Websites – A Waste of Space!

Website Design is an art form and a science, get the mixture just right and you end up with a stupidly amazing website. Today I want to talk a bit about Websites and why no small business should ever have one. Really, NEVER EVER EVER!

Many of you know that I, Andy Kinsey, am a website designer alongside being an internet marketer. One of my pet hates over the past few years has been, the online wing of the Yellow Pages. In specific this is a hate of the websites they create, for businesses of all sizes but mainly they pry on small businesses, which are a waste of money and certainly not good for that business.

I began designing websites in 2005, since then I’ve lost many potential clients to the jaws at This narks me off, especially when the service they offer is crudy, they sell by pressuring potential clients and their prices are simply extortionate for what is on offer. So, in todays post I want to tell you a few things about and the websites they design for small businesses.

Do they get found?
The short answer is not really. websites have a habbit of not being found on the first few search results pages. Also, ask yourself how many people use to search for a business online, the answer isn’t many – most people use Google or Bing!
Oh and despite what they may claim, nor anyone else has a “special relationship” with Google, its a load of hoot!

Are they well designed?
Again, No. Almost all of the websites rolled out by the, so called, Designers at are templates – most look exactly the same minus a few colour changes. To be asked to pay huge amounts of cash for this kind of service is ridiculous. may have a big name, a big reputation as the Yellow Pages but they certainly don’t have a big reputation for good design or customer service at

Are they well coded?
Once again, No. Sites from are pretty much all the same, crap when it comes to coding. Unless maybe you get lucky and don’t have a template… but this means you’ve probably paid thousands of pounds … but other than a tatty website I doubt you’d get very much for your pennies. Bad coding means unreliable behaviour in web browsers and certainly unreliable search results. (See Update 10/8/12 for more on this)

Website Tailored to the Business?
Erm, No. like many other companies that cold call people who sign up for their Free Basic Listing upselling them don’t ever find out enough detail from their clients. Their websites are at best generic and at worst … well suffice to say if the websites they “show off” on their website aren’t with any more, it tells its own story.

What about content?
Well a quick sweep through businesses in the same industry will find the same content reworded, bad enough. Take a look at the keywords and key phrases they target and they are ALWAYS the same for an industry. They claim to research your competitors, but they don’t they copy your competitors who use Yell websites. It’s duplicate content and your website will suffer for it.

But know what they are talking about?
Do they? mmm No. like many other companies who sell websites again via cold calling are paying their staff on a commission basis. This is why when you get a phone call you are told you must have a website that does this and we can offer it to you for this price. If you say No, they ask to call back or don’t but call back anyway, they operate sly selling tactics at the best of times – simply remember the person on the phone is a salesman and knows nothing about website design.
They once called me to ask if as a website designer I needed a new website, they went on for half an hour (I wasted their time) and I tripped them up around 22 times by asking simple questions – they lied multiple times and for some simple things like Meta Tags they knew nothing at all… so for calling their sales people experts have a lot to learn.

Good Value for Money?
Erm, well you can make your own mind up from the above and this little bit of information. I used to offer websites to small businesses from just £95. This includes basic SEO from day one, including search engine submission, adding of Google Local / Places entry and more. Oh and you get complete access to all the code and content, you can update it when you want see website analytics when you want – and I’ll never cold call you. So are websites value for money? you tell me. 

Prices correct at time of publication 2/8/11.
Update 10/8/12 – After some research, around 1000 websites with the tag “web design by yell” I have discovered at approx 65% of the websites use a single template, approx 20% a second template, 10% a third template and 5% are a mixture of all 3 templates above. The main difference’s between the sites in each template is the colour and imagery used, information is always in the same place and the html code very similar, only the content is different. Most pages within these website seemed to have less than 300 words per page and most less than 100 words. This would explain why they don’t rank so well and why Yell Web Design have a habit of “pushing” and “strong arming” people into using adwords via them at a large cost per year.
Update 29/9/12 – Yell are to be rebranded Hibu (High boo) in an attempt to clean up their image and given they are image consultants it’s pretty clear they think that they can’t go on with a brand like yell which is stuck in the past and now seen more as a rip off than anything else.
Update 4/11/12 – Who would have thought that Yell/Hibu would be writing their own reviews… some 6000 of them indeed. Read more on The Times website here.
SHARES Websites A Waste of Space!
  • Howtown

    Pry? Crudy? Todays?

    Yell don’t sound very good.

    But any small business should also ensure that the designer can spell.

    • Anonymous

      If you insist on trying to insult someone you should check a dictionary …

      Also note … what does design have to do with spelling?

      This is my own blog, I am dyslexic and as it is not a client website I don’t feel the must check spelling or must check grammar I do on those websites. I write here as I wish, there are typo’s yes, grammar mistakes yes, but hey I don’t care. And nor do most people – this isn’t about being the best speller at a spelling competition, it is about conveying ideas of best practice.

      And yes they are a bit poop.

  • Gary_hilton87

    I fell that it is obvious that now Yell have moved in to making websites that it must be frustrating moving in to your sector.  I think that spelling is quiet important as you are representing your company whether it is a blog or not.  I would concentrate on promoting your business rather than ripping on your competition.  At the end of the day there are 30,000 web co’s in the UK and like any business not all are perfect.   

    • Anonymous

      I was a bit flippant in my last response to someone else, and I want to apologise to them for that. However, given some of my own clients have been ripped off by this company I see fit to have a go at them. Add to that they cold call and pressure sell (according to some) I really do get annoyed about that as do many others.

      I am representing my company yes, and I am representing my clients. My clients and prospective clients know of my dyslexia (I explain it on day one, because my letters sometimes are filled with them). In a blog though there are 2 reasons for not being fussed too much, 1) it’s my blog and I want to blog about something when I am writing it i want to share my passion and I dont see why I should slow that process down on my own blog. 2) Many visitors to this site arrive by misspellings, google recognises the words usually and knows what they mean and wont often penalise a site for it but it does mean you can appear for misspelled words (such as facebook with ten ooo’s).

      One of my friends recently wrote about spelling on websites and proof reading for SEOAndy ( do feel free to talk to herself about her views.

    • DRH

      Ha Ha, perhaps you should proofread your own posts before preaching to others… I’d say spelling is quite important too or do you really think it shouldn’t be too loud?

      • andykinsey

        Eurgh I do wish you would read my responses to things before getting on your little soap box.

    • Animal Whisperer Rosi Caswell

      Did you mean “spelling is QUIET important”, or did you misspell QUITE?

  • Michael Da Silva Pearce

    I couldn’t agree more. I got pressured into taking on one of their websites. It hasn’t produced any results for my business. Fortunately I insisted on keeping my own website going with a link through from the one to ours. However, it is the constant emails and letters that I get for all their products that really annoy me. Every time you want to make a change to something it seems to have a knock on effect requiring endless validations that never seem to work. I almost feel I need to employ someone full-time to deal with so I am freed up to run my own business!!!! Sorry but they really irritate me!

    • andykinsey

      Michael its an all too common story. Feel free to tell me more about it (contact*at* I am going to post an updated version of this soon and some more stories would be good. I should run a YA group for those who’ve had too much of (and too little from) yellow pages online…

      Funnily enough they wont speak to me anymore after I refused to remove this blog post :) I think i won

  • Americandreamlimos

    hi andy john from 5 star limos i am a victim of i have spent thousands on web sites designs and advertising and never have i been satisfied they never give me what i have asked for and every year send a differant rep as the last one as been sacked regards a fed up ex  customer

    • andykinsey

      Hi John,

      Unfortunately an all too common story. If you’ve any of the emails where they’ve promised and not delivered it would be great to see them :)

      – thanks

  • Critic

    Howtown took the words right out of my mouth.

    Amazed that I picked up at least three spelling mistakes within a few seconds of reading your rant, which is clearly more about pitching for sales than attempting to inform people about the shortfalls of

    Unbelievable that such basic mistakes slipped through the net in this ‘spellcheck’ age

    3/10 Andy and that is being generous


    • andykinsey

      Critic / Mollie whatever your name may be, who knows. Anyway do please read my reply to howtown, I’m pretty sure i’ve explained this before.

      Also no it is not a sales pitch, I use this site to explain about SEO and also voice my opinion. It does also help generate clients (both for SEO and web design) but this is not a sales pitch by any means. Sales pitch now that would be what you get from Yell over the phone when they try to sell you a website or google ads (which the try not to admit it is when they call asking if you want them to promote your site).

      Yell is not a place people go to search for a company, I understand this pivot but to lie and do what they do is ridiculous.

      • Mr Walks

        Again – felt compelled to pipe up here.

        Utter rubbish! I have call tracking numbers in all of my adverts with Yell. My ads currently generate 20-30 calls per month to my business + around 40-50 clicks throughs to my website.

        To say people do not use Yell to search for businesses is simply not true.

        • Andy Kinsey

          All I am going to say to this comment is…


    • Animal Whisperer Rosi Caswell

      Oh dear such vitriol. People never cease to amaze me, with the way they attempt to destroy someone or something that is good. It shows a distinct lack of self confidence, but putting others down never has, and never, will improve your own output

      • Andy

        Rosi, thanks for your comment(s) – I love that they kept (and continue) to come back for a bit of a moan and trying to destroy the post, by pretty much any means they can. Maybe something to do with my ranking quite well for “yell web design” much to their annoyance, and “hibu web design” but hey it could just be that they like updating my content for me and enjoy making their work harder for themselves.

        • Animal Whisperer Rosi Caswell

          My pleasure Andy. As I said previously, people attempt to destroy anything which they fear. It is a huge compliment really Andy, that your ability is so awesome you are feared . High Five Fella!

  • Chris

    Hi Andy,

    I am from a company called Upsearch digital in Manchester and read with some interest your blog. I am an ex Yell sales manager ( left 2 years ago) and i have also been frustrated at loosing business to the people from Yell. We are a fully operational ‘digital agency’ and do provide quality websites that are found on the search engines. I do understand your frustrations, as i have felt them myself.

    Your starting price for website’s at £95 does seem to good to be true however!

    • andykinsey

      Hi Chris

      did you work with Yell Web Design dept or just yellow pages dept? I know they are kept apart somewhat.

      Oh I will update that as it’s no longer true. Thanks for spotting it.

      • Pete Wilson

        They are not kept apart, so you don’t know this you only think it. A 95 quid website looks like a 95 quid website.
        Yell however are working closely with google, I used to work in yell’s head office in Reading and there are two members of google staff based there they help manage premium SEM accounts and assist yell staff with training and development. Do you have members of google staff working with you? Will google even answer the phone to you?

        • Andy

          Pete, if that is your real name, yes a £95 may look like a £95 site – but hey your £3000 a year sites look like £95’s worth too in the majority of cases.

          I’m sure yell do work closely with yell, because you spend so much on adwords with them, they are not there to help with your SEO. They have no special relationship with you. And yes they do pick up the phone to me and work with me, it’s called an account manager and again its because we use adwords – think you will find most agencies have one of those, so less of your boasting about a special relationship which doesn’t exist.

          Finally, if they are not kept apart then why the re-brand only for your web design and internet marketing section? technically they are on entity I know, but hey a re-brand like that means you wanted to separate them in the mind of your potential customers.

  • MrWalks

    You ought to do some research prior to publishing this nonsense. is not an arm of anything. The company is Yell and they handle all aspects of marketing both print and digital for clients…of which I am one.

    One huge mistake here is this:

    “Do they get found?The short answer is not really. websites have a habbit of not being found on the first few search results pages. Also, ask yourself how many people use to search for a business online, the answer isn’t many – most people use Google or Bing!Oh and despite what they may claim, nor anyone else has a “special relationship” with Google, its a load of hoot!”

    Yell builds websites which are indexed on all major search engines. There is no link between and Yells websites. is a classified search engine – i.e. you’re looking for a local plumber you could possibly use as well as Google/Bing etc. If you advertise on they will link to whatever website you use to represent your business whether they have built it or not.

    My website from Yell currently appears on page one of Google for my home town and I then support this with a Google adwords campaign for a broader coverage area – which is again run by Yell. They also set up my Google places listing and built me a Facebook page which is branded to tie in with me website. I also advertise on which links through to my website. When I see my analytics is the 2nd referrer to my site after Google (far ahead of Bing and Ask).

    There are other errors in this blog which I could highlight but don’t want to drag on too much. Suffice to say I did not pay what I consider to be a lot for my website. It was very cost effective, particularly as I could pay for it at 0% interest as part of my advertising package from Yell.

    This blog basically stinks of sour grapes as it would seem you feel Yell are stepping on your toes.

    My advice – suck it up.

    • Andy Kinsey

      All I am going to say to this comment is…


      … Your 10 attempts to get a link are funny but no chance.

      • Backmeup

        I used to work for, lasted 3 months and left because of their attitude and morals towards their customers.  The@a1cbe34eedf841b0c03e72bd976f8d11:disqus 
         are just “farming” cash from people who don’t know any better and taking advantage of small business people.  They tried to make me sign up a childrens entertainer who was dying from emphysema.  His annual was 10,000 and they wanted me to upsell a program costing £5000 Half his annual turnover!  He was living in squalor and permanently dragged an oxygen cylinder with him.  My manager visited the house with me then I couldn’t believe my ears when after he left he said we could easily get more money out of this poor dying old man.

        I will say this though, Yellow pages WILL work for some people, it will NOT work for others.  There are too many variables in business and markets to make blanket statements about their effectiveness.  However, I will agree with Andy.  Don’t waste your money on a website, they are utter crap.  You could read a ladybird book on web design and do better for yourself in one night.  

  • Rawr

    Just to make a quick point; used to work for them. Copy & paste job, 4 sites made by us a day; no real care of effort going in. Half the team outsourced to India. 
    Fucks given by us? None really. Glad I’m not there. I hated make shit work.

  • Robert Allport

    Nice article. I just explanded a bit on the template reuse point you made on my blog, as I needed to “prove” that yell do in fcat use templates to a client: 

    • Andy Kinsey

      Hi Robert Nice Post! Would advise everyone to go and read that too :)

  • Phil

    First of all, dyslexia is a medical condition so asking someone with dyslexia to proofread text is similar to asking a deaf person listen to you talk. At the end of the day Andy Kinsey is doing a good job.

    Secondly, offer horrendous websites and they should be ashamed of their customer care.

    Thirdly, most great artists had barriers in their life, be it dyslexia, schizophrenia, paranoia, etc. 

    No-one is perfect.

    • Andy Kinsey

      Phil thank you for your comments they are much appreciated.

      Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

  • kevstermc

    Andy your post smacks of somebody who has a chip on his shoulder, you sound like you have lost business to yell and this certainly sounds like a sales pitch to me. I would never take any advertsing / products from anyone who is so desperate to run down competition at every given opportunity. i would love to see your stats to prove how nobody uses yell to search for business. i myself have a website with yell and use regularly to search for local business and companies in my area, i love how my website looks and regularly shows on the front page of google for the services i want to be found for, this is something i check regularly. the sales rep i have dealt with was first class and when my advertising budget for next year is freed up i will be taking some advertising on, having seen for myself the usage stats for my area. i would agree that there are probably a few bad apples who will do anything to get a sale but having read your blog i am beginning to feel you are one of them

    • Andy Kinsey

      “Kevstermc” of the IP, which belongs (yet again) to the Yellow Pages Group. – proof here

      Now just to pick up on one key point here, I’ve actually gained sales from your service being so rubbish – so I actually owe you thanks. Your comments on this blog prove just how desperate you clearly are to gain some kind of custom because the world has caught on to your rubbish service and don’t trust you at all.

      Thanks for showing yourselves up again, showing what true contempt you have for even those of us who know the web and know how to track you. I do hope you see this reply and give a reason as to why you feel you must pretend to be a customer to “big up” your own service.

  • David (DPS Computing)

    Well, well, well.  And I thought it couldn’t get any worse. really have sunk to the bottom of the barrel now.  

    Even before reading this (and the subsequent revelations about the identities of some commenters) our opinion of couldn’t have been lower – or so I thought.  

    Not only are their sales staff rude, ignorant, vulgar and liars – they now seem not to be able to accept criticism.  I believe this is something they should get used to – not only because of poor service and harassment – but because there are also around 3.25 million results on Google for dissatisfied Yell customers. gave our company a phone call from someone who sounded no older than his teens giving us a lecture on ‘responsibilities’ (and how as a company, we wouldn’t have as many as him).  

    We did ponder the question for roughly 0.000000000001 second on whether a minimum wage sales call centre staff teenager had more responsibilities than a company director.  Yeah, we didn’t think so too.  

    The helpful sales staff handily misinformed us that:

    “ is bigger than Google” – Oh yeah, and we’ve just seen a really big fat pig fly past our office window.  Note: big, successful companies like Google (who also deal with advertising) do not ring around customers pressuring them and verbally abusing them on the phone.  That’s because they actually provide a *decent* service and they don’t need to harass people to buy their advertising – they just do because it is good.  

    We also guess that the reason actually put their customers on Google Ads is of course, because they are “much bigger” than Google *facepalm*.  

    Not only that but “all small businesses that don’t advertise with Yell fail” – really?  Last time one of our staff was involved with a company that had advertising with one of the reasons for it failing was *because* of a contract.  

    In that case it was 12 months expensive advertising, 2 calls, 0 sales.  Now that’s nowhere near the “all but guaranteed” 5-10 calls per month at £200-£300 your sales staff we’re trying to tell us.  

    If you want to read a full and frank account of our company’s particular experiences with and their sales staff in particular please read the following article on our blog:

    We also felt disgusted by what was happening here and so we made a further blog post mainly focusing on the treatment Andy has received:

    Our final piece of advice would be: THE BIGGEST MISTAKE A NEW BUSINESS COULD MAKE IS SIGNING UP TO A YELL.COM CONTRACT – we can’t emphasise this enough. 

    • Andy Kinsey

      Thanks for your post David. I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of this just yet, but i don’t think we are far off!

      rude, ignorant, vulgar and liars… stupid, dimwitted, idiots, know-nothing, self richious gits …. I think we are almost there.

      I think the mere fact that a company gets known for “ scam” aka having the word scam appended means they are doing something wrong and they should shut down. But lets be clear 3.25 million results doesnt mean they are all customers, indeed I would suspect none of them are but were prospective customers.

      I like to trip up yell staff too, and any one else who calls selling “SEO” or that claim a “special relationship” i am only too happy to spend 3 hours talking to them, letting them go on and then tripping them up. It’s kind of a sport to me now, just wish I was allowed to record this stuff.

    • David (DPS Computing)

      Hi Andy, no problem – tried to reply to your comment but it wouldn’t let me ;).  So I’m having to reply to my own ;).  

      Yeah, it does actually make you wonder, just how low can a company go?  I mean I’ve heard the phrase ‘desperate times, desperate measures’ but this is just ridiculous!

      Yeah, I’ve got to say agree with how you’ve described them.  It’s actually a struggle to find enough words in the English language to explain how terrible they are.  

      Oh yeah – I truly believe this is one of the reasons why they insist you sign up on the phone there and then, so that you don’t get to do any research on them.  

      I did try to explain that, as a business, we have a policy of not agreeing to any contracts over the phone there and then, but then the sales staff member just proceeded to become rude and abusive, no doubt as he was relying partly on his commission from my companies money to make his mortgage payment this month (which he wouldn’t stop banging on about!).  

      Yeah, I’ve got to admit, it can definitely be a fun past time ;).  But having a teenage member of Yell sales staff on the phone lecturing you about responsibilities…. I mean if they’re going to do that, they’re best to use someone who sounds like they’ve actually left school! ;).  

      • Andy Kinsey

        I really don’t know what to say or do with them any more… they pee me off more than words can say.

        • David (DPS Computing)

          I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll get the message one day.  

          However, I won’t hold my breath.  They don’t like to seem to take no for an answer!!

  • Uncle_bob

    I am of the opinion that Yell sell your phone number and address to other companies, they are desparate to make money – dont touch them with a barge pole.  Agressive muppets.  Google will put the final nail in their coffin.  Good riddance.

    • Andy Kinsey

      So true

  • Rousearoo

    I Andy,

    I acutually work for Yell and can really only view your comments as an attempt to poach business. We are the market leaders for what we do and are about to move into some very exciting aspects of digital marketing, we do not attempt to bad mouth any other business for our own gain.
    And of course, if you are as all knowing as you claim to be with regards websites, you would know that it’s optimisation, regardless of how good, can not guarantee work, we do not mislead customers, not do we attempt to sell them something that wont work.
    They get exactly what is promised to them, but we cant dictate market trends, nobody can, even you Andy.
    I wish you the best of luck with your low priced website options, but won’t loose any sleep over how much business you are going to take from us.

    • admin

      As you claim to be someone that works for the company (apparently) and are clearly working on behalf of them (apparently) its nice that you’ve not left your real IP address, nor a work email, nor url (which doesnt even work). But thanks for replying.

      Poaching no, merely enlightening the innocent and letting them know how unhappy some people are with your service. I am sure you are the market leaders of pulling the wool over peoples eyes and tricking (yes tricking) people into using your service. I say tricking because I constantly here stories about how you used all this jargon and made promises but only if they signed up “today” … sorry but your selling technique needs improving if you feel the need to pressure someone into buying from you.

      I am not alone in my little battle to enlighten the masses about your tactics and crap websites. search the words “yell web design scam” and I’m sure you will see what I am talking about.

      Out of interest who mentioned market trends and what does that have to do with your crap websites?

      Have a nice day person who probably doesn’t work for yell.

      url removed from linkage – was mogulriffic-dot-com (which doesnt work)

  • Lawrence Everard

    Ah Yell, the bane of my life…. whilst I’d never invite anyone to use any of their services, I do enjoy the regular sales calls I’m subjected too.

    With tales of their special relationship with Google, alongside the double glazing sales techniques I feel like I’m slowly being beamed back to another era…. but ultimately, this is a dishonest unhelpful organisation who deserve to disappear into obscurity

    And I love the article…. so more please

  • Anna Hatton

    Fascinating stuff! Came across this whilst doing a search on Yell so you must be doing something right on your SEO Andy! Ha ha. Anyway, I’m looking at alternatives for directories for my new biz and have seen a new one which seems pretty good. Don’t want to post URL in asking your opinion as to whether you see it as a good alternative. Any way you’d have a look and comment? If so, how do I get it to you? Anything that might stick one up Yell (can I say that?) is looking good to me at the moment!

    • admin

      Hi Anna,

      send it to me via the contact form on the about page (link at the top). would be happy to take a look.


  • David

    Absolutely and utterly true regarding websites.

    We had them pestering us and eventually took up their offer for yellow pages listing and a website.

    They took some graphics which *I* had produced (I am not a deisgner and just pulled them together for an initial stab at the website) and repurposed them in a new template,

    They threw in some stock photos and didn’t bother changing the alt tags from the previous iteration of the template – hovering over the images of caring for the elderly brought up something to do with clearing drains!

    They then strung a few generic words together and published the site. Apparently, this cost several hundred pounds and took months!

    Finally, even though we had paid for ‘infintie’ revisions, when I contacted them they just ignored the problems. I rang and actually spoke to people, who promised to make the changes and didn’t bother. I also emailed many times, and never once got a reply…!


    Also, in regards to the spelling etc in the OP, who cares?! Nobody who is not working hard to bolster the reputation of – a pathetically transparent attempt to save face. Appalling.

    • admin

      Hi David
      Thanks for your side of the story, the more of theses stories collated the more attention this blog seems to get and the more upset Yell seem to get. It sounds like they just make blind promises they can’t keep. It would be interesting to see how they word unlimited changes in their contracts as there could be grounds to get your money back if it’s in there.

  • Eve

    Oh my…….I wish I have read this a month ago! I’m so traped with stupid Yell and I dont know how I can get out of that web =(
    I registered free add with them around a month ago,they of course called me, I was planing to make a website myself, using those websites where you can do it your self. I know I dont know all that programing stuff, but I am fashion artist, I know how to work with photoshop and I just wanted a page for my new business, without extra cost for now. They convinced me to sign up! (Yes I failed),she made me to sign the agreement while we were talking on the phone (failed again! and this is my life lesson!) she also said, design team will DESIGN your page (sounds cool right?) so I thought, ok lets try, because I will not be charged anything until I will be 100% happy and the page will be runing live, only then I will have to pay £180 and then every month £20 something….yeah right……I received invoice of £180 around a week after,but got very angry and just canceled the direct debit on my internet banking.

    The ‘designed’ webpage is a disaster,they changed it, and its still awful, I sent them cancelation form,explaining why I am canceling,but I called them today, and they just said,sorry I cant cancel this for you…..the whole thing is not DESIGNED its just words and some pictures put in to one place, and some crap template, I wanna cry when I see it, Im so angry at myself for letting my self in to this. I could try write letter to the head office, but having read other comments here, I dont think it would work? I guess i will just have to pay that fee and be stuck with this disaster for 10 months =( they are still working on my webpage, because I rejected their second version, if anyone interested I can give the link,to see how bad it is….

    • admin

      Hi Eve,
      Well I’m not sure what to say in all honesty, yell / hibu are simply not to be trusted. I hear so many stories similar to yours and in all honesty they will just drag their feet and will hardly ever cancel early or more importantly give a refund. I am going to ping you an email across in the hope i can some how help you not least as there maybe a way to get around them not being so nice.

  • Sally

    Hi all I’m in a quandary I am about to say yes to my website which is costing me quite a lot and now I’m very unsure of wot to do :( I’ve had a guy ring me up from AMCS and he informs me I can have a better website and service (also it would be totally my website and not just a template) for about £118 for the year where as I will pay eventually around £600 I’ve since spoke to my sales person and she says they don’t use templates and the web site will be mine and if I did want to leave after a year I would just have to pay them £20 a month hosting fee??? Now I haven’t got a clue with these web sites and I’m in a bit of a pickle because I need to say yes or no and not sure I can cancel if I don’t want?? I neeeed to have some sound advice and if I could cancel or not xxxxx thanks for the time reading this :) xxxx

    • admin

      Hi sally
      I would advise you take a look at Eve’s comments (just above this), this should answer can you cancel and are they templates.
      Also in regards to are they templates take a look at this other post I did – it clearly demonstrates the use of templates by yell.
      For £118 i’m not sure what kind of site you would get from those other people either. I would suggest finding a company which offers really nice templates systems where you just put in the information you need – im not sure of your industry but i know for photographers there is zenfolio amongst others.

  • dave

    HAHAHAHA i used to work at yell and im sure i remember speaking to you on the phone. I was telling my colleagues to listen in while i tried pitching a website to a website designer. you’re the only person ever that had the tm to just listen to me chatting poop. I was obviously taking the mick out of you but you stayed on the phone. good man!!

    • admin

      Interesting Dave… your IP though, like others gone before, are dedicated to “Yellow Pages”. So nice try but no cigar.
      At least you admit you were “chatting poop”. Have a nice day

  • Dave

    im not exactly a fan of Yell so i dont really care what people think of it haha,just found it funny that you were advertising on Gumtree pal. Like others have said you should probably concentrate on your business, the bigger names will naturally be trusted more, even if they are crap!Its better not to be Bitter :P

    • admin

      Dave, thanks for commenting but thats now 6 comments from your IP (whois for this ip ) … aka Yellow Pages, so Mr Walks, Dave, Rousearoo, kevstermc or whoever you may pretend to be nice try.

  • Brett

    Hi Andy, I just told Yell I would sign up for their Yell+ service for a new company I am starting, but I haven’t signed or given money, perhaps I should back out!?

    • admin

      Hi Brett
      I would advise reading through this post and the comments again and search for other “yell web design scam” reviews, definately would think twice but as always it is your choice at the end of the day and whether the gamble is worth it only you can decide

  • ivan owens


    I wish I had read this blog before I signed up with yell. Its all coming true!!!
    Crappy website with no-one coming through it.

    • admin

      Hi Ivan
      I’m sorry to hear about that, post a link to the site here you may get a few more hits. (thats if you want to of course).

    • Netwards

      Ivan, our sites are a couple of hundred quid! Go to Andy and if he is as good as he talks you will get treble that back, my guess is he will rely on google maps for promance, that’s free and ask him to demonstrate the ROI from 40 of his customers..

      • admin

        Where to start…
        “netwards” I point you to my other comment replying to the one you left, it says it all.

  • john howell

    Hello . Interesting reading . Only today the yell rep spent over an hour on the phone . Having had a bad experience with another company I have been careful to ponder without acting in haste . Eve’s post was also helpfu. I am a small therapy business with a small budget and cannot afford to have further regrets.. you are right to be outspoken Andy as it helps people to hold back from making hasty decisions . Thanks . John from oxford

  • Netwards

    Andy, you clearly bored and have too much time on your hands , trying to create a silly little witch hunts on companies that make a difference in the UK market, not only do we keep 2000 people off the dole, we contribute in a big way with tax that helps Hospitals, Schools,and makes this a great country to live in compared to many others ,most employees earn a very good living if they are good, we drive nice cars, live in nice homes, WHY Because we are a Brand that most are familiar with, WHY because our products work, do a search for most business functions and a town on the map and we are top of the pops! And that’s why the one of the earlier comments clearly shows, analytics , say we are only second to google.!! So what are you doing for people to make a real difference ? Other than giving bad advice, people pay good money for solutions finders not problems finders!! Get a life son

    • admin

      Taking that on board it would be nice for you not to hide behind a name “netwards” and to respond as one of your friends has done several times from an IP belonging to that of Yell. Add to that you claim to be this great brand and explain why your marketing department has changed the brand name to Hibu, it is because it’s a tarnished brand because so many websites and so many people / companies are aware of you and what you do. This isn’t a witch hunt, it’s stating the facts as I see them and others have in the comments. The comments talk about your service, my other post speaks for itself about your “unique” websites being not so unique. Really “netwards” I would think if you and your friends put the same effort into making brilliant websites as you try to deciving just me on this blog and leaving comments you may get somewhere, but I’m afraid I come back to one sage point, a rebranding is a sign of a brand going away because it has a problem not because of its success. i could go on and talk about your investors and how your shares are doing etc etc but I will leave that to the times –

      Next time you decide to come back for a chat please do so with a real name, even offer me a phone number we’ll have a chat about all this but do not for a second think that your comments will make this post disappear from existence. This post is based on experience I and others have had, if it were not you’d not be so concerned I am sure. Also do it like your friend from a traceable IP that belongs to Yell or Hibu.

      Finally, If I am so far off the mark why then are there thousands of websites and forums across the net talking about yell web design scam? seriously? I think you’ve a problem bigger than this blog and rebranding isn’t going to help one bit.

    • DanskiBuild

      Makes me laugh this, as if this 1 man (Andy) isn’t such a problem for Yell, then why the hell is there so many comments from Yell staff repeating themselves about just how good things are working for Yell.
      We have nice cars! Keeping people off the dole! I mean really, what self-obsessed egotistical pathetic statements! Get a grip!!!
      Your not the only company in the UK who have pitiful service, but the constant process that people have to go through is wrong, all what Andy is doing is letting people know just by outing Yell for lacking in the failed promises that they give to their clients everyday…

      Template websites for all trades used with different colours, then if you kick off royaly, then you’ll get an upgrade, but only cause you’re contracted in to the never-never system of paying if it works or not…

      Saying this, I know other people who do have business from their Yell listings (Not Website), but this is premium costings to you as paying sponsored listing will keep you at the top of YELL.COM – Not Google!!!

      Not saying don’t use them, just be aware as I think there is enough info to take on your own decision about Yell.

      I have used this company, paid & never received anything, apart from an offer to increase my expense to get better service… Yeah… Enough said me thinks.

  • john howell

    Further to my earlier comment, I have tonight looked at many comments about Yell through other forums as well, and the concerns people raise are enough to remind me not to be hasty – get things in writing, check out diligently. So easy to feel excited about offers which appear good and act on the spur of the moment . As I said previously, my bad experience prior to Yell ringing me today, was enough to make me more cautious. Not easy for people like me who have limited understanding as to how websites etc work. Andy – your warnings are timely. John Howell from Oxford.

  • Paul Hampson

    My fie has a small business in North Yorkshire and was on the receiving end of a sales call to discuss her free entry at The call included “taking over” (remotely) my wife’s computer while this expert reviewed her website and said how this could be hugely improved. Her website is linked to her hotmail email account (it’s with Mr Site) and during the call the hotmail account was suspended by hotmail as it appeared to them that there was unauthorised access. We are struggling to get the hotmail account retrieved which is a nightmare as this is her main account for marketing purposes. Yell deny any connection. Is this anything that has been come across before?

    • admin

      Hi Paul
      Its not something I’ve come across with Yell but i have seen this issue with other companies. Its usually not an email that gets shut down but something installed on the system, i’d advise a anti virus scan to be sure there isn’t anything there, though if it was yell I doubt they’d install anything. What I don’t know is why they would need access to your computer to see your marketing efforts, thats just bonkers.
      If you have the time and date of the call I would say complain to them by email and writing, ask for a recording of the phone call which they can trace usually just from the phone number but time and date are handy. This will be proof that they accessed the machine and hopefully there will be some words like “ok now we go to your emails” once that is established I suspect there are grounds for you to get some compensation for potential losses since the call and possibly going forward (though I’m no lawyer).
      Hope this helps somewhat, let me know how you get on.

  • mrs samantha irvine

    Yell dont take over ur computer they share a screen with u. U can see their screen and have no access to urs!! I dont think ur facts are rite about yell. I think ur facts are driven by ur feelings and not factual research on the company. Very happy yell customer. Always have been always will b. This post comes across as very agressive and in my experience this usualy comes from sumone with a grudge. Udont come across as being a nice fellow at all. Please look after ur own business instead of name calling others. Its very immature and very unprofessional. I have a website yell online and uellow pages and i couldnt b happier :-)

    • admin

      research, I’ve plenty of that (do please seek the other post about templates). Also my research is also in this post, do you see these comments above, to be thats better than research. My posts about yell are driven by research and how I feel, I feel bad for anyone who gets stung by them as others have who have left comments on this post and across the net. I am very happy that you’ve had a great experience but I don’t see a link to the site so I can’t see if its the “normal stuff” they produce or something a little nicer, but as I say I’m happy for you.

      • admin

        I also need to ask a question… you landed on the site with the search term “yell web design scam” … why that search if you are so happy?

  • john howell

    Further to my quite recent comment after some thought I politely told the yell salesman I had decided not to go ahead . A rapid change from a seemingly patient man to e mails probing my reasons and sarcasm . My hesitation about yell confirmed . John of oxford

    • admin

      All I can say is that in my opinion john, suspicions confirmed

  • mrs samantha irvine

    I seen the comment on another computer and sent it to my phone copy pasted the link inot my search bar as i had to leave a comment. I just dont think ur taking a professional approach to competition. I mean bad mouthing a company that does get it wrong but also gets it rite is not good practice. I dont want u to see my site for u to tell me its rubbish ive wasted my money but yell do a good job for me and many others. They help me for i am useless on the net and the helped me get my business up there. Yes they use templates but so wot?? My sites being found and im getting business. Is that not the aim???? Some of the things u have stated in your post are not facts. I looked into it myself and u should b careful calling other ppl liars and so on. Name calling is not a great image u have created for urself. Who cares how yellget their business. Its wot works for them so y would they stop. I cold call for my business as well and it works for me. U branded everyone in yell who like u r just trying to make a living …liars an wotever else u said. I wont get pulled into an argument with u but i felt the need to say sumthing as did u. Ur a business man and im a business woman. Deal with ur competition in a respectful way dont lower urself with name calling and untrue facts. Nice talking to u good luck with the business

    • admin

      Please do feel free to explain which are “untrue facts” I’d love to see that, as I am sure many of the commentators would. I did not bad mouth any company I states the facts as I see them based on my experience and research. I am not against cold calling in general but I am against pressure selling, I am against bad manners and I am against being promised the world and getting nothing of the sort in return. I have not called anyone a liar or anything else, other than a few blokes who came and commented from yell pretending to be someone else – so don’t please say I call people when it’s not true. Finally, no the point of me asking about your website is I would be interested to see which of the templates they’ve used for you if it is working as you claim, and I assume thats working with SEO and not using google adwords promotion they use… Anyway before you go casting your voice claiming I am a liar please read the other comments, If I am such a liar why are there so many like minded people, both here and across the internet?

  • whitstablecomputer

    Thanks for this, Andy. I had some dealings with Yell I thought I would share. A few months ago, phoned me and offered me a free deal increase my listing’s rankings. As it was free, I thought what the hell. Within a month, I get three calls from new customers saying they’d found me on and wanted quotes for work. Brilliant. Then at the end of the free trial, called back to ask me if I drawn any new leads from my new ranking and did I want to switch to the paid subscription. I was never going to go for it anyway, so said thanks, but no thanks. Guess what? None of the three “new customers” took up my quotes, or responded to my emails, or returned my calls, and I didn’t have any more calls from other new customers claiming they found me on All a bit suspicious.

  • john howell

    Appreciated your comments Whitstablecomputer. It’s experiences shared like this which have saved me lots of money being taken for a ride by ruthless companies. Some may think Andy goes over the top – yes and he is right to do so – so many set ups go over the top trying to rip off individuals. Andy is being realisitc.

  • Tarah

    I would also like to give an opinion as I was a senior manager with yell for eleven years. I can comment on the fact that one of the first training sessions I take my team of f2f sales staff through was ‘never slate another business ‘ this becomes unprofessional you lose credibility and we want to encourage competition in the market as it gives better value for money . As with every vast company unfortunately there will be employees that are bad apples and in my team I will not allow it. As for yell not being searched we have produced our best search traffic recently stacking up against huge sites worldwide and we have many customers who would lose their business if we no longer carried their advertising , would your customers face a similar fate? As with any products ours evolve and become better and better as do our prices given recently we were selling sites from £1 to £4200 accommodating sme’s to corporations and our premium products are far from templated. In addition we are able to give sme’s a chance to use creative banners in the geographical locations and area of business on sites like eBay , aa, rightmove etc at less than £200 simply because of our purchasing power enabling sme’s the same marketing opportunity as their bigger corporate competition . And in my experience all my team and colleagues were customer service focused and resolved any customers concerns instantly with professionalism and face to face. The reason we were so successful as a team and area was because we delivered what we promised and educated customers and if they found a better product service them that was fine there was and never will be a reason to be pushy or hard sell as the products and service delivered results and still does, perhaps you should simply apply the same attitude to your business and maybe you would spend more time building your customers sites than writing pointless and unsubstantiated insults on a silly blog . And before you send a link this is my real name I am telling the truth and a few unhappy customers on your blog as a percentage of yells customers is insignificant , although still important , so anyone above with an open issue with yell I would be happy to take your details and have them resolved imminently. Good luck with your web co Andy I wish you every success. Tarah McIntyre

    • admin

      Hi Tarah, thanks for your comments.
      I merely gave my opinion and others have added to that in comments. I stick by my “waste of space” argument because I am yet to see anything otherwise. You ask would my clients suffer if they did not advertise, by which you mean google adwords, I don’t offer such services as I prefer to look at the larger SEO picture than something that can be gone in seconds. I build for the future and not crap websites that get supported by ads because thats the only way they can be found.
      I have no experience of your face2face meetings and in all honesty given the telephone manners mentioned in the comments above and that i’ve experiences I wouldn’t really want to. This Tarah, may appear a little “silly blog” to you but for many as you will see above it’s an outlet of anger and frustration at what they consider a rather rubbish service. Finally, it is your attitude of ‘a few people don’t matter’ that gets you into trouble, you shouldn’t just care for those who pay you thousands a month (as you seem to) but for each and every customer, your attitude is simply one of many such from your staff as they’ve commented above. However, in hoping that is your real name I hope that your management pop by and see this comment and let you know as I have, its not just the big bucks who count – nor actually just your customers, but everyone in the world – if you management didn’t agree you’d not be named Hibu these days. Anyhow, thanks for your comment.

  • Tarah

    Andy , firstly I think you’ll find that I stated every single customer is important irrespective of spend and in addition I added I would be happy to resolve any issues the few customers that have commented on your blog may have .. Immediately . Yet you miss quote me, so reading more carefully would be a suggestion. In addition all advertising be it creative or directional builds for the future so again maybe you need to rethink your comment suggesting your sites do not drive immediate results but build on the future! Ours do both and it is as important to me to ensure customers get instant results as well as future as both result in recommendations. I was merely stating that products evolve and your research is a little subjective. As far as an outlet for frustration I could recommend far more productive ways for you to release the frustration of losing business to yell/ hibu like spending your time improving your own products and services so that they don’t lead you to lose business to your competitors. I can see some comments above with customers who are very happy and getting strong ROA’s, but what I do not see is a testimonial from one of your customers. Please do not waste time miss quoting me and maybe read more carefully in future. My offer still stands if there is any customers with an unresolved issue I am happy to resolve. Good bloggers spend time giving an objective opinion giving readers the benefit of journalistic credible research, so maybe you should be more careful over your research and remove the emotion as It clearly illustrates a lack of journalistic professionalism. Thank you and have a great evening. Think I will draw the line there as you clearly fictionalise you argument and I cannot argue with stupid.

    • admin

      Tarah, go and read your comment, you said no such thing as those which you claim. The only quote i made was “silly blog” and no I am quite sure that is in your text. Sorry the next sentence you state makes little sense, first you never mentioned anything but advertising for your sites – so how can i make a judgement from what you say – so instead I dre from experience of them not being SEO friendly. As an outlet I think you will find this is fairly productive, its brought you and your friends from yell/hibu out of the woodwork on several occasions (each under a new name), so as far as being a “silly blog” and not very productive means – maybe you want to rethink that. So, finally, I wrap up with this… you should read your own comment more carefully, you should not worry about this “silly blog” or the angry above, because they’ve already left your services, instead focus on making your service better and not the service which those in the comments above talk about. I don’t make a claim to be a journalist, I merely offered my opinion which others have backed, I thank you again for your time.

      p.s. I assume you are calling me stupid in your comment, that and your attitude clearly shows you do work for yell as it seems they are traits of most of your customer service staff (as shown in previous comments).

  • Peter

    I am not a fan of Yell, I am also a graphic designer. My frustration with Yell does not come from them stealing business from me, it comes from the fact that due to Yell’s poor customer service I have a much harder time trying to deal with clients who thanks to Yell are afraid of paying for another website or online advertising that doesn’t deliver any results.

    I have also tried advertising with Yell. During the initial sales call I was told how many visitors I could expect after the sales person did some searches for the amount of people searching for my company’s products and services on their site each month. During the first 3 months I have received less than 1% of the visitors they told me I would receive. They also don’t reply to emails or return phone calls.

    • admin

      Hi Peter
      They claim i’ve lost business to them but never have, indeed i’ve gained if anything from their huge amount of disgruntled customers.
      They are full of false promises and in all honesty a change in name (to hibu) will never change that.

      • Peter

        I guess some people will see the name Hibu and not realise that they are Yell. Too bad they didn’t spend the money on customer service training instead of a rebrand!

        Ironically their poor customer service has generated more business for me than their advertising services have!

  • Molio

    You need to get a life. Your spelling and grammar in general is shocking.

    • admin

      Molio, IP () that has posted multiple times under different names (as i’ve pointed out previously and is owned by Yellow Pages – see ) I’d like to thank you for rearing your head again and letting us know you are still annoyed about this post but are happy to keep it alive and ever popular. I am going to suspect from your many comments and from what emails and phone calls tell me that you are being told more and more “no, we know what you offer and it’s not what you say” or something of that nature.

      Finally, once again I invite you to contact me by email (contact*at* to discuss this post and others around the web talking about Yell Web Design being basically a scam (sorry hibu web design). Please know that your email will be made public as will my response.

  • Denny

    You only have to research online about yells reputation.

    From a different tact of a web site I decided to take up paid advertising with

    From the beginning the sales were intense and forcing me to sort the paper work out and abrupt from the outset but I thought they had something good to offer in the way it was sold to me.

    I wanted a advert for an area for my profession and I was told by the sales guy this was offered to me on first refusal and he had loads of customers wanting this listing priority and I was very lucky. I agreed with the deal only to find out when I processed the paper work to my head office that the company was hibu not

    This meant the payment procedures I had followed within my company had to be redone and the relevant checks taken care of as this could have been a hoax and we could have paid a company scam type organisation.

    However the rep from yell rang me every single day due to the slowing down of the process . He tried to bypass me and speak to my bosses which I would have got into trouble for for giving him my bosses details. So I didn’t.

    The rep was angry with me for this ???? This wasn’t even a week into me agreeing the deal ???

    Exactly a week later my accounts team were still processing the paper work and then another rep from rang me up saying if I didn’t do the deal the listing would be sold to some one else and I would miss out altogether. ( a week later this is ???? ) He kept me on the phone for a hour just talking nonsense and being abrupt.

    Anyhow I did try to rush the details and payment through but my company has procedures and I told the rep from yell if they have to sell the priority listing to another company then please do so as I can not rush it any faster it would take 2 weeks.

    However they continued to harass me and hard sell to me even though the process was in motion my side. It was ridiculous I even stopped answering there calls and they would then withheld the number or try off mobile phones,!

    Eventually my accounts department did some checks on yell or now hibu as we know them and found that they are 6 million in debt and my accounts department advised me to not pay it all up front but to stagger the payments over monthly installments.

    The rep tore my head off over this . He went mad on the delay and it really worried us as a company the professionalism that was coming across and the safety of the information we were to give them ie: bank details etc.

    We decided to research them more on the Internet and found large amounts of disgruntled customers who have experienced the same kind of treatments.

    It was a shame because we really wanted the advert as the rep told us we would receive hundreds of sales and there was another company like mine that had become very successfull and these are sort of a competitor of ours.

    I can’t understand how they can be a law to the selfs to do business like this am upset so many people.

    They ended up bypassing me and going to my boss. How I do not know. I think they went to companies house and found the director listing for my company and ringing up and speaking to him.

    My boss went mad and gave me a warning over this and I really need my job.

    This was awful treatment towards me from the this company and I think now if I had read Internet reviews first, I would have never agreed !

    This company caused me a official warning from my director. All I was trying to do was purchase some more advertising with a company I thought I could work with as a manager. I always trusted the yellow pages years ago you see.

    What has happened !

    I would also like to add that they haven’t sold this important advert space 2 months later !!

    I was told they had loads of business’s awaiting this advert space ?

    • admin

      Hi Denny,
      Thanks for your great comment and views, I would be very interest to see if Hibu can answer your concerns as well as other concerns raised in the comments rather than just try to say i look stupid (it really isn’t getting them far)

      • admin

        Hibu said to contact them – though I’ve asked for a public reply, if you hear from them Denny do let us know.

  • Alistair

    I think Yell sites can benefit the company, although I feel they could be dealt with so much better by Yell. I think its a safe bet that many customers who opt in for Yell sites dont place a lot of emphasis on the web as a source of business. I dare say a Yell site will work a lot better than no site.

    • admin

      In many cases something is better than nothing, but not if it damages your brand as I am afraid it could and does for many companies.

  • Denny

    I haven’t the time or energy to complain to yell direct or hibu…

    I am ashamed that and yellow pages was kinda a uk national heritage, a company I trusted.
    for them to be a law into them selfs and upset so many people is incredible. It is without a doubt the wrong tact for them to grow there business.

    When I was hard selled, I recognised the name yell and I trusted them. They were rude forcing in nature and lied in the end. It was like I was being stalked by large amounts of phone calls. It reminded me of rouge traders on the telly and how sales reps lie and force them selfs upon people to sell something.

    I can’t help thinking once I would have parted with the companies money would I have really got the hundred of phone calls they promised me ?????

    The worse thing for me was that after with helding there phone number and ringing me of mobile phones to talk to me and rush the deal and have a go at me and be rude, they then went to my managing director and CEO.

    I have a family to feed and I really need my job. The yell team or hibu said loads of things to my director that were quite untrue.

    They said I was uncooperative and that I ordered the space and not paying or organising the payment. I was, the company has a simple processing speed. This because they didn’t tell me they were now called hibu and I proccesed the purchase order under as they sold it to me. Even so it was only two weeks.

  • Iain M

    I AM one of the Yell/Hibu sales people you are talking about, and I must admit a lot of what you were saying was something that rang true with me. We are told to focus on selling websites… Websites are the future/they do this/they do that. Now, whilst I think the websites are NOT worth the money, they are still of a decent quality.

    I live with a web designer and she wasn’t a very big fan of the sites. I broached this subject with my manager, who went into quite a bit of detail on the strength of them. The initial SEO is pretty good, and they get on average 50 hits a month (naturally). This isn’t just sales patter; take it from a salesman with morals that I checked every single thing he told me about them. Hell, Google the words “Gas Appliances in Derby” and tell me who designed the website at the top of page one on Google? That is just one of many, as sales people we were given a large list of Yellsites that do the exact same as this or at the very least the first one or two.

    In your article you mention that most people go to Google or Bing when searching for businesses, and you’re quite correct. In fact… As YELL staff we were told that 85-90% of people looking for ANY sort of business go to Google. Not just search engines… Google. Now, as if to prove how stats can be manipulated… Do you know that 76% of traffic comes from a Google search? Do me a favour, mate, type in a search to Google something like ‘Opticians in Cardiff’ or something other version of “JOB in AREA” and see where listings come on the Google page. It’s generally first, and if not then it’s always on the first page. People may go to Google initially, but when they see ‘Yell’ they generally know who it is and think ‘Oh, yeah they’ll know where to find a plumber’.

    Also, in case you’re wondering – the website receives 13 million UNIQUE IP addresses every single month – but you’re right, there’s no traffic on there.

    Also, see when you’re going about the rebranding… I last pitched a customer about 4 hours ago, and I’m STILL saying I’m phoning from Yell. You know why? It’s a brand the most people like. You’ve had bad experiences, you’re a direct competitor in a market that we are starting to monopolise and this has culminated in you being very unhappy. Steal our business if we’re so shite…

    Also, Yell has the largest sales force in Britain. Of COURSE we have the most complaints. I’ve worked for British Gas, Scottish Power, BT, and a few others including Yell and I can tell you right now that the absolute best sales people work for Yell. There might be some bad apples, and dodgy bastards who ARE just chasing the commission, but see if we sell something that we KNOW won’t work for the customer, our manager challenges us on it because all that happens is in 12 months when it comes time to renew then we have just created another business that won’t touch us with a barge pole.

    Yell are far from perfect, but their products really do work. I’ve actually signed up a member of my family, who really is pushed for cash, knowing full well it will (and has) enhanced her business.

    • admin

      Hi Iain

      Not going to pick it all apart, I will leave that for others … but just a few pointers…
      If a website I created had 50 hits a month I don’t think I’d have a job – a hit being a call to any point on the website… so a call to an image and a call to text and a call to css … 3 hits … so 50 hits thats probably much less than 20 pageviews a month… maybe you got your terminology mixed up but 50 visits is still nothing to shout about. And I can assure you the SEO is not “pretty good”.

      Next “13 million UNIQUE IP” visits you… great but Google receives that every second of every day.

      I tried your searches and actually found a few yell websites, sorry they were the yell website … not your customer websites… but they don’t turn up often to be honest.

      But thanks for your bits honesty. much appreciated

      • Iain M

        Hi Andy,

        I AM going to pick all your post apart, because it is quite frankly utter tripe.

        You are correct that I got my terminology incorrect. How many visits from unique users do your STANDARD websites generate? I mean, you’re all for slating Yell and how poor our products are but I’ve yet to see any evidence of how brilliant your stuff is?

        You can ‘assure’ me that the SEO is not ‘pretty good’, yeah? Then please do. I have asked many people I work with and trust and chased up stats and figures – what have you got to back up your outlandish claims? Be specific.

        Google of course doesn’t receive 13 million unique IP addresses every second – are you for fucking real? And even if it did, your main point seems to be that Yell pales in comparison to Google. Yeah, we and every other company in the world does. Also is a UK based website, listing ONLY UK businesses… Given the <60m population of Britain then on a monthly basis I'd say that is pretty excellent. Especially when you take into account under 18's, the elderly and people who have no interest in business whatsoever.

        Yeah, I know the searches I told you to try showed up the website. That's why I said to try it directly after mentioning that 76% of our traffic comes from Google. I mean this with no disrespect, but does your dyslexia also prohibit you from reading comprehension? I know you have issues with spelling or whatever, but once you understand what a sentence means surely you are capable of digesting that information?

        If you're not than I won't waste any more of my time on what is clearly turning out to be a bitter competitor slating us.

        Perhaps you don't understand business well enough… I mean, your products are clearly superior to ours; your prices sound like they must be better; we have horrible customer service; our websites don't work; everyone hates us; we had to rebrand because we were ashamed of the Yell brand.. Shit,,, If what you were saying was true and I personally knew how to build better websites for less then I can sure as hell tell you right now that I'd be ROLLING in it. Learn how to sell your products, and go do it instead of trying to piss on our bonfire.


        • admin

          Hi Iain,

          Thanks for returning to the usual Yell style, I actually thought there was a nice person working for Yell for a moment… though I am sure there are somewhere they just seem hidden from the public.

          There is no such thing as a standard website, all websites are different – unless made by yell then they are pretty much the same. But lets just say that my smallest website gets about 500 visits a month, its comparable to yell in that its got relatively few pages (about 8) and we don’t really spend time sending people to it, its naturally ranked. So lets just say 50 visits isn’t much. and lets also say that if you are a salesman I would be embarrassed to say that I didn’t know what a hit and a visit was – maybe thats why so many people claim to be mis-sold by yell?

          Here is my email send me 5 to 10 “good” yell designed websites (from your “standard” range as you call them). I will happily pick them apart for you. contact*at*

          Google searches per minute I meant. Yes they are different kettles of fish but lets be honest they are your competitor. Oh and yes I can understand just clearly what you mean by what you are saying, which is actually very little. I am not a competitor to yell, i am not a directory of businesses trying to be something else. And not being funny but a rebrand means (in general) something has gone wrong, maybe we should point to the times article about dropping share prices and bad news for investors.

          Your finally real sentence… I know how to sell products and it’s not to cold call people and when they have little cash make promises you can’t keep. Oh and one more thing, if you knew how to build websites or SEO them correctly you would be ashamed of working for yell for the tripe they produce sometimes.

          Anyway, thank you for your comments and showing your true colours.

  • Iain M

    So Google receives 13m unique IP addresses every single minute does it?

    That totals more than 18billion every single day… Now there’s <6bn people in the world, and even today a lot of them still don't have a computer; yet everyone visits google 3 times a day. This also isn't taking into account that YELL.COM only advertises UK businesses!

    Your "facts" are fabricated… Frankly, I think you should just end this discussion before it gets any more embarrassing for you.

  • louise h

    So glad i/ read this. Nearly signed up. I’ve had all the flannel,suspicions of being lied to. Keep up good work.. Will keep you posted.

  • Enric G. Torrents

    You are 100% right about Yell. Yellow Pages is doing quite the same all around the world, wherever they operate. Charging what they charge while offering template based-websites is outrageous, their modus operandi is as simply as to use their legitimacy as big corporation to sell crap to digitally illiterate small business owners. Sad but true. So, before paying them a penny, contact your local freelancers or studios, they will provide you with a probably much better and cheaper solution!

  • Jeff

    I laughed at the first comments of this article, they all must have been employed by yell, unfortunalty I have not had a call from them yet so I could ask some questions :)

    ANDY YOU ARE SO RIGHT! This article should be emailed to every business in europe.

    Trading standards should be alerted over this, it’s just crazy that large companies like Yell get away with this.

    Perhaps setting up a site like : would be fun for the lolz?



    • admin

      I believe many of the comments above saying how great yell are, are indeed yell reps of one kind or another. In terms of trading standards, it’s not for me to report them unfortunately, however I am aware that others have and the wiff of TS being mentioned can help in getting action from yell = wonder why ;)

  • Tony

    Good piece, & thanks for highlighting this shoddy service Andy.

    It’s a valid point that the claim made by Yell, of their ‘special’ relationship with Google, is risible. I do keyword research/analysis, and I rarely see a Yell listing on page one (hell, you’re better off listing in Craigslist/Gumtree!).

    Keep up the good work!

  • Kelsey

    Just looking for some advice. Yell have made a massive error in my advertising. Have advertised with yell for 10 years spending thousands of pounds with them. Yell built a website last October (which I have never been happy with) at the beginning of January had a call from a customer who said that they had telephoned the number off the website and it had gone through to another window company(my business is double glazing). Telephoned yell and said they would put it right. Six weeks later we got another telephone call from a customer who said they had telephoned the number off the website and they had got through to the other Double glazing company and he had come out and quoted for the job and told her that we had gone through. Am furious with yell this must have been happening for the past 6 months – it was the call counter number they had given to another company and not changed it on an old website they had designed. They are now offering £324 in refunded charges for their error and say thy don’t pay compensation. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

    • admin

      Loss of business is a case for the small claims court I think. Though it does depend on what the contract says in regards to errors.

  • James

    Hi Andy

    I am doing some advice for small businesses and franchises currently regarding these websites and yell overall. Frankly most of their add on services are dreadful, but some companies still find Yellow Pages beneficial (older generations and certain business types etc). They try to sell packages with everything all in and as such small businesses get sucked in.

    I have dealt with them for years and there is no one worse for customer service in the UK. It’s not just the websites, if you want a yell listing edited you must jump through hoops to get it done. The update request from customers for these websites will send Yell down for sure, they are simply not built to deal with constant update requests from customers.

    Luckily I had already written an almost identical piece to your blog post for my clients and won’t be advising them to use the Yell website as their primary website.

    Good on you for doing this post I say, your morals are certainly in check. As for these rather silly people commenting on the spelling, what irony! They are trying to sound intelligent with their silly remarks but actually sound like fools for picking you up on it.

    Oh dear, the IP address tracking has just made me chuckle too and mrs samantha Irvine.

    Regarding any comments on here about your credibility, please ignore them, especially the Yell employees. I know enough about websites and seo to see you know what you are talking about, your arguments are logical and based on facts that I too have gathered in my research. The search term I typed in by the way was “yell websites”. Many other keywords populate your blog post on Google too.

    Sometimes capitalism’s brakes need to be applied to help people and in particular small businesses. This is a great example and in no way do I see this as a blatant attempt for you to win more business. You put yourself on the line with this blog post and you should be commended for it.

    Great post, both amusing and alarming at the same time!


  • LJ

    Yell, which is known as Hibu hear now, or still Yellowbook are crooks and liars. I am a small business owner. Their websites are crap templates that look the same, the only time they show up on the first page is when they are doing PPC’s with GOOGLE. Also their Yellowbook salesman lied to me about some print advertising as well. I tried to cancel my contract and of course they weren’t about to. I am canceling my bank account so these jerks don’t get another dime. I wish I could leave them google reviews so people know to stay away.

    Cedar Rapids, IA United States

  • Brad

    We should try to remember what this blog is about! being pathetic at their job. I have to agree with you, Yell built me a website, apparently got 120 hits per month. This generated zero phone calls in 12 months. And when i tried to find it on Google, Bing, Yahoo and every other search engine it just was’t there. With searches like “electrician in Bristol” and “electrician Bristol” and various variations of those searches i could not be found. Now correct me if i’m wrong but as i am an electrician in Bristol this would be a good assumption that i should be found! Now 2 years later they say i owe them £1000.00. I think that advertising companies (not marketing companies as Yell couldn’t market an ice cold drink at a music festival on a summers day) should be paid on a performance basis, as there seems to be NO correlation between historical figures supplied by Yell and actual performance. What they seem to forget is that 90% of those searches are either competition, time wasters and just click happy nerds in their bedrooms. Oh and dare i say Yell staff bumping up figures. Marketing is a much bigger concept that building a website, and putting an ad in a book used as a doorstop (still in the plastic) in most houses i go to. Yell is a dinosaur in need of an asteroid. One last point to make is that look at Yell’s share price people are leaving in their droves. Ps i built a website on Vistaprint that is now found easily on Google.

    If you need an electrician in Bristol find me on google

    Many thanks for the rant i feel much better
    Brad Dayment a real disgruntled ex client of Yell

  • Tim

    Definetly consider avoiding. They like to send out an automated report which states why your website doesn’t rank in the search engines. A pity they don’t actually look at the report themselves. I have laughed numerous times when it has stated ‘Website has no google analytics’ when quite clearly a trained chimp could see it if they looked in the source code. I even recall on one occassion where they sold one of our clients another website (under a different address) and then used our own copywrtten text in it.

    To Hibu its all about numbers. What they charge is unbelievably expensive with little in return. Also seeing so many of their pages ranking top in Google leaves me feeling nothing but suspicion. They are no different to any other directory so considering Google’s so called quality guidelines I fail to see what they bring to the table which rewards them with such a level exposure.

  • Liz Higgitt

    Hi Andy, thank you so much for your blog. I was literally just about to email Yell to say I would have one of their websites when I thought I’d just see if I could find one that they had made for someone else., more really to see what sort of job they would do for me. I am still going to email them only it will be to say thanks but no thanks. You and your fellow bloggers have just saved me money I’d rather not waste. Keep up with the crusade, you’re doing a brilliant job.

    • admin

      Hi Liz,
      So glad to know that this blog, among others, can really help save people from the jaws of Yell / Hibu.

  • Marek

    Hi Andy
    I read your blog and all comments and I am really pleased with a decision to order my website with a local developer not with I have recently had a bad experience with and fortunately it did not last long. Keep going with your work and hopefully many people will save their money and resources before they receive ” a very friendly and profitable offer” from

    • admin

      Hi Marek,
      Thanks for your response – you may also be interested in reading another post I wrote the other day for ionSearch which is about the bigger question of should SME’s trust corporations for marketing, you can take a read at

      Glad that all is good with you and that whatever your experience you are now having a good one. Cheers.

  • k cassidy

    Yell have thousands of complaints all over the internet and are now Hibu, but same people!

    • admin

      Thats correct, Hibu and Yell are the same people / company. A company who’s outdated business model is struggling to change and move forward with the times.

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  • footbag

    So I was bonused some Hibu display advertising. Actually, I payed for it, but got a free Yellow Pages listing.

    So I was looking forward to communicating with them how I wanted my campaign to look. Then I get an E-mail with their proposed banner ad, which looks like a low res screen capture of my website. I responded that I didn’t even tell them how I wanted the ads to look, and they jumped the gun. They responded that I only get one design, and that was it. I complained to my rep, who got them to do one more redesign. It wasn’t great, but I didn’t have any other options or redesigns. I had them run it.

    A month later, I get a report from them showing 40,000 impressions. But they don’t provide click count. So I went to my dashboard and tried to find out how many clicks this was generating. Not one. Again I complained. I asked them exactly where it would be displayed, because I wanted to confirm that they actually were running the ads. They couldn’t do that, but gave me a $250 credit.

    I’m still not convinced they are running the ads, but I have started getting some incoming traffic from obscure sites. None I’ve heard of, and none of the sites that they claimed would be in the network.

    This has motivated me to pull all advertising with Hibu and YP. Stay away this is a bad company with a poor product and they want your money.

  • James Grant

    Hey, great post Andy. I totally agree and have had a similar experiences with Yell. Small businesses should definitely avoid like the plague!!

  • Ed

    We paid Yell £3000 for a yell premium website in 2012 plus £100 per month hosting.
    they could not integrate our shopping cart (zencart) into the website, so we also kept our seperate existing website.
    15 months on our original website is still far higher in the search results than the yell one.
    All yell ever do is send us emails saying that we need to increase our social media content- we already have facebook and twitter (I personally think facebook is a waste of space for a business as we have never had a sale from them).
    What we want is one website with a shopping cart, but yell say it cannot be done with our cart system at present.
    we are still paying them £100 per month hosting.
    Our old website we pay £45 per YEAR for.
    Our old website looks a bit of a mess, but it sells our products.

    • admin

      Hi Ed,

      Almost £5000 in total over 2 years would be good value had you been driving sales through the site but from what I gather this isn’t the case. Indeed your old site ranking better than the “fantastic” solution Yell offer is telling of most Yell websites in my experience.

      For the same price, good web agencies (like the one i work for, RedStar) can offer a great eCommerce solution, whether that be re-skinning (a new template) your old ZenCart site or building a new solution using another cart such as WooCommerce or Magento (or something else). Or another solution that would be more cost effective would be using something like Shopify, which is a hosted eCommerce solution.

      Note: to be clear that is not me being a salesperson that is just stating a fact. Yell overcharge because they are just a corporation who can get away with it.

      My advice would be to (assuming you have the funds) look to another agency, or even better a number of agencies, and talk to them about what they can offer you and your business.

      Cheers, Andy

  • Jamie Fergusson

    Good article Andy, your assessment of yell/hibu websites is very much on the money in my opinion. Their low end priced offerings aren’t really expensive in the grand scheme of things but when you break it down to what you get for that money it’s not good value. For yell websites are an upsell, their core is to get you to pay big money to get your yell listing at the top of their search results, they claim that their special relationship with google means they appear on the first page of many thousands of search results which I have seen some proof of this in searches but I suspect their special relationship is them spending a lot of money with google.

    If I had to sum up yell websites is a sentence the it would be ‘I’ve never seen a yell designed website that looks good or worth the price tag’.

  • Neill

    Another matter is trying to transfer your domain name OUT from, this took me 6 MONTHS of being on the phone to them, NEVER EVER buy a domain name from a company who register it in their own name and then hold you to ransom for it, and will not transfer this back to you. Its a con, the SEO is terrible, the domain names are not forwarded correctly to the website hosting, its a sham plain and simple. I will add its better that BT pages but then thats not really much to say.

  • Daniel O’Callaghan

    I loved reading all the comments by the marketing team trying their best to rubbish your views, by trying to focus on your spelling. are utter morons, I have never lost a client to them, in fact taking the clients is a walk in the park.

    Also please note that having a listing on is a BIG NO NO, as Google penalize the hundreds of links they create for you as toxic and they will screw your website rankings, Penguin 2.1 was the axe on the block.

    My advice to anyone, Yellow Pages is dead, they are clawing away to get their market back, but will never recover, use a small local firm, who will take the time get your site how you want it at a reasonable cost.

    Andy I salute you! marketing guys, go and spam your own blog… losers!!!

    • Andy

      Hi Daniel,

      I agree with your comments. I find a free link on is usually ok but when you start paying them it must change in some way and Google doesn’t like those ones – but that is all anecdotal really based on my experience.

      I too love how seem to think that this post and the over 100 comments are going to disappear – they are not and will not be going anywhere. No amount of them leaving comments as themselves or pretending to be others will change that.

      finally, thank you for the salute, but honestly let them leave spam comments and try and get links back to themselves (which is clearly what some of it is about), the more comments get made the more this post seems to rank – indeed they maybe annoyed that when you serach for “yell websites” or “yell website builder” or “websites hibu” or “hibu reviews” or “hibu scam” or “hibu scams” or indeed “are hibu websites any good?” we rank in the top 10 consistently, usually top 3 (think that may annoy them) ;)

  • Animal Whisperer Rosi Caswell

    I have three points to make; firstly, I have never known a dyslexic who was not amazingly talented in one field or another. I view dyslexia as a gift, not a curse, and no, I am not dyslexic, merely very discerning and non judgmental.
    My second point is in the form of a question; exactly when did people stop being able to debate, and instead commence non constructive slanging matches, which benefit no one? My third point is a message to you Andy.
    I applaud you for your courage, ingenuity, considerable talent, and your undoubtable sense of humour. You will continue to rise to great heights.

    • Andy

      Rosi, again thank you for your comment.
      Dyslexia is a gift, ok certain things are very challenging until you (the person with dyslexia) finds building blocks to put in place but even then its not as easy for you as for others. Take my spelling, it will never rival a 16 year old let alone a 40 year old or some crazy scientist – but with the right mechanisms I can cope. SEO Andy, as a free marketing resource, is where I and others come to give free information and help to those who need and want it – we make no promise anywhere on the site to be able to spell – I don’t expect to be attacked for my writing usually, but once they saw that my opinion was based on fact and experience there is little else to attack. But them be the chips and I think I’ve dealt with the issue quite well.

      In reply to point two, I love a good debate. I would have welcomed one here had they come with some real retort based on facts, and based on common sense but instead I was attacked for my spelling, grammar. All they did was attack me personally, which as I say about is fine, because it shows they have no real argument to give.

      Finally, thank you for your encouragement – it is much appreciated.

  • Mike Fitzpatrick

    Yell, wix and most of the free packages end up producing awful websites. At best they are useful for a portfolio style website, but will never rarely get good visits form search engines.
    Not sure about you Andy, but we often take on new clients who started out with a package like yell or even their own DIY WordPress site that does not work out for them, so we start again from scratch just keeping the content that they wrote.
    We found ourselves doing this so often that we wrote a list of tools that both web designers and site owners can use to test their website – Google Pagespeed, HTML validator, Broken link fier, Criticue etc. – . It takes about 10 minutes to run through all of the tests, and it gives a good overall idea of how well a website has been made, and what improvements can be made.

    • Andy

      Hi Mike,

      That looks like a great resource and checklist to follow, just the type of thing SEO Andy readers will love to see.

      Currently, I (myself) don’t build new websites like this anymore. The company I’m now the Head of Digital Marketing for, RedStar, does though deal with websites of all kinds from very basic portfolios to huge eCommerce solutions – so i still see the up’s and down’s and fall outs from Yell and others. But as you say at best its a portfolio producer and basic brochure keeper, and not one you can update easily. It still amazes me what they charge and what you get in return, its clear you are paying for the brand.

      Thanks again for the share.

  • Mal
  • julie are a waist of time for advertising I have tried to advertise several times with them with no luck no one gets back to you ,and as for there crap template duplicate coped pasted websites I will give that a big miss, I mean could you imagine having a website with them and hitting a problem you would never see them again .

  • james

    Hey my name is James Cummiskey from a Webdesign Company called GetYourMobi. I totally Agree with Everything Andy says he is 100% Correct about yell. [edited: no promo's - link left in name]

  • James Collins

    Very good article, hopefully people will read this before choosing Yell/Hibu or similar website builders. They may advertise that they are the bees knees and their websites will do everything you need but are basically charging extortionate amounts of money for very basic designs and poorly built/optimised sites.

    • Andy Kinsey

      completely agree james