Investigation: Canadian businesses blast Yellow Pages’ ad practices

Yellow Pages Ltd. (TSX:Y), once the country’s largest publisher of telephone directories, has taken aggressive steps to reinvent itself as a digital advertising platform – but current and former customers say this strategy includes locking them into contracts they did not agree to and threatening them with lawsuits and collection notices until they pay for services they do not want.

The company has hundreds of negative online reviews and an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB); it has also been involved in hundreds of lawsuits across Canada.

Both customers and lawyers question the legal validity of what are typically verbal, over-the-phone agreements between small-business owners and Yellow Pages. Often, however, the threat of legal action, the risk to a company’s credit rating and the sheer cost of disputing a small claim in court have pushed business owners to simply settle the claims against them and move on.

Continue reading my investigation into Yellow Pages’ advertising practices in Business in Vancouver.

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