Thanks to Google Alerts, I saw that a YouTube video and a directory listing were made about my client...with the wrong phone number. Upon digging deeper, I learned that YellowBook hires elocalprofiles to create directory listings and videos for clients...using the phone number that YellowBook uses to track (and charge) calls to their customers.
I've been uncomfortable from the start with customers and potential customers not having my client's real phone number. But if it's just in the phone book (and, possibly, at Yellowbook.com), I was willing to let it go, if it was actually generating sales.
This, however, is unacceptable and, I would argue, unethical.
My client invests in SEO. We work hard to be consistent and to have profiles and listings, legitimate link building - we even have a new video plan ready to be launched. Yellowbook does NOT have my client's authorization to post web pages or create listings or videos or anything on his behalf. Especially, when it is providing contradictory information (the phone number) which gets cached, limits our ability to post profiles on these same directories AND will cost him money if anyone calls via that number. And if he cancels his arrangement with Yellowbook? Folks have a phone number that goes to another company...even one of his competitors.
When I called elocalprofiles.com, the customer service person initially said he couldn't do anything, as Yellowbook had contracted the service. After repeatedly explaining why that wasn't good enough, he said he'd 'make a request' to have the page taken down or the number corrected to my client's actual phone number.
How can a company be allowed to create profiles and listings for a company they don't own, with wrong information, for the purpose of making money for themselves, and the actual business owner not have any rights to have the information taken down, corrected and to have to fight to have the customer service person say 'I'll see if we can do anything?'
(For Technorati followers, this claim code should look familiar BRTKR67MUADA. Don't know what I'm talking about? Don't worry about it!)www.alwaysvisiblesigns.com
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