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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Internationational Commercial Attorney
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I signed a contract with Yodle.com. I was lead to believe via

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I signed a contract with Yodle.com. I was lead to believe via phone by the salesman that I should get plenty of leads to be able to sell a minimum of 4 landscape jobs per month to be able to pay for the expense. ($999/mo) It is a three month contract. The terms and conditions can be found at Yodle.com. The problem is, I have received only a few leads, we had to finally resort to seeking out more services to get leads, services that do not pay nearly enough. I have sold a total of 1 job for holiday lights totalling $100 for the first month. All the sales techniques were done via internet and telephone, but the contract is all that I have to go off of because thats the only thing in writing. But the service has not provided me with very many good leads and we have not sold work to pay for the service, so I am now stuck with a $999/mo bill that I cant pay, during off season for our biz, which was why I discussed it thouroughly with the sales rep of the importance of being able to get enough leads to sell at least 4 specifically landscape jobs, which he insinuated was not problem given our market area. The leads have been anything but landscape leads. Not sure if we even had any landscape leads or not. the other services we started to solicit was just an attempt to salvage a ad campaign going south. So we are almost to the end of the first month, and having not sold the work from the leads we needed, we dont have the finances to pay the bill for next cycle. what are my options, and can I cancel the contract? I live in Oklahoma. There is a three month minimum committment in the contract. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question. I'd be happy to talk this through with you.

Can you give me a specific link to where the contract is on the yodle site?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

-ZDN
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

I've reviewed the contract.

Unfortunately, you are stuck in a very hard position. The contract is what controls here, and it is iron clad as to the term of the contract. The contract specifically states that the contract may not be cancelled during the initial term. Thus, there is no way contractually for you to get out of the contract unless you can prove that Yodle is not doing what it promised to do.

My understanding is that Yodle promised to provide you with advertising services. Yodle represented that it expected that the advertising would generate enough leads for you to cover the cost of the advertising. While this has not turned out to be the case, there is nothing in your question that leads me to believe that Yodle has not in fact performed the advertising promised. The only problem is that the advertising was not effective.

The contract specifically disclaims any guarantees of effectiveness of the advertising. Generally for advertising contracts with small businesses, this is always the case. The advertiser tells you the ads will be effective, but does not guarantee their effectiveness. You have to specifically negotiate the guarantee that the ads will result in sales or the contract will terminate. That is not present in this contract. In fact the contract says the opposite, i.e., that you are bound to pay regardless of the effectiveness of the ads.

The representations made by Yodle when you signed up for the service are not "material misrepresentations" about the actual service which would qualify you to terminate the contract either. The salesperson represented that Yodle's ads would generate sales. This turns out to have not been the case. However, this is not a representation about the actual ads. If Yodle represented that they guaranteed 100 leads, rather than that it "should" generate plenty of leads, this would be different story too.

Thus, any attempt to sue Yodle to cancel the contract or for commercial misrepresentation would not likely be successful.

I'm afraid that it does not appear that there is a way out for you that would be cost effective.

Are you incorporated or are you a sole proprietor?

-ZDN
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am a sole proprietor. They told me they would be able to generate between 40 to 80 leads the first three months, and then 40-80 leads each month afterwards. I was origionally set up for landscape leads. so this was the type leads expected.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


would the contract auto default and thus cancel if we were not able to pay the monthly contract amount?

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
The reason I ask is because I was thinking of what kind of exposure you are going to face if you do default on the agreement.

In your position, I think you should immediately contact the yodle sales rep and tell him about your situation and tell them that their services have been completely ineffective. Press him to see if Yodle will provide you with any relief.

They are representing that they will provide you with 40-80 leads a month but have only generated a few. However, if they have done all the advertising they promised to do, and there were simply no leads generated, this is a situation that is called "puffery" rather than "misrepresentation" and will not generate a breach of contract or misrepresentation claim.

If Yodle won't help you out or stand behind their services, then you need to email Interactive Marketing Specialist to notify them that you are terminating the contract and provide them with notice that you are unable to pay the monthly bill because their service did not generate the leads promised.

Since you are a sole proprietor, you don't want Yodle to ding your credit, so it's best to be up front with them about your situation and see if you can work out a deal with them on paying out the remainder of the contract over time or if they will cut you a break since they said you would get 40-80 leads per month but the results were different.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4006
Experience: Internationational Commercial Attorney
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