How to get out of a Yell.com contract

25/11/2019, SEO

How to get out of a Yell.com contract


Are you locked into a Yell Business contract that you wish to escape?

Thousands of Yell customers complain of high-pressure selling, missold contracts and unfair contract terms. A Facebook group comprised of 3,700 disgruntled Yell customers report misleading sales practices, ongoing customer dissatisfaction, ineffective products and poor customer service. 

Even Yell itself recently admitted, “33% of Yell customers leave every year, 25% of Yell’s customers make a complaint, and most Yell customers wouldn’t recommend the company to a friend.”

In June 2020, a motion was tabled in Parliament and signed by 24 MPs calling for an urgent investigation into Yell’s business practices.  

It is little wonder that so many businesses wish to terminate their Yell contracts. Unfortunately, when they do try to cancel, customers are told they are locked into a contract, even when cancelling within hours of placing an order. 

If you have been told that you are locked into a Yell contract, this article will show you how to escape. This process has been used successfully by thousands of former Yell customers.

First watch this video to see how Yell’s sales agents habitually make false claims to sell Yell’s products.

What are valid grounds for cancelling a Yell contract?

There are three grounds you could use as a valid reason to cancel your contract:

  1. You are not locked into a contract. 
  2. The contract was mis-sold by Yell.
  3. Yell is in breach of contract.

 

Are you beyond your 6 or 12-month contracted period?

Most Yell contracts run for either a six or twelve-month duration depending on the products ordered. Once you are out of your contracted period, Yell then switches you to a monthly rolling contract that you can cancel by providing one months’ notice.

If you are now outside of your contracted period, you can simply contact Yell by email at [email protected] and notify them that you wish to cancel.

I advise you not to speak to Yell by phone. The agent will try to persuade you to stay by offering bogus discounts or suggesting that your business will suffer if you don’t keep using Yell’s services. You will want a written record of your notice to cancel.

An ex-Yell sales agent told me, “The best calls we get are from dissatisfied customers. We tell them their advertising isn’t working is because they aren’t spending enough. Those calls gave us the best opportunity to upsell more products”. 

Once you have terminated your contract, immediately cancel your direct debit payments to Yell with your bank.

 

Is it less than 14 days since you placed your order with Yell?

If so, you can argue that you are still within a cooling-off period and free to cancel without penalty.

Yell will respond by saying it is a business to business contract for which a cooling-off period does not apply.  While it is true that a cooling-off period can be waived in a business contract, Yell would have to have drawn your attention to this exemption in their terms and conditions and be able to prove they did so.

Read this advice from an experienced barrister, “In principle, business wouldn’t normally have statutory cooling off rights. But if [Yell] forgot to add it to their contract, then that is their problem. Email [Yell] asking them to show you the exemption in their contract within 7 days. If they do not then just either cancel the means of payment and invite them to sue you if they disagree or sue for the sum that was deducted.”

 

Are you still within your contracted period?

Yell is unlikely to let you cancel your contract if you are still within your contract’s initial six or twelve-month term. Therefore, you must provide Yell with valid reasons for cancellation.

Informing Yell that you have simply “changed your mind” or are “not getting any customers” are not valid reasons for cancelling your contract.

There are two grounds upon which you could make a valid argument for terminating your contract early:

1) Your contract was mis-sold.

Mis-selling is a sales practice in which a product or service has been deliberately misrepresented, or the customer was misled about the product’s suitability.

Mis-selling can also involve the deliberate omission of important information, the communication of misleading advice, or the sale of an unsuitable product based on the customer’s expressed needs and preferences. You cannot be bound by the terms of a contract that has been mis-sold.

Yell’s sales agent often make claims such as, “Are you sure you will be able to handle the influx of business you will get from advertising with Yell?”. This question implies a guarantee of results by using Yell’s products and is, therefore, valid grounds for a mis-selling claim if those results were not then realised.        

 

2) Yell was in breach of contract.

A breach of contract occurs when Yell’s products fail to match the claims made by the sales agent or where the terms of the contract are “unreasonable”.

The Unfair Contract Terms Act (UCTA) 1977 requires that the terms of any contract must be “fair and equitable” to both parties.  This requirement applies to both business-to-business contracts as well as business-to-consumer contracts.

The determination of whether the terms of a contract are “fair”, “equitable”, or “reasonable” can only be determined by a court, not by Yell or its lawyers. Yell has never allowed its contract to be tested for reasonableness in court. Yell knows it would lose the case.  

 

Was your contract mis-sold by Yell?

Here are a few possible reasons that may determine whether your contract was mis-sold:

  • Did Yell’s sales agent mislead you about the nature of the call?
    Yell’s sales agents often claim that they are “not calling to sell you advertising but offering a free marketing review” of your business. This is a misleading statement.

  • Did Yell’s sales agent make false claims about Yell’s relationship with Google or other third parties?
    Yell’s sales agents often try to create an impression that Yell has specific knowledge about how Google’s algorithm works or which directories Google uses to evaluate businesses. Yell has no special relationship with Google other than acting as a re-seller of Google advertising.

  • Did the sales agent use an “Online Reputation Tool” to suggest that Google is “penalising your business”?
    Yell sales agents often use this tool to mislead customers into buying Yell’s products. 

  • Did the sales agent claim that having your business listed in online directories will improve your website’s ranking on Google?
    Yell does not have any inside knowledge of how Google’s algorithm work. This is a misleading statement.

  • Did the sales agent give you the impression that Yell has some form of special partnership with Google? 
    Yell is a reseller of Google advertising. It is not in partnership with Google.

  • Did the sales agent give you any assurances about the results you could expect to see by using Yell’s products?
    Did the agent say that you would gain new customers or generate more leads using Yell’s products? If you did not see those results, this is a false claim.

  • Did Yell’s sales agent pressure you into buying a product or service that you didn’t want?
    If you were put under any undue pressure to sign the contract before you had a chance to consider Yell’s Terms & Conditions, the contract could be determined as void.

    Did Yell’s sales agent offer you a bogus discount to induce you to buy Yell’s products?
    Yell agents typically pressure customers to place an order for fear of losing a “special discount”. As discounts are offered to all Yell customers, this statement is misleading.

  • Did Yell’s sales agent fail to disclose important information about the product?
    Yell’s sales agents do not disclose that Yell take a 40%-50% “management fee” from your advertising budget. If so, this may be considered a failure to disclose important contractual information. 

  • Were you persuaded to place an order with Yell either wholly or partly based on its reviews on Trustpilot?
    If so, read how Yell falsely manipulates its Trustpilot reviews.

  • Did Yell misrepresent the source of the traffic visiting your website?
    Yell is known to add a fake tracking code to make traffic from Google and Facebook appear as if it has come from Yell.

Please watch the video at the top of this page for more examples of common false claims made by Yell sales agents.

 

Was Yell in breach of contract?

  • Did the sales agent make it clear to you that you were entering into a six or twelve-month contract with no cooling-off period?
  • Were you given sufficient opportunity and invited to read Yell’s Terms & Conditions before placing the order?
  • Did the sales agent claim that your Promoted Listing on Yell.com would be guaranteed to appear in a specific position on the page?
  • Did Yell supply you with a valid Advance Notice of payment in writing at least six days before each direct debit payment was taken from your bank account?
  • Did Yell notify you in advance that your initial contract was due to expire and would be changed to a monthly rolling contract? 

If any of the reasons listed above match your experience dealing with Yell, you may have strong grounds for cancelling your contract.

How to escape your Yell contract

Even when you do provide valid reasons for terminating your contract, Yell is still likely to refuse your request. However, Yell’s refusal should not give you any cause for concern, nor prevent you from terminating your direct debit payments.

If Yell does wish to dispute your allegations, the onus is on Yell to prove that you were not mis-sold or that Yell was not in breach of contract.

In every case we have seen where a customer has taken Yell to court, Yell settled the case before the hearing took place or refunded the customer as a “goodwill gesture” while accepting no responsibility for their actions. Yell knows that its contract will not stand up in court.

A group action legal claim is currently being undertaken on behalf of over 400 Yell customers. Patrick Green, the prominent barrister leading the claim, has stated that Yell’s contract is “unfair” and, therefore, not enforceable. 

 

Will I have to take Yell to court?

My advice is to simply email Yell to inform them that you wish to terminate your contract. Provide your reasons for cancelling and then terminate the direct debit payments with your bank. The onus is then on Yell to take action. After speaking with 3,700 Yell customers who cancelled their Direct Debit payments, I have never heard of a single case in which Yell took legal action against any customer. 

 

What is likely to happen next?

Yell is likely to send you a templated response rejecting your cancellation. It may also threaten to take legal action against you or instruct debt collectors if you stop your payments.

Under no circumstances should you speak with any Yell staff or its legal representatives by phone. Instead, insist that all communication is in writing and only ever respond to Yell by email or letter.

You may receive a letter from Yell’s debt collectors. They will try to bully you into making a payment. They have even been known to send fake court documents. However, if you have valid grounds for cancelling your payments, you have no cause for concern.

 

Where can I get a template cancellation letter?

I do not provide templates. It is better for you to describe in your own words how you were mis-sold or how your contract was breached.

You should have gained enough information from this article and the video above to understand the most frequent ways in which Yell’s customers are misled. Your circumstances may differ from others.

 

Will Yell take me to court?

I have never seen a single case in which Yell took a customer to court, nor do I believe it would.

If you believe your Yell contract was mis-sold, you can now get expert legal protection on a no-win, no-fee basis by registering a claim with the Yell Action Group. Once you have registered a claim, neither Yell nor its debt collectors are permitted to contact you directly regarding any unpaid sums.

Register your claim here free with the Yell Action Group.   

 

Can Yell send bailiffs to my home or work address?

The only circumstances in which a bailiff can visit your premises is if Yell took you to court, won the case, and you still refused to pay.

I have never heard of a single case in which Yell took a customer to court. The barristers leading the group action claim are confident that Yell would lose the case.

 

Could Yell place a black mark on my credit rating?

You do not have a credit agreement with Yell. Therefore, the only circumstances in which Yell could place a black mark on your credit rating is if it took you to court, won the case, and you still refused to pay.

 

How can I stop Yell’s debt collectors from pestering me?

You may wish to join thousands of other Yell customers in registering to be part of the group action claim brought against Yell by Croft Solicitors. Yell’s debt collectors cannot contact you directly once you have legal representation. Nor are they permitted to pursue any debt until the group action is resolved.

Joining the group action will allow you to register a claim for your losses and any other damages you have suffered due to your dealings with Yell. There is no up-front fee to register a claim.

You may also choose to take your own legal action against Yell in the County Court by filing a small claim online. In every case we are aware of, Yell agreed to settle the claim before it reached the court. Yell does not want its contract tested in court.

How can I move my website away from Yell?

Please read this article for information on moving your website and domain name away from Yell.

 

How can I regain access to my Google advertising and social media accounts?

If Yell refuses to give you access to your Google advertising account, you can file a complaint with Google.

 

Follow these steps to terminate your Yell contract

1) Send an email to Yell customer services stating that you wish to terminate your contract and provide the reasons for your cancellation (see valid reasons above). Insist that all future correspondence is in writing only.

2) Contact your bank to cancel your direct debit payments to Yell.

3) Request a copy of your personal data, call recordings, and all other information held about you by Yell (This is your right under GDPR). Explain that any failure to provide this information within 30 days will result in a formal complaint to the ICO.

4) If you receive a letter from Yell’s debt collectors, advise them that you are in dispute with Yell and that any further contact will be treated as harassment, for which you will hold them legally liable.

Debt collectors are not court-appointed bailiffs. They have no legal powers to do anything other than send you a letter.

5) Join the group action against Yell to gain legal representation and register a claim for losses and compensation. There is no cost to register a claim.

 

How to get further help

I regret I cannot respond to calls, emails or messages on any matters relating to Yell.

For individual advice, please visit the Yell Action Group website or email [email protected].

 

Further Reading: