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Fake Yellow Pages scammers in court after ripping off small businesses

Two companies face court action after they allegedly misled Australian businesses into thinking they were dealing with Sensis Pty Ltd’s Yellow Pages.

Yellow PagesYellow Page Marketing BV and Yellow Publishing Limited will face court after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the two overseas companies.

The ACCC alleges that since May this year, both Yellow Page Marketing BV and Yellow Publishing Limited misled hundreds of Australian businesses into paying money for listing in what they were led to believe were Sensis Pty Ltd Yellow Pages directories.

Justice Gordon gave the ACCC leave to serve the court documents on the companies which are based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The ACCC was also given leave to serve the court documents through a Melbourne law firm which has acted for one of the companies.

The two companies, which trade as ‘Directories for Australia’ and a variety of other names which include the term ‘Yellow Page’, have had an interim injunction granted against them restraining restraining the companies from seeking payment from Australian small businesses.

Yellow Page Marketing BV and Yellow Publishing Limited sent small businesses unsolicited facsimiles and follow-up invoices to procure a subscription to, and payment for, their online business directories. The facsimiles and invoices contained prominent banner headings including the words ‘Yellow Page’ and an inverted walking fingers logo, along with an offer of a ‘free’ listing in Google when the offer was not free. Australian businesses which took up the offer were each charged $3096 over two years, payable one year in advance, which appeared in fine print at the bottom of the facsimile.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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