- Warning!


Dear All,

I write after over an hour of my time has been taken away from me and it is all my fault!

I signed up to over the weekend thinking it would be good to be listed there also … just in terms of increasing one’s visibility. I knew they offered Marketing services but I knew I did not wish to pay for them … at least, not at this moment in time.

I spoke to an exceedingly nice representative and I knew he was trying to sell me the services … he went through SEO information (most of which I knew already … some of which I did not) … he showed me how he had managed to make a driving school appear very high on the Google results pages and that he would advise all business to do that … which of course I agreed to in principle but explained that I did not feel I was in a position to do that yet.

I should have been firmed and just said … thank you but I am really busy at the moment and do not have the freedom to spend much on marketing at this moment in time … but I let him finish his pre-planned sales pitch which was getting longer and longer.

Upshot of which … he offered me a £49+VAT pcm package that would have taken care of my Facebook and Twitter feeds and got me listed highly … when I said that was just out of my reach, he then suggested the “cheaper” £24+VAT pcm package that improved your listing and gave you control over the reviews people left for you on their site.

I explained that I was not in a position to pay that yet as I am still finding my feet but that I would look into it a few months down the line. I then asked what I needed to do to be listed (before he rang off) and he informed me that I had already been listed but that he did not think I would ever be found … and I am sure he is right as I just searched for my name in Reading in the search engine and I think I appeared on page 7 of 10 or some such thing. However, if you type in “Secretarial Services” and “Reading” I appear on the first page … which he did not tell me.

I am sure their service really is useful, but I prefer to build trust slowly and steadily.

So here is my warning: when you sign up for them, expect a call but do not assume the call is to approve your listing as they suggest, but know that your listing is probably already active and they are just calling to sell you their services … which you might be able to afford, but I cannot pay than much and commit to a 12month DD contract when I do not even know whether there is a place for me in the area.

I hope this is not a repeat of information already on the forum, but I could not find anyone speaking about this in the cursory search I did just now.

Sincerely hope it helps some of you out there.

All the best,

Anna :disappointed:
PS: :open_mouth: just realised I did not do a good enough search … ie not simply rely on the selected posts that appears at the side of the “new post” when typing in the title, but since it is worth repeating … I have decided to keep the post … sorry!)


Thanks Anna, I’m sure other members will find this useful. When we start out it’s very easy to be taken in by these ‘offers’ at least all you’ve lost is your time and not any money. Good luck with your business.


Hey Anna,

Have you looked in to Google My Business? I’ve heard great things about it and that if anyone is going to be anywhere, this should be the one.

I set up the basic page earlier today but need to complete the profile. All totally free.

Hope that’s helpful for you and anyone else doing alike.


Funnily enough … I registered with, Thompson Local, and Google Business all at the same time :blush: and it is so true that Google Business is the best, I received the card with the code this morning and have started filling out all the other details … made a request with Norton to make my site marked Verified, etc.

Onwards and upwards!

And yes, I totally agree with this … but what really got me was the way they approached it … that looked like they were “helping me” and “vetting me” for the directory when actually I was already on.

Fingers crossed no one else will get drawn into this … and at the very least go quickly on and type the category you signed up for and your area you might find, like me, that you are 2/3 down the first page already!

Thanks to you all for being so nice :smiley_cat:


It’s fair enough really, they are a business not a charity!

But I can’t think of the last time I ended up looking through the Yellow Pages for anything - either in the book or online. Can you?

If you think your target would look there first, then maybe it is something to consider paying for… But really I suspect for an hour of your time, you can get much better results by reading a few SEO blogs!!! (Personally I like SEO Moz)


Was still online so spotted this answer.

I do agree with you, but the way they presented it sounded as though they were going through the motions to ascertain that I was a bona fide business and whether they were happy to have me on the directory. Had they started by saying “you’re on the directory, and we would like to …” I would have been able to decide, ask how long it would take, etc. but I felt a little abused in the end.

Funnily enough, I do because I like to help local businesses that do not top the Google search since I always feel they have more money to throw at it [SEO]. I know it is unusual these days … but I do only go for companies if they have a website I can read through and check how happy I feel with them, so I do a bit of both.

And you are 100% right about a much better use of my time!!! :roll_eyes:
I have actually scheduled a SEO training day next week and SEO Moz was very much one of my top go-to places … you had introduced me to it in another post and was so pleased that you had!
I just hope nothing gets in the way of it happening.

So … sorry for the explosion you were all subjected to … but I thought it might have been useful to know the selling tactic they are using.


I feel for you. I went through the same last week. Out of the blue call from a lovely yell hard salesperson. Despite telling him from the word Go that I couldn’t afford their services at present and therefore could save him the trouble of giving me the full sales pitch, he assured me that I didn’t have to buy anything and was calling to give me advice on how to make myself visible online (my website is not live yet, but he still showed me how “invisible” I am and how he can help.
After 40 minutes, I kindly told him that I had some more urgent things to do and if the intent was not to sell me something, he could call me the following day at a specific time. Fast-forward, he calls the following day, I remind him straight away that I will not purchase any of their services until I earn some money; ie: “don’t waste your time” (and mine…)… Guess what, he tried really hard and didn’t succeed. He had nothing new teach me, nothing to tell me that I didn’t already know about SOE and online visibility in general…
I’m not sure they understand the “I can’t afford paid services until I earn more”, and even though, once you start earning with your first client, the ball gets rolling from there with referrals etc
By all means, register your business on yell but when that call comes, don’t let them start their sales pitch, be firm and say goodbye before they have a chance to add another “tempting word”…


If nothing else, perhaps this serves as a good example of how not to market your business… I assume it must work for some people (as otherwise they wouldn’t bother!) but it does leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth!