Yext Ripoff, How An Internet Marketing Service Took Me For A Ride.


I’ve had a terrible experience with a company called Yext. Their tagline is “Bringing the power of internet advertising to all local businesses” The business model makes absolutely no sense. Basically they’re an advertising service that was supposed to bring in new customers to my business at a fixed rate per customer.  One of Yext’s account representatives called me about a year ago to get me signed up. That’s one phone call I wish I had never answered. The way the service was explained to me was that I would only pay them when they brought me a new customer. I would pay $30 for the first time this customer came to me, but after that I would never pay Yext another penny for that customer. And if that’s how it truly worked then this post would be titled something like “Why Yext is an invaluable tool for my small business,” or “achieve more with Yext!” or something along those lines. Unfortunately this is not the case.

My primary concern is of course the cost. If Yext really were bringing in new customers for me then $30 would be a reasonable expense for all the new customers I’d be bringing in, which leads to more referrals, repeat customers, and more income. However, I’ve ended up shelling out $120 so far without getting a single customer, or a single dollar, in return. You see, what the account representative failed to mention, among the things he selectively left out of his explanation of the service, was that their services are not guaranteed. So long as someone calls the Yext proxy phone number, which will connect them to my cell phone, so long as they mention the word computer it’s going to cost me $30.  That’s right, even if I don’t actually get a customer from the call, I’ve still got to fork over my money to Yext.

Now, of course that’s also my fault for not reading the fine print. Anytime you’re dealing with a snake-oil salesman, they’re going to explain it one way, and the fine print in the terms and conditions are going to explain it a different way. But in my defense, I specifically asked the man “is there any catch to this,” “are you leaving anything important out,” and “are there any more hidden costs I should know about.” I was lied to when he answered my questions. I was pretty happy with their service at first. I got mostly “junk” calls from Yext, for some reason a lot of people seemed to think that because I can fix a computer I can fix a refrigerator. But they didn’t bill me for them, and it wasn’t really costing me anything, but they had put my information on a lot of different sites and some “partner networks” that I normally couldn’t have gotten my info on anyway, so it always had the potential to bring in some profit, and it wasn’t hurting me.

The problems started when Yext’s service actually started doing what it was supposed to, getting me phone calls relevant to my business. I know that seems like a strange thing to say, but try to follow my logic here. Up until I started using Yext I got all my customers from referrals from current customers, even my business clients! (To be more accurate it’s still that way, even with Yext.) So, I had never had to deal with the issue of people off the street calling for a price check, comparing me to everyone else, and then going with the guy who offered to do it for next to nothing. It’s easy for me to retain clients when I’ve worked for them, or when someone I’ve worked for has personally recommended me to them, because those people know how knowledgeable I am, how hard I work, and how I always go above and beyond to provide the best work and customer service to my clients. However, it’s not so easy to get clients in the door when all they’re asking for is a number, and then comparing it to some numbers from other guys and going with the lowest common denominator.

So, not foreseeing calls like that which were dead ends, and not being armed with the knowledge that any call which mentions some key words like “computer” would be billed at $30 a piece, I was very surprised to find I was being billed for simply taking a call.

Yext’s business model is ridiculous! This would be like me billing people a $30 fee just for a price check call, even if I don’t actually provide any valuable service to them. In fact that’s exactly what it is. The only feasible way that I could continue using Yext’s services is if I did charge a ridiculous fee like that.

One thing that really got me was that I was billed for a call from this confused old lady who apparently had found my number on the Internet and mistook me for a guy who usually did her computer work. She lived outside my service area as well. Of course this didn’t lead to any work for me, only another $30 expense.

The other really big issue with Yext is that they will say anything to get you on board and keep you on board, but they’re terrible at keeping the promises they make, or just refraining from flat out telling lies to you. Let me spell out to you the various deceptions and incompetence I’ve been faced with from the people at Yext.

  • I was told there were no hidden cost, yet when I called Yext about the charges, I was informed that their services were not guaranteed. Well, perhaps that’s something you should mention. Explain it as, you pay per call, rather than you pay per customer, that’s a much more accurate description than I was given.
  • Hidden costs again. I was told they would waive the $10 monthly service charge to make up for their abysmal service. My response was “What damn service charge? I haven’t been giving you any money up until now.” Apparently because I hadn’t been getting “qualified calls” (billable calls) they weren’t charging me this yet. But since I was getting these useless calls they could bill me for this on top of the calls now.
  • When the account representative setup my account for me, I asked him to set it up so that I would have a 20 mile service area. When I contacted Yext customer service about the bs charges they informed me I had a 5 mile service area. 5 miles. I live in a semi-rural area. 5 miles is nothing out here.
  • I also discovered that I was listed on something called the “Google Click to Call Network.” Evan, the “customer specialist” I spoke with, informed me of this. He described it as something where people often didn’t even know what they were calling about, as in, they don’t know what kind of service I provide when they call. That explains all the annoying calls about refrigerator repair. What it doesn’t explain, however, is how it looks good for a company which is charging me per call to, without my knowledge, sign me up for a marketing service networking where people are blindly calling me and have no idea what I actually do. Seems like a way to increase call volumes without adding value at the expense of their customers to me. They removed me from this network when I complained about the service I was receiving from them in addition to waiving the maintenance fee.
  • This is probably the most shocking part of it all for me. What I’m paying Yext for is pretty clear. To post my information across several online sites that display information for services, monitor those sites for reviews, and I pay them when I get new customers (sorry, when I get any calls at all). Yet when I started poking around on the different accounts to see why I wasn’t getting any value out of this service, I found that most, if not all, of the account were half-assed filled out. Most only had my business name, number, and hours of operation. None of the other info I provided to them or on my own accounts was shared. I mean, come on! This is the main thing I’m paying Yext for, to create, fill out, and monitor these accounts so I don’t have to. And they weren’t doing it.

To summarize, I find Yext to be a terrible fit for my business. I was lied to when I was signed up, empty promises were made to me when I raised concerns with their support staff when I started having problems, while they did try to make a difference by waiving the monthly fee and taking me off this network that was fraudulently inflating my call volume, in the end it just didn’t make a difference. They didn’t really do what they told me they would, which is something that I expect from people I do business with, clarity and honesty.

I would recommend that you stay away from Yext if you’re a small business. Their business model of charging you $30 per call and $120 a year on top of that for something you could do better yourself for free in 5 minutes just doesn’t work. Maybe if they charged something more reasonable, like a few dollars per call, then it would fit in a budget. However, as long as they aren’t posting the information your provide to them, aren’t setting up your service areas properly, overcharging you for customers they’re not bringing in, and omitting facts to sign you up, they’re not going to be adding value to your business. If you can afford to hemorrhage money for simple phone calls, then go for it, but if you’re running your business on a budget (and who isn’t?) then this company is not for you.

When I contacted their support to reverse the charges and cancel my service, they convinced me to stay with empty promises and some small discounts. But even after they removed me from this “Click To Call” network and waived my service fee, it’s still to expensive to keep when it’s not adding any value. They refuse to give me my refund, so instead I’ll share my experiences with this company with all my readers and the Internet at large. I hope the $120 they refuse to refund is worth it. I’m calling tomorrow morning to cancel my account before they can get their greedy hands stretched out again for my hard earned money in return for absolutely nothing. The moral of this story? Read the fine print, and be careful who you do business with. There are good marketing companies out there, but Yext isn’t one of them.

I’m not the only one to be hurt by Yext either. Check out this comment where Yext actually damaged the brand of one of their clients over $165. Damaged the brand of a client over $165, consider that for a moment. Are these the kind of people you want to be in business with? Here’s yet another comment where yet another business was not informed of Yext’s actual policy on calls that don’t generate business, and refused a refund upfront for these bogus charges. It was not explained to them upfront, this is how Yext operates, ripping small businesses off for as long as they can until they drop them.

Have you had a bad experience with Yext? Or know someone who has? I invite you to post a link to your own blog post about a bad experience with Yext in the comments below or share your experiences in the comments. I want to hear from you!

Update!: An interesting thing happened today before I had a chance to contact Yext Customer Service. Just several hours after posting this blog and sharing the link on their Facebook page, without ever talking directly or indirectly to anyone at Yext, I was issued a refund confirmation from Yext for $60, the cost of the latest “qualified calls” I was being billed for that never brought me any work. It’s not everything that I’m out of, but it is at least half. And I must admit, when you don’t even have to contact customer service to get your refund, that’s some top notch customer service. I’ve got to give them some credit for that. Unfortunately, I had requested a refund the first time this happened and was simply told, “Our services are not guaranteed.” So, it seems the only reason I’m getting a refund is that I got a little more vocal than they cared for. Still, I appreciate the refund, I really can’t spare any money right now without some kind of return on that investment. I do appreciate this turn of events and the excellent customer service that I was eventually provided with, but I will still be canceling my Yext service tomorrow morning. No matter how good the customer service is, it can’t make up for the fact that Yext and their business model just don’t work for my business. Thanks for being considerate and providing me with my refund Yext! I appreciate it, and no hard feelings, but this is where we go our separate ways.

Thank You,
Zachary Chastain
RunPC Computer Repair

43 Responses to Yext Ripoff, How An Internet Marketing Service Took Me For A Ride.

  1. We had to dump our sales floor today because those kids couldn’t close business! Now our acquisition cost per customer will be lower. This is good for local businesses and will benefit everyone!

    • Zachary says:

      Thanks for sharing, “Send me a Yext Message!”

      It’s good news that you’re lowering costs, but the issue for the businesses that Yext’s services are being marketed to isn’t so much that the salesmen are having trouble closing sales so much as they’re being misleading, leaving out key details, and even flat out telling lies to close sales. Can you give my readers any insight into what Yext is doing to change that?

      Thanks,
      Zachary

  2. They are basically encouraged to do anything to get the sale. That means do whatever it takes to get the credit card and close. But they can’t sell http://www.yexttags.com worth a darn!

    • Zachary says:

      A higher-up Yext customer service rep actually sought me out and contacted me in regards to this blog post. She claimed the guy who signed me up had already been let go, and that this sort of behavior isn’t encouraged, but it doesn’t surprise me that it’s just standard policy. Even if what she said were true, there sure are a lot of them slipping through the cracks, perhaps they should more closely monitor their sales calls to ensure that policy is followed?

      Of course if it is Yext policy to say anything to get your hands on a credit card, then of course that wouldn’t do much good.

  3. Wow. A higher up customer service rep? I wonder what building of the Yext campus they were in. Probably next to the fitness facility and rock climbing wall. That’s awesome though. If their chairman wasn’t recently overthrown than I’d say they are stepping up their game.

  4. James says:

    Nice and clear headed review of the service. Often, these types of posts (that complain about a service) are so filled with anger the person reading is wondering if it’s even true.

    If you have any questions about local online marketing, just send me an email.

    • Zachary says:

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your comment! I was just re-reading my post, and I was pretty angry, I noticed I misspelled a lot of words. ;) Regardless, I tried to keep a level head and give an accurate and calm account of my experiences. I didn’t make this post to hurt Yext, I wrote this to help other businesses avoid having to deal with what I’ve dealt with at the hands of Yext.

      • James says:

        No problem. The shop I get my car serviced at had the same experience getting 0 customers but racking up a bill. Though I guess they’ve changed their business a bit to focus on biz listings.

      • Pete says:

        I think you should spend more time growing your business and less time worrying about poor advertising choices and reading paperwork or actually asking for paper work detailing the terms. Yext is bad, I agree, but maybe if you did your homework before blindly giving a card a way you wouldn’t be so angry.

        After all it’s up to you to close leads when they come in not Yext and $30 dollars for a phone call is pretty reasonable. My guess is your company won’t last long either, I would never hire you for anything as this clearly shows your true nature.

      • Zachary says:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Pete! I certainly should have done my homework, rather than trusting a salesman over the phone, but being 21 and running my own business with no guidance from any mentor, I was sadly a bit more gullible two years ago. I can proudly say that I’ve dodged many advertising scams over the last 7 years that I’ve been in business (since I was 15 years old, when I started out), but Yext wasn’t a scam, they just weren’t exactly what they promised up front.

        I certainly agree that it’s not up to Yext to close leads, however it was their job to provide quality leads. As far as I’m concerned, neither Yext nor myself should focus on closing leads for refrigerator repair (this was what the majority of the calls I received were for. Why, I will never understand.) or from people who are outside of my service area and mistook me for the guy who already fixes their computer. On top of that, Yext replaced some of my listings that had my free number with their paid number, adding no value to the existing listings, or the ones they created. It is my job to close the leads I’m provided, but I’m only going to be able to close leads for people who are actually calling about the services I provide, or people who are geographically close enough to me that it would be feasible to work for them (and yes, this was a problem after I had adjusted my serviceable range in the dashboard on their website).

        $30 a phone call would be incredibly reasonable if the service were all it promised to be. If for $30 you had the opportunity to close a pre-qualified lead, turn them into a repeat customer, and then never have to pay Yext for that lead again, it would truly be a great platform. Sadly, I never got a single customer from Yext, and it wasn’t because I was not able to close leads. It was because the leads quite frankly sucked. Many were asking for a service I did not provide (I am clearly an IT services business, and my listings all reflected this, but of course Yext wasn’t great about bothering to fill in the listings I paid them to create, so I suppose it’s understandable people might be confused.), and the only call I got that was related to the services I actually provide was from a woman on the other side of the state who mistook my listing for a guy who had worked on her computer before, and actually lived close enough to her that the travel charges wouldn’t have cost more than the repair. :)

        Sure, you can dispute non-qualifying calls, but this is an additional hassle from a service that is supposed to be saving me time and money. Instead, it was costing me both and providing no value to my business in return. No matter how cheap the leads are, if they’re useless, and I have to spend more time disputing the useless calls, it doesn’t make sense to spend time and money and get nothing of value in return, so I had to cut them loose.

        In their favor though, I can say that once I started making a bit of noise with this blog post I was actually pro-actively contacted by their customer service department, which I found really impressive. Though I lost all respect for them when they asked for the IP addresses of some of the people who had posted negatively here in regards to their company and its services. A request that I of course completely ignored. You may not want to hire me (and I may not be too concerned about it), but I do respect your privacy and will protect it by any means within my power. I suppose that also shows my true nature. ;)

  5. raleigh myhren says:

    They also charged me $60 even though they told me I could have a week free trial to see if the program was right for me. After contacting 3 or 4 of their leads it became apparent that they would be of no value to my business and I opted out of the program in the first week. They denied anyone offered a week trial and charged me $60.00.
    Raleigh Myhren
    Tonys Locksmith

  6. Patrick says:

    Thank you all. I will not seek out any more information on this company. their email address is going into the spam folder

  7. I have a small business and my webmaster did a crappy job on my source page yext said they can help get my business and web page out there on other search engines is that true and is it worth $450.00 a year? You mention other companies who would you recommend?

    • Zachary says:

      Hi Debbie,

      It sounds like you’re talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is a practice that basically games the algorithms that Google and other search engines use to rank pages when you search for a specific keyword. Such as if I wanted my business to appear at the top of the search listings on Google when someone Googled “Computer Repair” in my area, I could pay an SEO specialist to do this for me, and they would use their knowledge of these secret algorithms (they are of course closely guarded company secrets, especially for a company like Google that relies heavily on search and advertising, but the companies do provide some little tid-bits about what can make your site more highly ranked, or make a site rank very low.) to engineer my website in such a way that the search engines will decide that my website is the most relevant result when someone searches for a phrase a potential customer might use to try to find a business like mine, and thus they would see mine first, bringing me a lot of business!

      As long as it’s done right, then SEO is certainly worth that price. I’ve had quotes from companies which do nothing but SEO for more than $2,000 per year for a single website! The only question that remains is will Yext actually be able to deliver. If so, this would be a great deal for you, if not, then you’re out a lot of money.

      I would suggest asking them for a plain explanation of what they mean by getting your business on more search engines. If they mean creating listings for you business with those search engines, then not only is this something you could do for free and is very simple and requires no maintenance unless your business’ information changes, but it also has virtually no effect on your website’s standings in the searches with those search engines. So, that would be snake-oil that would be a huge waste of your money for that price.

      However, if they’re talking about actually making changes to your website in order to make it SEO optimized, and helping you become a top result in local searches for the services you provide or products you sell, then that would definitely be worth your money (again, if they are able to deliver on that promise). So, be sure to ask them specifically which of these things they’re describing, and if Yext is offering SEO services now, be sure to do some research to see what others’ experiences have been. I hope you’ll find this advice useful!

  8. Toni says:

    Glad I found this blog. What you’ve described as Yext’s business model resembles Service Magic (SM). I’ve been a member of SM for over a year and it seems that half of the leads they send me are pure garbage. I think SM does little to “qualify” their leads, but they are quick to charge their members a fee for them. And SM does not give true refunds. Instead, they apply credits to members’ accounts for future leads. It’s quite a racket.

    BTW, the reason I was searching for Yext reviews is that they just recently solicited me with a new approach: they charge a flat monthly fee for allegedly giving businesses prominent placement in online and mobile advertising vehicles. They have many business partners, including MerchantCircle, YellowBook, Yahoo and FourSquare. Their monthly fees vary depending on which sites you choose. But if you choose to advertise on ALL of their business partners’ sites, you pay an annual fee of approximately $500. The solicitation that I received from Yext did not mention the biz model where advertisers pay when customers contact them and mention specific key words. After my SM experience, I am done with that money-losing approach.

    • Zachary says:

      Thanks for sharing, Toni! Yes, I also tried Service Magic. None of the leads ever called me back, lost money, same old story. A company I used to work with used Service Magic as well. I remember having only one onsite job from Service Magic while working there, wasn’t a very lucrative one and they tried to tack on a bunch of extra tasks not agreed to in the upfront estimate. It was nothing special, just setting up a couple’s network and computers after they moved into their new home. Interestingly enough, I just checked, and that company I used to work for no longer uses Service Magic, so I suppose they didn’t have such a great experience with it since then (2009) either.

      My computer business is now just a side gig, got myself a full time job in the social media marketing field, which I’m enjoying and doing quite well in. I count myself lucky that I’m no longer having to depend in part on such terrible business models any longer for potential leads.

    • Matthew says:

      Hi Toni,
      That model is now being used by Citysearch…. It seems like many of these ‘local’ networks are affiliated and include you in their affiliated sites as well… makes me wonder if they are all owned by the same company. I thought both models sound interesting, but maybe I will hold off until I do a little more reading…

  9. ebizroi says:

    Thanks for sharing Zachary. I was not aware of the Yext pay per call model until reading this post. Now I see it mentioned on their homepage at the bottom. Yext big marketing push (at least what I have come into contact with) seems to be the PowerListings, local visibility service for getting your business listed in 30 Local Business directories, of varying degree of value IMO. The latest solicitation I received was $42/month ($499/yr billed annually) after running a Yext Power Listings local visibility report which correctly showed that our business, eBiz ROI, was already listed in all 30 directories (we are Internet marketers who eat our own dog food!), but show that each of the 3o listings were “not standing out.” The Yext PowerListings report did include an alert that correctly pointed out one listing where our business is listed as Incorporated in the name which is listed elsewhere as Inc. What I find interesting is that Yext doesn’t appear to have a relationship with Google Places/Maps, a key player on the local listing marketing. Or at least they don’t mention it. That said, using the Yext PowerListings service will provide additional citations, especially for new businesses, to improve local ranking in Google Places (secondary, indirect effect.) You mentioned that when you checked the listings that Yext was to have created and be monitoring on your behalf, they “half-assed filled out” which were presumably based on the 10 fields they present you with in the Yext PowerListings interface. One of those listing fields is business category, which has different possible values based on each local directory and their own available categories and sub categories which makes me wonder how Yext can automate that mapping the category entered by the customer versus what is available in each directory, something taht often involves a judgement call. What could make Yext PowerListings valuable and worth the fee is the time savings and consistency it could provide new businesses. I would love to hear from someone/anyone reading this who has had success with the PowerListings Service.

    • Zachary says:

      Thank you for the reply, Ebizroi! That’s very interesting, but the Yext PowerListings were not yet available when I used the service, so I can’t comment on if this pivot will make their services of a higher quality of not. I certainly agree that if anyone else has used the service that it would be great to hear from them too, would be a great addition to the discussion.

  10. Jessica says:

    I just recently signed up with Yext, April 19th to be exact. They swore up and down that it’s a 30 day money back guarantee, which I made the customer service rep repeat to me 4 times just to be sure. Yesterday I decided to do some more research on Yext and came across about 4 different blogs about how terrible they are so I decided 5 days was enough, I’m still in the 30 day period, let me cancel now before I forget. So, I cancel online but see a notification that said “you’re account will not be charged again.” Of course I said, “again?” where is the refunded money notification. I call and I explain to this boy that I canceled and would like a $499.00 credit to my charge card. And here we go with the excuses on why it can’t happen. The one that bothered me most was “Well, yes, it’s your e-mail address and your name on the credit card but the account name is under a Nick. We can’t cancel without speaking to him.” Mind you, they never talked to Nick is the first place. I said to this annoying boy: “It’s okay to have a customer sign up with a different name on the account and credit card because you’re taking our money, but to cancel, now all of a sudden you need to speak with the person whose name is listed as the owner.” I got so annoyed that I told him I would call back to talk to a manager. But I realized after hanging up with this boy that talking to a manager would get me nowhere. So, I call my Credit Company and stopped payment to Yext due to false advertising. I was really hoping this would work and get my companies name out there. I need to go my homework better. These blogs definitely help.

    I’m also signed up with Service Magic and it gets more frustrating every day. The leads are bad and when you try to get credit its excuse after excuse as to why they can’t refund your money. Tell me, if we call a lead and it’s a non-working number how can they NOT credit your account.

    We need to really look around and finding new ways to advertise and bring in more customers.
    If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated!

    • Zachary says:

      Thanks for the reply, Jessica! I’m glad that my blog post was able to help you avoid some headache down the road! Though it certainly sounds like you didn’t get out of the deal unscathed. That is very interesting, but I’ve found that many businesses have a much more strict policy when it comes to giving back money than they ever have for receiving it. :)

      It really is frustrating to try so hard to grow your business, only to find that the “opportunities” that everyone pitches to you are for the most part snake-oil, or either not necessarily suited to work for every business in the way the sales staff claims. I’ve found that there simply are no real shortcuts when it comes to marketing your business. Leaving it up to a very hands-off platform like Yext or Service Magic will get you nowhere, cost you time and money, and could also cause lasting damage to your brand (like all of those Yext listings out there for your business with their number on them, a number that will possibly be given to local competitors!). Marketing your business is hard work, and will require a bit of capital from you, along with thinking outside of the box. One of the best ways to market on the cheap is to offer a good, solid incentive to your customers to recommend you to other potential customers. Having someone recommend you provides social proof, meaning that when someone the lead already trusts makes the introduction to your business, you are instantly considered trustworthy, and if you’ve done a good job in the past for the recommending party, also considered a reliable, skilled professional. One of the biggest issues with a cold lead, or even a “pre-qualified” lead (if you manage to actually get any from a service like this) is that you’re still just one business among of myriad of other possible choices. Someone who has never used your business, nor heard about the quality of your products/services, can’t compare based on quality, so most consumers compared based on price. In this case, unless you’re seriously undercutting yourself (and you shouldn’t, you should work for what your time is worth, otherwise, you’re not getting the real benefits of working for yourself, you may as well be making minimum wage working fewer hours at an easier job) then you will likely come out on the losing end of the bidding war.

      A contest can be a great way to inexpensively generate some great word-of-mouth leads. Start taking a little bit out each time you make a sell or provide a service and save it in a little marketing fund. When you’ve got a few hundred saved up, get a decent prize. A mid-range laptop, a decent Android based tablet, a digital camera, maybe even an external hard drive. I’ve found that people don’t really care about getting free services, the clients I’ve kept around don’t mind paying for my time, so offering something like that doesn’t get their attention. However, when you offer up a real, tangible prize, especially electronics, you get people’s attention. Keep a list of your client’s email addresses, and be sure to refer them to your Facebook page, Twitter account, or whatever social properties you may have chosen to focus on. This way, you can do your best to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of the contest. So, run the contest, whoever brings in the most leads that are converted to at least one service/sell wins the prize. Not every lead will necessarily be a new client, or even a one time service/sell, but the leads will be of higher quality, and it will increase the community’s awareness that your business is there, and what it can do for them, which is half the battle in marketing your business. It’s not necessarily cheap (at least not if you do it right), but it’s about the same amount of money (or maybe a bit less) as what Yext refused to refund you. I’m sure the money would be better spent getting this type of word-of-mouth advertising generated and hopefully bringing in some new leads, rather than with a service like Yext, that promises to solve all of the problems your business faces in bringing in new customers.

  11. Kathryn says:

    If anyone can explain this to me, I’d appreciate it:
    Yext says they’ll list my business on all the directories. Today I paid my 1st payment of $42 a month for this. So now I am planning to call tomorrow and reverse the charge. But are you saying they will not list my business on all the directories? Oh I see, each directory charges per month! Wow, so misleading!

    • Zachary says:

      Hi Kathryn,

      Sorry for my late reply, I’ve been very busy the last few months with moving into my new apartment and all sorts of changes in my life, so I haven’t been able to properly look after this blog. As far as I know Yext should list your business on all of the directories that they promised. It sounds like you’re using Yext PowerListings, a new service that is different than what I got roped into two years ago. It’s been a while since I used Yext, and I’ve never used the PowerListings service, so I can’t really comment on how things may have changed in the meantime, or on the quality of the PowerListings service, as I don’t have any experience with it.

      I can only provide my thoughts on the service I used from them previously, which was a pay-per-call system for what were supposed to be “pre-qualified” leads. The leads were terrible, and I think the fact that (at least judging by the later comments here) that Yext seems to push the new Yext PowerListings service with a monthly fee over the pay-per-call model they used previously shows that Yext realized the leads were terrible as well.

      If you do choose to try out the Yext PowerListings service, I would love for you to share your honest feedback here, as I don’t really have much information about it here in the discussions yet.

  12. Kathryn says:

    Kathryn again. I honestly don’t understand Yext. Are they going to list me on all the directories or not? Does anyome know? Thanks!

  13. Matthew Foran says:

    Everyone has bitched about Yext and it sounds like they truly suck. It is important to get directory listings across the web, for citatations,but to do it manually would be a drag. The best options I’ve heard of are Localeze and Universal Business Listings (UBL). Other than that, make sure you’re listed on major directories like Yelp, Citysearch, YP, Superpages, Merchant Circle, etc., and, of course, Google” (Places), Bing, and Yahoo local directories. Make sure all information is exactly identical in all listings. However, your business name, address and phone appear in your local phone book is what you should copy across the board exactly. That’s what Google wants. Thanks for the Yext review. I’ll steer way clear

  14. Daniel Brown says:

    I signed up with yept and I was lead to belive it was $40.00 per mont then I received my credit card bill and it was $499.00 I say they are very miss leading and . I will be calling my credit card company tomorrow and canceling and will not do any more business with them

  15. paininspires says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this about yext it helped me make the right decision for my business today!

  16. my understanding was that I was to be billled $42/mo, not the whole year in one go!

  17. Cathy says:

    thank you! i found them on LinkedIn and there was no mention of fees as I began to fill out their form. Also, some of the SEs or sites they showed on my analysis as lacking require big advertising fees to get moved up or to appear on their sites. I found it curious that Yext listed them and can get around having to pay additional fee for those types of paid move ups.

  18. Brandon says:

    I think You’re just a BROKE… Loser! I actually use the service for many clients and it works great! grow your biz, quit ya whining about $30…… where’d I go… I had to get back to the MONEY!!! Make it rain off this yext money :)

    • Zachary says:

      Hi, Brandon Lampkin. Considering you’ve been working since I was 8 years old according to your LinkedIn profile, I imagine you were in a much better position to absorb any type of losses from your business. At the time I tried Yext I was a high school kid trying to start a business, so yes, of course I was broke. Yext was supposed to make me more money than it cost me, but it didn’t, so since Yext did not provide any ROI, I saw fit to stop using the service.

      Luckily I’m not broke now, but Yext had me on my way to being a broke loser with their terrible “leads.” As I mention in my post, your mileage may vary. For some businesses this may work better, especially if you have the extra capital to wait it out and see if the leads improve over time. Unfortunately when Yext cost me more than $100 without making me a single dollar, I couldn’t keep experimenting with it any further. For someone who is bootstrapping a small business and doesn’t have a lot of funds available at the time, I wouldn’t recommend it based on my experiences.

      According to your IP address you’re in the Lebanon, PA area. Your LinkedIn profile says Hershey, PA which is less than 20 miles away. You’re over 600 miles away from where I lived at the time I wrote this. I’m sure that the quality of service varies from location to location. Some have also reported that Yext has changed their business model, so the service may also have improved since I used them nearly 3 years ago. However, I do know that when I used Yext, it was packed with hidden fees, often made disputing bogus leads difficult, was misrepresented to me when I purchased it, and even had the gall to ask me to provide them with IP addresses and email addresses of others who were posting comments about their own bad experiences with Yext on my site. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the service at the time, but I admit they would have had to have made some changes since then surely to still be in business today.

      In any case, I’m glad to hear that you’ve had a better experience using Yext to get customers for Visual Axis Media (great design, by the way!) than I did with my business, Brandon. I don’t understand your need to express that in a personal attack against me, but whatever, no hard feelings. Have fun making it rain in PA! :D

  19. vologon.com says:

    Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to
    start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • Zachary says:

      Thanks! I’m using WordPress. You can buy themes (or have someone build you a custom theme), to personalize a WordPress blog or website.

      If you’re looking for someone to do that, I recommend Eco-Office Gals! They can do a full-service setup for you, or just help you out with the parts you can’t do yourself, like designing a unique theme to make your blog stand out.

  20. Maryellen says:

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

    • Zachary says:

      Thanks, Maryellen! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my articles!

      • Dave says:

        Is this the same co located in NYC? There is a co trying to get small co to add their SEQ into (60) local websites search engines such as mantra, yellow pages, blue book and other websites They are selling such services for $499.00 per year. They claim that they will do all the facebook bages and all for this annual charge.
        Is this company legit?
        Do you have an address for this scam? Or a phone number?

      • Zachary says:

        Hi Dave, I can’t remember if they’re based out of NYC or not. I would say that they’re not likely a scam, in that they will probably do the work they’re promising you, but that it is a scam in that the work is not worth $500, nor is it worth a recurring annual charge. This is all very basic stuff, adding your information to websites and search engines is as simple as going to those websites and adding a listing for your business with your information in it. Setting up a Facebook page is also very simple to do.

        Once those things are done, unless your information changes, they won’t really have to be done again, so why they would charge you annually is baffling. If they’re managing the Facebook page for you, posting content and such, then for only $500 a year, you’re not going to get much time and effort out of them. You’re not going to see any results out of spending $500 a year to have some intern spend 10-15 minutes a day with your Facebook page, especially if they don’t know your business. You could probably do a much better job of managing it yourself, if you’re interested in using social media to market to your clients. You’ll know more about your business, your customers, your activities, and what else might interest them than an outside person who doesn’t commit the time to learning those things as well, and for $500 a year, I just don’t see that happening. It would be the digital equivalent of paying someone to dig holes and then fill them back in. Sure, work is getting done, but that work doesn’t get you any results, and you’re paying for it.

        I’ve actually been very actively involved in social media marketing for the last two years since taking a job with a social media marketing agency. Unfortunately I don’t post here very much any more, but if you want to learn more about it to see if it works for you, you can check out some of the blog posts I’ve written for the agency I work for: http://www.thoughtlabs.com/author/zachary/ I would recommend starting with Why Are You on Facebook? and 3 Questions You Should Ask Before Starting an Online Community.

  21. Kent says:

    I really studied everything about the “partner” sites. The only thing that I was concerned about while researching yext was if their services actually work and if I could achieve those results without their help. I’ve done a very in depth study to see which of their business listing sites were free, and I posted my results on this page:

    http://www.heritageins.net/yext

    My conclusion was that at least 21 out of 46 of the sites that they listed were free, and 13 others I couldn’t find how to create a business listing. Check out my page and scroll to the bottom for the list of free business listings that they want you to pay for…

    • Zachary says:

      Great work on your post, Kent! That’s some really in depth stuff you gathered! Thanks for sharing it with my readers here! :)

  22. […] it’s from 2011, you may also want read Zachary Chastain’s, Yext Ripoff, How An Internet Marketing Service Took Me For A Ride. However, it looks like Yext has pivoted its business away from pay-per-call (h/t Andrew […]

  23. Monique says:

    Yext is not for small business. Yext will take your money and then when it comes to renewing and you are not satisfied, will automatically charge the card on file, with out providing a sufficient email that actually goes to your inbox (I could not find the sent email using a query). Very disappointed that upon canceling my subscription that they would not provide a full refund (only a prorated refund), especially that I was dissatisfied with the service. DO NOT GO YEXT. WASTE OF MONEY!

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