Internet marketing & advertising company Yodle has been off our radar for a while. I first wrote about Yodle back in May 2009, I got a call from a pushy Yodle salesperson, and I expressed my annoyance on Lawyerist:

what Yodle actually does, as far as I can tell, is employ a bunch of jerks to call me (four times last week, plus an email for good measure), insult me, and try to bully me into becoming a client

Commenters reported similar experiences. Yodle responded by offering three months of its services to prove its worth. We called it the Yodle Challenge, and bankruptcy attorney Brea Buettner agreed to take part. In the end, Yodle did generate some profit for Brea, who called the campaign a success even though she decided not to stick with it.

But recently, the comments thread has gotten lively again (we’ve also discussed Yodle in the LAB), and it sounds like not much has changed in Yodle’s sales department over the last few years.

Full disclosure: Yodle is a long-time advertiser on Lawyerist.com.

Here is a sampling of the recent comments:

Never have I handled a more unprofessional and insulting sales call then I have with Yodle’s sales reps. – Brianne

Not only does Yodle attempt to be deceptive about their intentions, but I also had one call back and threaten to send an angry e-mail to my boss. They not only call every day on at least one of the phone lines if not more at our office, but hey also send e-mails which is disruptive. – B

They incessantly called me for like three weeks and I told them no. They somehow got in touch of one with my managing partners who transferred it to me. Then Yodle tried to bully me into setting up a phone call saying my managing partner was interested. I sent an email saying no again and the Yodle guy replied to MY E-MAIL and CC’ed my managing partner. My managing partner told him no again. Shouldn’t this be illegal? – Erin

I tried them out for a while a couple of years ago. The return on investment was horrible and needless to say, I didn’t renew. They have started calling me again, and as they did in 2009 as noted in comments above, they claimed to be “with Google” and “from Google” but when pressed, admitted they were calling from Yodle. – CA lawyer

The last comment in particular struck a chord. I remember hearing lots about how the sales reps were “with Google” or similar language, and didn’t mention Yodle until I went into cross-examination mode. It seems to me that, if Yodle is still provoking these kinds of reactions three years later, it has a systemic problem with its sales department. I’m guessing it encourages this kind of behavior, either explicitly or implicitly, probably because it works despite the bad press it generates.

Have you been contacted by Yodle? Did you feel like the sales reps you spoke or exchanged email with were deceptive, pushy, or insulting?

Or, have you hired Yodle? How did it work for you?