If you are locked into a contract that you believe was missold by Yell, this article will show you how to terminate your contract. This process has been successfully used by thousands of former Yell clients.
Please first watch this video which explains how Yell’s sales agents make false claims to sell products.
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 consult a qualified solicitor before taking any further action.
Yell will probably 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 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 threaten to place a black mark on your credit records. Do not allow yourself be bullied by Yell.
I have spoken to thousands of ex-Yell customers who cancelled their contract. None have ever been taken to court by Yell or had their credit record negatively affected.
According to one of Yell’s own staff members, “Yell’s contracts are not worth the paper they are written on”.
Whatever Yell might tell you, all contracts must be “fair and equitable” to both parties in English law.
You cannot be legally bound by any contract in which the product or service is unfit for purpose, not ‘as described’ or has been 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 for a contract to be valid.
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 will then have 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 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, the sales agents will use this information to persuade you to buy even more of their useless products.
You will only be successful in a claim against Yell if you explain how their services were missold, not as described or are unfit for purpose. Making a claim purely on the basis that you didn’t receive any new customers is not a valid reason alone to cancel your contract.
1) Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Yell’s CEO) with the following information:
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 (it is your right under GDPR). Explain that any failure to provide this information within 30 days will result in an immediate complaint to the ICO.
4) Never discuss the matter with Yell by phone. If you receive a letter from their debt collectors (Moorcroft or Flint Bishop), advise them 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 and Flint Bishop are debt collectors and not court-appointed bailiffs. They have no legal powers to do anything other than send you a letter.
5) Cancel all Direct Debits with Yell (Check for both Yell and Hibu). Refuse all offers of compensation in the form of discounted advertising or other Yell services.
6) Send a copy of all correspondence to Yell’s CEO at email@example.com
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 have no powers to take any action. This are used by Yell solely to scare into submission. They have no power to enter your house, take you to court or remove your possessions. Only a court-appointed bailiff can visit your house.
I have now spoken with more than 3,000 Yell customers. There has never been a single case in which Yell have taken any customer to court or placed a black mark on their credit file.
I have been informed of a case in 2019 in which a business owner took Yell to court for misselling. The customer won the case and was awarded a full refund of all payments.
Yell will not take you to court because they know they would lose the case again.
You will receive an email from Yell’s High Level Complaints Group. They will probably reject your cancellation and your complaint. This is the standard email sent to every Yell client who attempts to cancel their contract.
My advice is to completely ignore this email and to not respond in any way. You can also ignore any emails or letters you may receive from Yell debt collectors or solicitors.
The only thing you should never ignore is a genuine Court Summons (one that is not marked “DRAFT”). I have never heard of Yell issuing a genuine court summons.
If you wish to file a complaint about Yell’s practices, please email Trading Standards firstname.lastname@example.org
In September 2020, A Group Action Legal claim was launched against Yell for misrepresentation and breach of contract.
If you wish to claim compensation and damages from Yell, please visit the Yell Action Group website.
There has now been a Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament calling for a full investigation into Yell’s practices.
Author: Danny Richman