in another. I always pay my bills and have exellent credit. They say I agreed over the phone and they have my ssn which is true but not for the pages they put my add in. The agent that I was working with has quit and I'm not hearing anything from the BBB. They say I will have to go to court and pay huge lawyer fees. Very rude on the phone and they are not interested in my explanation. They just want money. Don't I have any rights? If I had to go to court in Texas where verizon is located that would cost more than the $400 ad fee. I believe they are rough housing me trying to scare me on the phone when I know I'm in the right. I was promised they would send a draft of my add and work with me before they published it but they never followed through. What would you do? I don't want to ruin my perfect credit but hate to give in to them when I know they did not deliver what I asked for.
     
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    Hmm.. that's strange, because around here, they (AT&T) send out a contract prior to publication which has the book listed, and a proof/copy of the ad. If you don't sign it and send it back.. they don't run it.

    It all comes back to a written, agreed and signed contract.

    Also, if they say you agreed to it over the phone, they (for obvious reasons) have to record that portion of the conversation and keep it on file.... so, ask them to replay the taped verbal agreement. As soon as you ask for that, they may just drop everything, since without your taped voice, they don't have proof that you agreed to anything.
     
  3. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    well, since it will hurt your credit rating if you dont pay even though you have already disputed it, i would go ahead and pay them immediately, then turn around and sue them in small claims court where you dont have to hire a private lawyer to represent yourself. they will have to hire a lawyer and the time they spend in small claims court, in the long run will surely cost them more than 400 bucks. i think when you explain to the judge that you dont operate your business somewhere 40 miles away, plus the fact that they didnt follow thru on their obilgations, you would easily win in small claims.
     
  4. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    I had a similar situation happen with a supermarket ad. They have been screwing me for 4 months. Everytime I tell them to cancel they refuse. I finally cut them a check for $20 (the bill was $1000) I didn't approve it and they keep calling colections on me after I told them over 19 times pull the ad. The published my home address on the net and are trying to charge me for something I didn't authorize. Well they cashed the $20 check and on the back it said endordement/signature of check constitutes payment recieved in full. Bye bye www.fanfaremedia.com a$$hats
     
  5. guven

    guven LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Hi Tacoma,
    I have different problem with verizon , I put my add in the local area verizon yellow pages, They found me , I said ok , one line add $200 . a year. I never get any call and I got more them 100 phone call someone trying to sell something, anyway , I try to cancel it. It tooks three weeks to cancel my add for the next year. They were pushing me go for next year, I said no, I do not wamt it , they did not cancel my add, I call them over 10 times, I wrote them ...
    finally I said them I am out of business , I do not want add, I am out. then I cancel it. but still I am afraid to get bill from them . I do not trust them .
    thanks
     
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Thanks for the input. More is appreciated. I'm learning a valuable lesson anyway. They want the money and are not concerned being fair or good business practice. I've had the complaint against them since February of this year. Not sure what's taking so long. The BBB said the handle them on a first come first serve basis but I may run out of time. Any more input welcome.
     
  7. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Verizon are legal, professional, thiefs.

    I have yet to have a proper business relationship or experience with them.

    Three years ago I took out ads in four regions for my video production business.

    My local area ad was fine. The other three were WRONG. They were suppose to send me proofs for all four regions and I got none. They run the ads anyway.

    So, I refused to pay for the three WRONG ads. They hounded me for two years before leaving me alone.

    The reporting agency that I work through on the legal side of video has verizon put an ad in, and it simply did not make it. It was none existant. Verizon still wanted them to pay for an ad that simply was not there at all.

    They messed up an attorneys ad big time, and hounded the legal firm for months. Final the legal firm told them to sue them, and that was the last that the law firm heard of it.

    I have had similar things with my land-line phone, and my verizon cell phone.

    Ten years ago, I never had issues with them, then one year it was like someone came out of the board room with the plan of screwing everything and everyone up.

    I have terminated all Verizon accounts and hope I never have to give them money again.

    Tim
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    See, not paying people like this is right where the bs starts with customers thinking they don't have to pay US!
    I don't feel this sets a good example at all, business owners like ourselves are the leaders of this country, and we need to set the example we wish for others to follow.

    Now you hire someone to do a service, it is too bad if it wasn't what you thought it would be.
    The advertiser has no control over the actual outcome, so long they fulfill their end of the bargain, what happens as a result is not their responsibility. When you hire me, you tell me what you would like done, but I am not responsible for doing it the way you think it should be done, and I am not responsible for making it look like the picture you had in mind (thou as a rule, I try to foresee these problems). In that sense, you can not and do not control when or how the job is to be done, all you control is the what. In that sense, if the advertiser does what you said, then his end of the bargain is complete.

    Although my own experience with the Yellow book is one I won't repeat, overall I can not say they did me wrong.

    It DID come down to a written contract, I DID sign it, they DID do what the contract said, all was well.

    I was not happy that for the $1,800.00 I spent I got maybe a dozen phonecalls (half of them from telemarketers trying to sell ME stuff), but then that is not their fault per se, the ad ran as specified and I can not say I had any other issues.

    I did not renew this year, but I paid them their money, every month on time, 300 upfront and 150 dollars for 10 months and thank you.


    So, did you sign a contract or not?
    Did you read it?
    Maybe you should.
     
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    No I didn't sign a contract. The lady I was dealing with quit before we could work something out. She was suppose to send me a draft to look over, etc. Never heard from her again but they want thier money. But my add is in a yellow page book that no one in this area uses not the one I requested. So if you mowed the wrong yard you would still expect to get paid? Thats kinda what happened to me. They didn't follow through. I went through all the appropriate avenues to resolve this that I knew to take. I contacted the Better Business Burea and explained the situation and they were supposed to mediate this but Verizon is not interested in my complaints to the BBB. They want money period. I have recieved no services, I have signed no contract, I didn't get the draft to ok, I didn't get squat. I do have an ad in the yellow pages on the other side of a 100 mile long lake that you have to go around to get to. I've never seen a contract.
     
  10. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    So just don't pay. Eventually they will get tired. If some law ever does come after you, demand to see your signature on a PROOF, or a contract, or your recorded message where you agreed to placement in such and such book.
     

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