I want to share my experiences dealing with the big phone companies advertising that publishes that real yellow paged phone book in Georgia as well as many other states or for our purposes we will call them Satan. It’s a story of lies, forgery, high pressure sales and thousands of business forced out of business a day. And a product that they charge premium prices for that at best is 3rd rate.
Satan talks a pretty good game claims that we’ll make $12 for every dollar we spend with them in advertising and that they will drive hundred clicks to our website for mere fraction of what you can do it for do it for yourself. In reality for every $12 we spend with them we might make one dollar and all that traffic they’re driving to our website unfortunately is either for products and services we don’t sell or for areas that we do not provide any service. We contact them to complain about this and they tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about. They also go on to tell you that they are certified experts. As the year continues on our advertising budget is just paying our advertising bill with Satan. You get ready to slash your budget with Satan at the next renewal.
Now it’s time to adjust your advertising with Satan to something you can afford. But Satan’s minions kick and scream all the time you explain that you have to cut not double your budget. You think you finally got your advertising with Satan down to what you can afford. But, you never receive a confirmation or contract for the new deal. It turns out that Satan changed your contact address to their office and forged your signature. By time we found out it’s to late it’s next year and our bill went up instead of down. Now the payments to Satan are cutting into our operating budget and it’s 2008 and the banks melt down causing business to fall off a cliff. We try to get some of the online services cut but they wont do anything until next year. We where not even able to find out what we are paying for. Just to try to keep the lights on we had to short the payment to Satan. In turn Satan has our internet, voice mail and call forwarding cut off. Ever tried running a business in the internet age off of a 56k modem. Thankfully they can not have our phone cut off since it is a regulated service and we are paying enough to cover that and a small portion of the advertising.
It’s time for Satan minions to renew our advertising contract. They come in so proud of all they ads they have in the phone book for us and how well we are doing because of the ads. We hit the roof SEVEN ADS 5 OF WHICH HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE DO. To top it off most of the ads have the wrong phone number and address. We demand to know who authorized all this cause we never got a contract, order confirmation nor any answers what so ever on what we are paying for. The minion has no answers and says they can’t help us and leaves. By this time they are threatening us with legal action if we don’t pay them immediately. So Satan sends in his right hand minion. She tell us we are going to increase our advertising. We push back hard and tell her we are cutting the advertising. This goes on for over 11 hours over 2 days. We finally get it down to something we think we can afford. Unfortunately with all the unpaid bills from the forged contract, we are behind the 8 ball. Early in 2009 they cut off our advertising due to non payment of the outstanding balance. And the legal battle begins. They pretty much dictate terms that you will pay. We tried but business was still hard to come by and fell behind resulting in them seeking a summary judgment. Going to court was a waste of time they would not hear my business partners plea. So this is how it ends.
Everyday across this country 1000′s of businesses end up in court against Satan and I dare say it ends the same way for everyone of them. They come in thinking they are going to get their day in court to find out it is Satan’s day in court and weather you have proof of wrong doing or not, have an attorney or not the result is the same you loose and Satan has the right to loot the companies accounts and assets. So on this one day in this one court, 26 went up and 26 fell. Many will go out of business some will try to survive. We will go out of business.
As the fallen limp away through the ashes, you can hear Satan Laughing with delight.