Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Scammers and Slammers

I had a low-down and deceptive phone call at the office today. From the very beginning, it did not seem right. A man with a foreign accent, but very good with English, identified himself as being with the local yellow pages. In this area, the most widely used yellow pages directory is from DEX. There are other competitors locally; however, and they are legit. This guy told me, confirmed and said that he was with DEX. No doubt about it, right?

I was cautious, not going to give him any personal info. Then he said he was just updating my current business listing from last year. He read me most of the information (which he got somewhere and that would not be hard to do).  I asked what the cost was and he said the same as least year, not that I have my DEX yellow pages cost at my fingertips. Then he asked if I was authorized to make the purchase. I am sure he was recording me, so I very clearly made a point of saying "yes, assuming that you are, as you told me, representing DEX yellow pages." I said that about three times. He said he would send an invoice. I said that was weird since I paid monthly, added to my Qwest phone bill. He then said that was just fine, continue to do that. Hmmmm.

Then he, to complete the process, hooked me up to the "verifier" who would make it all official. I was told not to ask her any questions. She came on the line and I said: Is this the DEX yellow pages? She said "no" she was with YP.com, online yellow pages. After some more questions, she said she had no clue what the guy told me but that they had nothing to do with DEX. I said goodbye and called DEX. They said this company, and others like YP, try that sort of sneaky slamming and they will probably still try to send me a bill. Good luck to them in collecting it. I will send them a copy of this blog.

It is amazing just how sleezy these marketers can turn out to be. This guy outright lied to me, not so surprising in the field of telemarketing, but to say he was with DEX --wow!. Seems like he would know that the truth would come out and he would end up with a non-paying and disgruntled business. What is the point in that?

If you want to find out who to avoid, this is the website that the "verifier" girl -- who was more honest at least -- told me about. You can check it out to see where the snakes live.   http://www.yp.com/

 I also saw a story about these fine folks that involved the Better Business Bureau and an investigation that did not go well for YP. I guess, when your company gets so low down you cannot even admit in public to the corporate name, that things are getting pretty desperate.

Steven L. Smith

 Bellingham WA Home Inspections

  

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 14 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 28 2008 10:36PM

Comments

Hey Steve,

Interesting story and luckily you caught the scam. I have a similar one which I need to call about tomorrow. I received an email today telling me I need up register my web address for it to continue working, but I believe it is a scam also because it is not from my website provider.

People really need to be on our toes to keep from getting scammed.

Sean Allen

PS: When is Nutsy due back from Algeria? Hope he doesn't come home with sand fleas.

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) almost 10 years ago

Wow, that is scary.  Luckily you are too smart for liars like that.  Where do people get the nerve to try to scam people in such a way?  Did he think you were going to get the bill and decide it was a good idea to just pay it, that you like YP and forget about DEX?  Craziness.

Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) almost 10 years ago

Despite my being "smart" from what I read these jokers will probably try to strong arm me into paying them. Ain't a gonna work. I got Nutsy and he can fix them fast if I send him their way. By the way, I think some big outfits might just pay the bill, not noticing the $280 or whatever.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Steve, next time just put Nutsy on the line----let them listen to his chatter for awhile:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 10 years ago

You tell em Charles .... Nutsy can get on the phone and bark at the guy.

Question for Steve & Nutsy ....... Steve when you need to give Nutsy instructions or "speak" to him, do you have to use a "Squirrel Call" to communicate? Years ago I learned that Squirrel Calls worked quite well when I was calling for the little furry vermin. They would come running and hopping through the wood only to hear a very loud "BAM".

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) almost 10 years ago

thanks for the heads up.  always like to know what scams are going on so they don't happen to me

Posted by Glen A. Mitchell, Broker, CDPE, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay,El Granada (Keller Williams Peninsula Estates) almost 10 years ago

Sean!!! No shoot the Nutsy!!!!

Glad you caught this one in time.  I hate these kinds of calls.  I usually just tell them that I am not the person in charge of marketing (technically true) and give them the general office number to call.

Scary that they tried to pass themselves off as another company though!!! 

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) almost 10 years ago

It is always interesting, these guys(gals) who call trying to take our money.. Way to be on the top of your game.

Posted by Katharine Carey (eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Wow!  Talk about bad actors!  These guys are at the top of the list!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

If only people like that would put the effort into something good!

Posted by Pat Tasker, Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI) (Shorewest Realtors) almost 10 years ago

I don't know what DEX is but I'm having my own nightmare experience with yellow pages - that might very well take us to court....hmm

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor almost 10 years ago

It's smart to be careful.

I get calls regularly.  The first qualifyer they have to meet is that their Caller I.D. MUST identify the caller as from the company they claim to represent.

That's the test. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for all the comments, except those by Sean regarding Nutsy. I had no idea there were so many. For some reason, once again, I am no longer getting Emails of comments. Hmmm.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Steve, this group called me and I blogged about it last year probably about this time.  The blog of course stayed up with my calling them about like you've called them.  From time to time more comments would come in and the comments got nastier and nastier.  I even got one email from a guy saying he'd quit his job when he found out it was a scam.

One day I got a package through the mail from an attorney (local) who'd been hired to make me take the blog down because it was hurting some person's business and he was receiving threats at home etc.  If I didn't get it down by a certain date, I would be sued.  I called the attorney whom I know and he chuckled and said it sounded as if an innocent thing had turned into something not so funny.  He said just take it down and all would be fine.

Guess what?  You won't find any of my blog or comments about this company on activerain.  It was down before sundown!  We have to be careful what we say because it lives for a long time on the internet.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 10 years ago

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