After years of hiring Yellow Pages advertizing, I discontinued all my advertizing effective a couple of months ago. My plan is to let business peter out over the course of a year or two before pulling the plug.

After the annual service was paid off, I was surprised to get another bill for the same amount, apparently for some kind of residual charge.

I spent a half hour trying to talk to a rep about this before giving up. I then E-mailed the company's customer service to yip about this charge. They never replied to my e-mail, but more than a month later I haven't been rebilled for the original charge or billed for more. So if I'm in luck, they cancelled the charge.

There may have been a clause in the contract that permits them to collect this kind of charge, on the theory that people will still be using old advertizing for a while. However, I can't find my old contract to see if that's true.

Does anyone know if that kind of policy is common in directory advertizing? If so, I'm curious about how much and how long they propose to continue billing people.

If so, it might be a pitfall people might want to consider when reducing or eliminating advertizing services. I wouldn't be surprised that when buying new advertizing service, you might be able to cross out that kind of provision if you were paying attention, which I was not.

Seattle Pioneer