YP.com Still Sending Sneaky Checks

About once every few days, we get a phone call from an otherwise well intentioned operator from YP.com who wants us to upgrade our business listing. Despite our repeated requests to be removed from their list, they keep calling. And they’re always puzzled by the idea that I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars a year for the privilege of being listed first on their results pages.

Why anyone would ever look for my business on YP.com, I will never realize.

For their next trick, YP.com has mailed me a series of small checks, for about $3.75 each. Each check is made out to a different website I own, making me wonder if they’re scraping WHOIS lists for their data. However they’re getting their information, the checks they send are really sneaky, if not downright scummy. If you happen to cash the check, as the microprint on the reverse tells me, you enter a contract with them to deduct $27 per month from the account you deposited the check into.

Most of our clients pay with credit cards or with PayPal, so the arrival of a check in our building is a novel event, followed by the parade to the bank across the street. So we notice odd checks for $3.75 from folks we’ve never heard of.

But, what if you’ve hired a temp, or if your company’s big enough that you’re just cashing checks all day long? Suddenly, a $3.75 windfall turns into a $324 money suck — and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I find it funny that a company like YP.com can manage to stay afloat. I would guess that half their revenue must go to pay legal fees. And their previous CEO was indicted for money laundering. (I guess I answered my own question of, “who would run a company this way?”)

Apart from my personal annoyance, I’m alerting our readers because — if you’re setting up your music business properly — you’re probably getting some business solicitations like these. Keep an eye out and watch the fine print, so you don’t wind up getting scammed.

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