Company out of business but still charging customers

Company out of business but still charging customers »Play Video
COUNCIL, Idaho - The Community Phone Book appears to be a scam. The Truth Squad first told you about the company behind it in May and has a disturbing update.

Sector Marketing runs the Community Phone Book, but the business apparently went under in June. The problem is that some are still getting charged for advertisements that were never even made.

"I trusted he'd do what he would do but it just didn't happen," said Debra Jolly, Homedale resident.

Jolly contacted KBOI 2News in in the spring. She owns Owyhee Ice Cream in Homedale.

"A gentleman came into our store and gave us a presentation for a local phone book that would just go to our area of Marsing and Homedale," Jolly said. "We felt in the middle of winter we needed that assistance."

Jolly says they never saw the phone book, just a poorly done online version, and she paid $250 for an ad.

Sam Consalvi is the man responsible for it and said over the phone that he is happy with the product, but unhappy that customers were contacting the Truth squad and not him. However, Jolly says she did contact Consalvi and never heard from him.

Paula Roberts, of Council, claims the same thing.

"I have tried contacting him by email and phone," Roberts said. "I want to know where my money is or where is my phone book?"

Roberts just got in touch with the Truth Squad saying she signed up for a Council area Community Phone Book, but just like in Jolly's case it never came out.

"When I emailed them with my complaint they emailed me back and said thank you for your interest but on June 6 the Middleton-Star Community Phone Book is no longer in business," Roberts said. "If they're out of business then why on Aug. 23 did they try to take out another $499 out of my account."

Roberts owns Gypsy's Take-In-Bake and had placed ads for her business and two others she's involved in. Six months later she's never seen an ad, but certainly has paid a lot.

"He had my credit card number and he kept running it," Roberts said.

Since May more than $1,200 has been wracked up. She has disputed all the costs to her credit card company and gotten the money back, but Roberts is disgusted Consalvi is still taking money from people.

The Better Business Bureau doesn't even rank Sector Marketing because they're listed as no longer in business. However, there are several complaints.

President of the BBB, Dale Dixon, says the best thing you can do is do your research.

"Research the reputation of the company selling the advertising," Dixon said. "You want to see examples of the reach and where the copies will be distributed."

Roberts has canceled her credit card so she won't find any more unexpected charges from Sector Marketing on her bill. Along with Jolly and dozens of other businesses she's also waiting for a phone book, but assumes she'll never get one.

The Truth Squad has tried contacting Consalvi again, but he hasn't responded. The Idaho Attorney General's Office also has several complaints in regards to Sector Marketing and Sam Consalvi and you're encouraged to make one as well if you've had similar problems.


If you'd like the Truth Squad to investigate an issue or problem, submit your story idea via our Truth Squad submission page.