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Buyer Beware - Canadian National Business Directory

Expert: CanadaOne

Marjorie asked:

I just signed up for the Canadian Business Directory but I think I want to cancel. A telemarketer called me, but I'm having a problem finding their number. Do you know how I can reach them? Do you think I should cancel the ad or is it a good place to promote my business?

CanadaOne answered:

We also had difficulty tracking down particulars about the business directory/phone book you referred to in your telephone call. However, here's what we've managed to confirm.

The company's Web site address is and both the phone directory and CD-Rom are published by Datacom Publishing located at 2200 Yonge Street, Suite 500. Their telephone number is 416-488-8181.

There are over 220,000 companies listed in the biennial directory and we were quoted a cost of $379.00 to purchase a business listing in it.

One interesting thing we discovered, however, is that the directory is not sold to the public, nor is it widely distributed within the Toronto Public Library system. While performing a search at our request, a representative at the Toronto Reference Library found only one copy circulated at the S. Walter Stewart Branch located at Coxwell, south of O'Connor Drive.

Our advice is that if you are not interested in incurring the $379.00 cost associated with listing your business in the directory, we suggest that you photocopy the book from the library in East York we referred to above.

Just a final point: We noticed that the Canadian Business Directory Web site did not outline the costs of signing up at the outset. This suggests that placing a listing could be free and entice customers with misleading promises. Consumers should be weary of this type of marketing approach and beware of products that may not live up to their business needs.

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