Are Yell.com Attacking Small Businesses’?

Yell.com - ScamIn a follow up to our previous article, on the deplorable conduct of Yell.com staff, have Yellow Pages and specifically Yell.com sunk to all new lows?

It is alleged (with evidence) that employees of Yellow Pages are actively seeking out to deface blogs and websites via their comments sections if they post any criticism of the company or its products and services.  The deception appears to involve posing as genuine visitors and / or customers and then seeking to discredit the website and the author.

In one of the most outrageous displays of unprofessionalism and unethical business practices ever, it appears that Manchester based web design consultant Andy Kinsey is the latest person to get the “Yell.com treatment”, having his blog attacked in its comments section after posting constructive criticism regarding Yell.com’s website design service.

Even more shocking, is that fact that evidence exists to suggest that at least some of the comments have been made from IP addresses (and therefore computers) registered to Yellow Pages.

Many customers and businesses have complained of the disgraceful behaviour of Yell.com sales employees via telemarketing calls.  DPS Computing itself was a victim of one of these calls.

After tweeting our article about our Yell.com sales experience, a number of customers, businesses and former customers of Yell.com have contacted DPS Computing describing poor service, false promises, outrageous prices and harassment over 10’s of tweets made directly to DPS Computing.

DPS Computing has yet to see an example of one of the websites designed by Yell.com however, the worrying and woeful decisions by Yell.com with regards to computing seem to suggest that, if their web design team is as inept as their other “computing experts”, you’re not going to get a good website.

Don’t forget from our previous article, we were told by Yell.coms ‘north west computing expert’ who works with ‘all the north west technology and computing companies’ that:

  • Yell.com is bigger than Google
  • Yell.com ‘gets you to the top of Google’ (the implication was in the organic results, when, the reality is likely to be via paid results).
  • Businesses that don’t use Yell.com fail within 12 months.

And as if that wasn’t enough, it appears that ‘technical experts’ didn’t advise their own staff to hide their companies IP addresses when they are attacking Yell.com’s critics.

In relation to just Andy Kinsey’s article “Yell.com Websites – A Waste Of Space“, at least 3 allegedly former employees of Yell have spoken out against the company.

One of the commenters, who stated he was a former employee of Yell, on the blog describes a situation where he was allegedly instructed to “sign up a childrens entertainer who was dying from emphysema.”  It must be noted that the authenticity of this posters comment cannot be verified at this time.

Another alleged former Yell.com employee commented (with regards to their web design service): “Just to make a quick point; used to work for them. Copy & paste job, 4 sites made by us a day; no real care of effort going in.”

It must be stressed that the credentials of these commenters and the accuracy of the content of their comments cannot be verified by DPS Computing at this time.

The “visitors” to Andy’s blog that were posting from Yellow Pages company IP addresses (which Andy has picture evidence detailed in his blogs and tweets) also were apparently trying a poor attempt to boost Yell.com’s search engine optimisation by linking to Yell.com 10’s of times during their numerous comments.  This would have appeared to have been poorly thought through as now there are numerous links back to Yell.com from an article criticising their products and services and getting more and more popular by the day, casting even more doubt on the Yell.com ‘computing experts’ expertise.

If any of our visitors or readers have had a website designed by Yell.com and would like to show it us, we will be able to feature you in the next article.

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9 years ago

What I really like about the comments (from yell and everyone) is that they include yell.com – it links to them and I don’t care they only get one bite of the cherry as it were, google will only follow the first link to a given page from any other page so 1 link of 1 or 500 of 500 is only worth 1 link… but what it does do is make my blog more visible for that term… and given over 5% (according to google) of google global searches are for a domain such as yell.com or youtube.com this means i rank quite well.

The post was written last year and has had some hype, mainly from themselves failing to stay silent when someone such as yourself leaves a comment on the site digging the hole even further for them. Just how low they can sink I am unsure, some of the comments say so far it’s quite scary, but i don’t think either of us have reached the full depths just yet.

I look forward to seeing them trying to spam your comments too 😉

9 years ago

I just want to quickly make another point or two.

You’ve pointed out users can’t be verified, well haven’t been, that is true. I have no intention of digging to find the true identity of my commenter’s, I have no reason to believe they are not who they claim and if I did the comment would simply be removed – just as it would be if I believed they did not add anything to the conversation. The only users I have gone out of my way to identify is that of Yell commentors who are so overly singing the praises it sniffed of sour grapes and required some investigation. The proof is pictured simply because that is easiest but you can take the IP from the picture and do a whois to double check yourself.

The very idea yell is bigger than Google is funny, as you point out one is reliant on the other and not vice versa… it is also quite funny that all these “local directory” websites like yell and yelp screamed high heaven when google included details from their sites in search results directly (so users used their database but didnt go to their site). Yet since google stopped doing this after the courts were involved all those companies are now reliant on Google Adwords… mmm funny how that happened 🙂

9 years ago

David, that is the reason I wrote my post, not to get sales as some may think, but because yes I know how to trip them up and others like them but most small business owners don’t know what to look out for and don’t understand no body has a “special” relationship with Google.

As for examples there are plenty around, but the first 3 i’ve found using the search “design by yell” (including quotation marks) are http://www.t-shirtcitybelfast.co.uk/ http://anthonyjacobsandco-cardiff.co.uk/ and http://www.cleaningbyfranfeltham.co.uk/ … striking resemblance – then the next 2 http://www.grobykitchensandbathrooms.co.uk/ and http://www.beautyandnailsbysteph.co.uk/ – again striking…

Ok in 5 pages I think I saw 1 of their websites not to this template, and actually it looks as though who ever the owner is has hacked some code into the site content to add a slider… maybe he caught on too late…

Hope you don’t mind me posting those links, but my guess is they need as much SEO help as Design help right now! (no they aren’t my clients)

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[…] Design Scam blog, recently DPS consulting reached out to me in comment, on twitter and through a blog which also links to me – great win. All just for being […]

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