A scam which can cost companies thousands and lead to an onslaught of harassment, has reared its ugly head again.

The so-called White Pages scam, in which a private “advertising company” sends an email to an employee or representative of a business, seems innocent enough at first. It looks like a standard update of your company details for the Telkom white pages.

The fact that the email address has a @telkomsa.net email entrenches the perception that the businesses are being approached about directory entries they already have and are paying for. But when you read the fine print – which is indeed so fine that one needs a magnifying glass to read it – you are locking your business into a yearly payment of R 8 340 (Vat excluded), which can only be cancelled in writing.

This Durban based company has many aliases. Some of their names are White Business Pages, Telecom Directory, Directory Services 2, Business Entries, Business Pages, Telecom Listings and SA Online Listings.

None of the aforementioned companies are intermediaries for the Telkom products, nor do they publish their own phone books.

Renowned consumer journalist Wendy Knowler advises people who had fallen for the scam “not to pay, certainly not without the receipt of a summons”. She writes that the Advertising Standards Authority has alerted business owners to this “apparent scam” after many complaints regarding the misleading “offer”.

We are agents that facilitate the placement of your company details with the various Telkom entities. We are known as intermediaries, and abide by a strict code of conduct, as set out by Telkom.

Whilst we abide by Telkom’s rules and regulations in terms of the format of your entries, as well as adhering to their instructions on our submissions to them, we do not work for Telkom. We work for our clients and have been doing so for 30 years since 1991.

Our contact details are:

Telephone: 0861 30 50 40

Fax: 041 364 1898 or write to us at: info@telephonenquiries.co.za.

You can also visit our website for more details at: www.telephonenquiries.co.za.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Roberta Sampson