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Yellow Pages woes

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Pangolin, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Pangolin

    Pangolin SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Has anyone else had AT&T Yellow Pages LOSE payments?

    (They've lost two of mine in their system (after they cleared the bank) in the past six months!):fire:
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  2. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    So....they want to be paid again???? That's their problem.

    Show them the bank statements...in court if it comes to that!

    On the other hand, YP by any other name would stink as bad.
  3. SteveT

    SteveT CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    They lost one of mine because I didn't include the bill with the payment.

    I'm so glad I don't use them anymore, I hated paying that bill every month.

    Now it's kinda sad to hear them call and ask "would you like to take out an ad? We are running some great deals". Instead of "we will offer you the chance to be in this years book".

  4. Framing Queen

    Framing Queen CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I have't adversied in the YP in years and, quite honestly, I don't think it's had a impact at all. More and more, the YP are getting thinner and more people are simply going online to search rather than use YP.

    I do keep them when they are delivered, however. They make wonderful weights for drymounting!

  5. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I also stopped with them except for one local one.

    Much to my dismay they punish you by not even listing you in a standard line if you cancel the advertising. However, one of them did just follow me on Twitter so wtf with that.

    I don't think business has suffered much because of it. I did get a couple of irritated "How about you get your number in the phone book?" comments and I say "Just a sec" then carry out a 14 inch stack of books and say "Which one? All of them would be about $20,000 per year."
  6. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've saved about $10,000 in 2009 over what I paid in 2008 with my ad.
  7. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    My renewal is up for my add in the YP and all I got was a letter in the mail. Apparently I don't spend enough on advertising with them to warrant a personal visit. Writing that check every month kills me so I was going to downsize big time. I called about a smaller add and was told I have such a good deal anything smaller would cost more! Figure that one out. It's hard getting any specific information out of them but I did find out if I just go with a 1 inch box listing is will cost $58 a month and I will still be listed on line. I was worried that it would give my competitors the upper hand but from what I'm hearing those of you who have stopped the YP haven't seen any decline in sales. Heck let the others spend their cash, I plan on keeping as much of mine as possible.
  8. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have not had a yellow page ad in over 25 years. I quite when AT&T decided I needed a larger ad on their own, and just printed it and started billing me three times what I had been paying. I stopped paying and told the to produce a signed order for the larger ad. The were unable to do that, end of story. I noticed no improvement in sales with the large ad, so I went to no ad the following edition. I never noticed a drop in sales as a result.

    Yellow page ads are pretty much a dinosaur anyway. Most people go on line rather than flip through that book anymore.

    My advise is just stop advertising with them. AT&T is a poorly managed company, and is not above even the sleaziest methods of raising sales. Your better off without the ad, or any of their other services. IMHO.

  9. SteveT

    SteveT CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Oh I'm sure I may have lost a job or two, but my YP bill was $3,000 per year and the framing job might be $200~$300 so I guess I'll take the chance.

    I hated the "price game" I had to play with them every year. Price would go up every year $250 to $300, and if I wanted to go smaller the price would be the same as last years big ad. If I added color and went larger then there would be a "discount". I would get so tired of it all that I would drop the ad, and kick them out, then they would come back with a "just before printing discount" and I would pay $50 over last years cost.

    I'm so glad to be done with all of it. I laugh when I see my competitor (s) large ad with color and new customer comes in and says "I found you on the internet!"
  10. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I also use to spend big bucks on yellow pages but doubted their effectiveness. The rep talked me into a program they offered whereby they put a separate phone number in my display ad which was then tracked and they would report the number of calls each month to me. They were sure I'd be impressed with the results.

    After not receiving any reports for about five months, I demanded the reports. The rep sheepishly brought them out and I averaged something like 2.5 calls a month for an ad that cost me over $ 500.00 a month. That's like $ 200.00 per call! Who knows if any of those calls even ended up being customers?
  11. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    My YP ad says to read the whole story on my website and gives the address. End of story. Costs me $75 a month for that.
  12. PicturedFramer

    PicturedFramer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Same thing happened to me as JRB. I finally stopped paying them and asked for a signed contract with my signature on it. But they said that if I didn't pay up it goes to collection. Well it went to collection and I demanded a letter form them that had any type of ok from me, any. Nada nada, they finally left me alone after a year or so.
    They never gave me a refund either, just money down the rat hole.
    I suppose if you are a plumber or an Attorney or a pizza place it might be worth it.
  13. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That is fantastic.

    I dropped out years ago and moved that money towards other mediums. I've got a little younger clientle and the odds on them looking me up in a phone book are the same as $500 worth of yellow pages ads per month paying for themselves. Ain't gonna happen.
  14. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I just dropped my YP ads because they just weren't working for me, and I think a lot of other businesses are getting the same idea. The new yellow pages came out and it's considerably smaller than last year's edition. At this rate the "Phone Book" will eventually go the way of the Bakelite dial telephone...
  15. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Many years ago, trapped in that stupid infuriating game of YP salespeople always trying to sell me a larger ad, I finally just said - "How much would it cost to just have one line with my name, address and phone number?"

    "Oh, that's free."


    "Yes - it is free because you pay extra for a business phone."

    Of course that was 23 phone companies ago - I haven't even looked in the YP for years - am I still in there? No clue.

    Since I do not have the Internets at my shop I do still find myself looking up other kinds of businesses in the YP - when I can find it, that is - danged thing is MIA at the moment.
  16. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    As more and more people get 3G/4G smartphones, they're no longer "away from the internets", and they'll be looking up stuff online. I just picked up my smartphone, fired up Google Maps, and keyed in "Picture framer near Natick, MA". Guess who shows up first? :)
  17. Framing Queen

    Framing Queen CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Michaels? *taking cover*

  18. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    We keep a bold listing with an extra line referring to our web site......lots of the 70-80 yr olds around here still use the yellow pages, and they account for 70 % of the population in these parts, so I want them to be able to at least find my address and phone number.
  19. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Very astute of you. Know your customer base and anticipate their needs. I'm in a much younger area and it doesn't make sense but there would be parts of town where it might make sense for me to be in. Do you offer a senior discount in the Yellow Pages since that's where many of them might be finding you?
  20. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    No discounts....just a bold listing so they can find me .
  21. Frame Lady

    Frame Lady CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Dropped my ads in 4 books and was informed that I would still get the one line ad for free. One yellow page company still has framers listed that closed their doors over 4 years ago.

    I read in the business section that Seattle wants to charge the yellow page companies $5.00 per book for recycling fees and you know that they are not going to absorb that fee. Cities want to stop the phone book in the plastic bag from sitting at a mail box for 6 months because no one has picked them up.

    I have not had one person tell me in the last two years that they found us by looking for an ad in the yellow pages. Come to think of it, I myself have not looked up anything in the yellow pages in the last year. I don't have a smart phone, I just use the internet.

    Good bye yellow pages, my grandchildren will never know about you!
  22. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I remember my grandma using the phone book for me to sit on so I could reach the table when I was wee.

    What are kids going to sit on now? Smart phones?
  23. dectrola

    dectrola CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    phone book=kodachrome=victrola=steam engine=(add any historical obsolescence)...
  24. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

  25. dectrola

    dectrola CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    It will be interesting to see how long they (as a physical form) will exist.
    The consensus is that they are redundant against internet based searches.
  26. dectrola

    dectrola CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Though buggy whips do add a bit of unexpected sexiness to the mix...
  27. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    ...and spindle adapters for 45 rpm records. :p
  28. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Using Yellow Pages today...

    Most of us are in agreement that the usage of Yellow Page Book directories has been in major decline over the past 15 years, but I wouldn't count it as to be totally ignored at this point. Some folks still use this tool and as the companies that produce them have diversified into online directories, their strength in that field has some value.

    In addition, their pricing structures have changed with the times. We have two books in our market area. Some folks have 3 and 4! :icon45: We're actually getting almost twice the coverage this year with one book plus a rotating banner ad on their web site for less than our expense with them the previous year - Indeed this is a desperate sale on their part, but they are doing what they have to do to sell the product, and at the same time it does offer us some value.

    We actually do small display ads in three categories in one book: gifts, art galleries, jewelry while we in our main category of Picture Framing Dealers, we only do a bold listing with hours, phone and website listed.

    Like many of you, we've cut way back from what we did with YP in the 1980's, but I would not recommend pulling out entirely - perhaps in a few more years, but not in 2010. ;)

    Although nothing will beat the strength of your own website (Ours avearges over 1,4000 unique visitors/day)...we still see value in being listed with paid and free Yellow Page directories...

    SuperPages.com (Verizon)


    YP.com (AT&T)

    If you examine any of these directories, and if you find that your content is minimal, be sure to locate their "claim this business" link and update all the info you can - most of this is FREE.

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