Thousands of small business owners are locked into useless contracts with Yell. I believe those contracts were missold by Yell and their products unfit for purpose. This article shows you how to terminate your contract and payments with Yell. This process has been successfully used by thousands of former Yell clients.
I must preface this article by making it clear that I am not a lawyer and that the information provided below does not constitute legal advice. You may wish to seek professional legal advice from a qualified solicitor before taking further action.
Yell will inform you that your agreement is a business-to-business contract to which consumer protection laws do not apply. They will tell you that you have agreed to their Terms and Conditions when you signed up and are now locked into a 12-month contract.
If you do try to cancel your contract, Yell may threaten you with debt collectors or place a black mark on your credit records. My recommendation is to not allow yourself be bullied by Yell.
According to one of Yell’s own staff members, “Yell’s contracts are not worth the paper they are written on”. I have to agree.
Whatever Yell might tell you, all contracts between a business or a consumer must be “fair and equitable” to both parties in English law. You cannot be legally bound by any contract in which the service is unfit for purpose, not ‘as described’ or missold. You also have the right to be informed of the terms and duration of a contract in a clear and transparent manner at the point of sale and in writing before the contract has started.
As a sole trader you are treated, in law, as a consumer; not as a business. You therefore had the right to a 14-day “cooling-off” period and your cancellation rights should have been clearly explained to you at the point of sale.
It is likely that none of this information was explained to your by Yell either before, during or after the sales call. Even if you having been using Yell’s services for some time, your contract is, therefore, legally void. If the contract is void you cannot be bound by Yell’s Terms or Conditions.
Whatever the status of your business, Yell may not make false claims about their products or missell their services. The services must also perform ‘as described’ by their sales agents. If they don’t, Yell are in breach of their own contract. It is likely that Yell’s sales agent made several claims about how using their service was going to generate new customers for your business.
Your first contact with Yell was likely to have been a phone call from a sales agent, probably based in their Dublin call centre. The agent will have spent a considerable time with you on the phone persuading you that you need to enhance your online reputation, create a website and improve your visibility on Google. He will have made impressive claims about how Yell have helped many other local businesses and will have assured you that your phone will soon be ringing with customer calls if you follow his advice.
The agent will then have pressured you into buying one or more of the following Yell services:
You may also have been missold one or more of the following additional services:
The agent will have set up a screen-share to show you examples of other Yell customers in your area.
At the end of the call, you will have been led to an online form with a tick box confirming your agreement of their terms and direct debit request.
It is likely that the agent will have offered you a discount and implied that you were receiving a “special deal”. He then applied pressure by warning you that if you don’t take up the offer immediately you will lose the discount or you may lose your advertising slot. This use of high-pressure sales techniques is designed to make it very difficult for you to not proceed with the order.
Although you probably weren’t fully aware of what was happening, you are now (according to Yell) locked into a 12-month contract with no cooling-off period or option to cancel.
Perhaps you realised your mistake shortly after the call, or you may have been using Yell’s services for several months and not seen any results.
If you contact Yell to complain that you’re paying large sums of money and not seeing any results, the sales agents then use this information to persuade you to buy even more of their useless products.
At this point, you have either tried to cancel your contract and failed, or searched on Google for “how to cancel a Yell contract” and discovered this article.
If you have been using Yell’s services for some time, it is likely that you have not seen the results the sales agent claimed you would see.
A survey of over 150 Yell customers reveals that, despite paying an average of £200 per month, they have received few or no customer enquiries using Yell’s services. Many also complain that their advertisements have not appeared in the agreed positions or locations.
Read this article to understand why you have not achieved positive results from Yell’s services and why I believe their products are being missold .
You are only likely to be successful in a claim against Yell if you can explain how their services were missold, not as described or unfit for purpose. Making a claim purely on the basis that you didn’t receive customer enquiries is unlikely to succeed.
I do NOT recommend that you make a claim against Yell simply because you are unhappy with the number of customer enquiries you received or were sold services that you now regret buying. This will not help you to get your contract cancelled.
2) Insist that all further correspondence must be in writing only and that any attempt by Yell to engage debt collectors will be treated as harassment.
3) Request a copy of your personal data, call recordings and all other information (as is your right under GDPR). Explain that failure to provide this information within 30 days will result in an official complaint to the ICO.
4) Do not discuss the matter with Yell by phone. If you receive a letter from their debt collectors (Moorcroft), send them a letter advising that you are in dispute with Yell and that any further contact will be treated as unfair harassment for which you will hold them legally liable. Moorcroft are debt collectors and not court-appointed bailiffs. They have no legal powers to do anything other than call you or send you a letter.
5) Cancel all of your direct debits with Yell immediately (Check for both Yell and Hibu). You do not need to wait for a response from Yell. Refuse any offers of compensation in the form of discounted advertising or other Yell services.
Yell have a habit of restarting these direct debits without asking permission, despite this being a clear breach of the Direct Debit guarantee. Keep a close eye on your bank statements and request a refund from your bank should Yell or Hibu take any further payments. Your bank must then refund you under the terms of the Direct Debit guarantee.
6) Send a copy of all correspondence to Yell’s CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download my template cancellation letter to which you simply need to add your personal information.
I understand that you may be worried about Yell taking legal action against you, sending in debt collectors or placing a black mark on your credit record.
It is important to understand that Yell’s debt collectors (Moorcroft) have no powers to take any action. This are used solely to bully into submission. They have no power to visit your house, take you to court or remove your possessions. Only a court-appointed bailiff can visit your house.
I have spoken with hundreds of Yell’s customers and have never heard of a single case in which Yell have taken any customer to court or placed a black mark on their credit file. Yell would need to hire expensive lawyers to pursue any legal action and they know that they would be unlikely to win the case. Yell will not want their contracts tested in court.
In the very unlikely event that Yell do attempt to place a black mark on your credit record, contact Equifax immediately and explain that you are in dispute with Yell and want your credit records updated. Debt collectors are legally forbidden from pursuing you for a debt while it is being disputed.
Read this note from a Yell client who successfully managed to get her contract cancelled:
“To update anyone that needs encouraging to pursue their complaint.
Today we received a call from someone in the Customer Satisfaction Team. We have had the outstanding ‘debt’ written off and a refund for the month that Yell wrongly took by Direct Debit. I wasn’t going to be bullied by Yell or scared into paying after it was referred to their debt collectors. Although it took some time to resolve, it’s important to show them they cannot bully customers into paying. And for anyone still dealing with a complaint, don’t give up! We must be heard!”
In some cases, Yell will just accept the cancellation and raise a credit for any outstanding payments (but without accepting liability).
In other cases, Yell will reject your request for cancellation and insist that you continue to honour the terms of contract.
If Yell do reject your cancellation, I suggest you reply (by email) with the following:
“Thank you for your email dated x/x/xx.
I disagree with your conclusion of this matter and consider the contract to be void for all of the reasons previously stated in my previous email.
As we are unable to reach an agreement, I suggest that you issue court proceedings against me so that we can let the court arbitrate on this matter.
Yell will be under an obligation to prove in court that all claims made by sales agent were truthful, the products fit for purpose and the terms of its contract are fair and reasonable.
In the meantime, I consider this matter in dispute and will not be making any further payments. Please also be advised that any claim made against me will be met with a counterclaim against Yell Ltd for damages.”
You then need to have the courage to hold firm. Yell will be counting on you to cave into pressure. Remember, in hundreds of similar cases, we have never heard of Yell taking anyone to court. They know that their contract will not hold up in court.
You may also receive a strongly-worded letter from Yell’s debt collectors. They have no power to do anything more without a court order. This will be a test of your wits and your ability to stay strong under pressure. If you stay strong, you will win.
We have found a way you can get a full refund of all the payments you have made to Yell. To find out more more, join our Facebook group.
We are collecting evidence of Yell’s malpractice and misselling for a potential group legal action. If you wish to submit additional evidence to this claim, please use this form.
Author: Danny Richman