Scam Targeting Local Businesses

September 02, 2008

Better Business Bureau Serving Central Virginia






Virginia Businesses Complain

About ‘National Yellow Pages Online’


RICHMOND, Va. – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns businesses in Central Virginia to be wary of telemarketing calls from a company that calls itself National Yellow Pages Online.


Complaints from several Virginia businesses allege that National Yellow Pages Online uses misleading and confusing statements to obtain agreements for online businesses listings.  The complaints also allege that National Yellow Pages Online implies inaccurately that it is associated with the printed Yellow Pages directory of the incumbent local telephone provider. 


Business owners and managers who have filed the complaints say representatives of National Yellow Pages Online asked the person who answered the call to verify the name and address of the business.  The purpose, they said, was to “renew” a contract for an online advertisement.  After verifying the name and address of the business, National Yellow Pages Online sent the business an invoice in the amount of $390, which it described as a renewal fee.


“These businesses tell us that they have had no previous dealings with National Yellow Pages Online, yet they are asked to renew a listing that they

never authorized,” said Tom Gallagher, president and CEO of the BBB in Central Virginia. 


National Yellow Pages Online maintains that it does not need permission to include a business in its directory.  “The continuation of listing a business is what (our) charges represent,” according to a company statement.


“Telemarketing tactics of this kind are misleading and unscrupulous,” Gallagher said.  “The burden is placed unfairly on the person who happens to receive the call.”  He urged business owners to warn employees about National Yellow Pages Online and specifically to make sure they understand the owner’s wishes concerning renewal of any online advertising.


Complaints about National Yellow Pages Online should be directed to the BBB – visit or call 804-648-0030.  



The BBB in Central Virginia serves Richmond and Tri-Cities, as well as 42 surrounding counties, from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of the BBB include business reliability reports, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education and charity review.