As a web designer and SEO company, I work with mostly small businesses, particularly contractors, landscapers, etc. Many small business owners I talk to have tried Dex Media at some point, and very few have had anything good to say about them. It's the same complaints every time: Lack of communication, billing errors, website errors, and basically paying through the nose for "services" that simply aren't working. Some of the things that these guys promise are ludicrous, just to get a signature so they get their commission. For the most part, Dex websites are not search engine friendly due to all the "junk code" behind the website (even their newer updated "streamlined" sites; they just look nicer, but what's "under the hood" is still the same). Many times the sites are lacking proper search engine optimization (SEO). Worse, some of the SEO methods they use on their sites can get the site penalized by search engines. And don't even get me started on their "pay-per-click" program (a separate topic, which you can read HERE).
So what is a business owner to do if they're stuck in a Dex Media contract? Well, from all the small business owners I've talked to in the past few years, you actually CAN get out of your contract. You'll have to do a bit of legwork though, and prove that you didn't get what you paid for. That means keeping track of who called through their special phone numbers, and analyzing your Google Analytics reports. You can see where those visits to your website from your Pay Per Click ad are really coming from, and you may be shocked. I've spoken to quite a few small business owners who successfully cancelled their contracts and got most or at least some of their money refunded.
But if Dex Media does allow you to cancel your contract, then what? Now you have no website, much of your online marketing goes bye-bye (or worse, held hostage by Dex Media), and they may still own your domain name, Google Places listing, and company Facebook page. Once Dex Media gets their hooks in, it's difficult to get out! So now what? Well, before you request your cancellation and refund, you need to take some protective measures. You will need to hire a new web designer/online marketing person to help you with this. First, the new web designer should copy all the content from your Dex Media website, including text, photos, and videos (or you can do this yourself: select all text, copy, and paste into a Notepad or Microsoft Word doc, and right-click on each photo and save it). Then you will have to work on getting the domain name back from Dex Media (which is most likely owned by them, not you). Then request that they transfer ownership of your Google Places listing to you; your Google Places listing is VERY important, and if you don't own it, you can't ever update it, and chances of getting it back later are almost zero. Then have them make you an admin of your company Facebook page; again, this is important, as you'll never get it back later and will have to start from scratch. Again, a web designer/online marketing person can help guide you in these endeavors. Once you've successfully taken these protective measures, then it's time to get a new website built, ideally by a smaller company where you can actually talk to the same person every time you call. When the new website is published using the old Dex Media domain name, that will effectively replace the Dex site, so the transition will be seamless and you won't be left without a website. NOW you can start your cancellation and refund discussions with Dex Media, since they will no longer have anything left to hold over your head.