The Ingenious Scam: Better Business B...

The Ingenious Scam: Better Business Bureau

Posted in the Chatsworth Forum

Since: Aug 09

Greenville, SC

#1 Oct 17, 2011
Good afternoon all,
So, I'm not sure how many of you are aware of the full workings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), so I'll start with some basics. The BBB is a "non-profit" company that exists to check the validity of an organization and provide consumers with information when services are needed. The BBB is NOT a government agency, despite the Bureau in its name. The "rankings" given by the BBB are NOT based on quality of service, but instead based on whether the company is willing to pay "dues" to the BBB.

Are you currently asking yourself, "Did I just read that right? The BBB rankings aren't based on consumer reported issues?" Yes you did. You see, the BBB SELLS their rankings. If a company chooses NOT to become an accreditted business, the business will have to pay on a per complaint basis. If the business chooses to become accreditted, then they're charged a flat yearly fee.

In 2010, 20/20, an ABC network news magazine, reported in a segment titled 'The Best Ratings Money Can Buy' about the irregularities in BBB ratings. They reported that a man created two dummy companies which received A+ ratings as soon as he had paid the membership fee. They also reported that business owners were told that the only way to improve their rating was by paying the fee. In one case a C was turned to an A immediately after a payment and in another case a C- became an A+. Chef Wolfgang Puck said that some of his businesses receive Fs because he refuses to pay a fee. Ritz Carlton, which does not belong either, also receives Fs for not responding to its complaints

BBBs have been accused of unduly protecting companies. The BBB responds by, at a minimum, notating complaints on the "Reliability Report" section of its web sites. If a branch does not act reasonably on behalf of a consumer, a complaint may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission. However, recent reports have suggested that local chapters of the Better Business Bureau refuse to list complaints against companies if customers do not pay a $70 "mediation fee".

Because of its requirement that businesses pay dues and tribute, this has engendered complaints that the BBB compiles scores based upon their ability to collect money from businesses, and not upon business performance.

It has been reported that the BBB encourages and solicits money from the very businesses they monitor, which again, raises the question of neutrality.

On December 22, 2010, William Mitchell, CEO of the Los Angeles BBB, and originator of the BBB Letter Grading System, resigned as a result of an internal investigation conducted by the CBBB

You can take a look around and some of the worthless companies in this town who have great ratings on BBB, but are some of the harshest and nastiest people to deal with, from a consumer standpoint.

Have you ever had to report someone to the BBB? I have a few times.
reallynow

Dalton, GA

#2 Oct 17, 2011
As does Angies List, Service Pro, Handyman Online and every other. It is a business.

Since: Aug 09

Greenville, SC

#3 Oct 17, 2011
reallynow wrote:
As does Angies List, Service Pro, Handyman Online and every other. It is a business.
I put this out here because, until recently, I thought the BBB was there for the consumer's benefit. I didn't realize it was actually a "bribe" based pseudo-business. It doesn't actually provide a service to the every day consumer.
Donnie

Summerville, GA

#4 Oct 17, 2011
Better not fool with the "Free Credit Report" outfit. It's everything but free bleieve me.
Ray

Albemarle, NC

#5 Oct 25, 2011
I looked up a company the other day on BBB. They were given an A+ rating!!!! Guess how many complaints. 33!!!!!! Now how the hell can they get an A+. Sounds like they bought their rating!!!!!

Since: Aug 09

Greenville, SC

#6 Oct 25, 2011
Ray wrote:
I looked up a company the other day on BBB. They were given an A+ rating!!!! Guess how many complaints. 33!!!!!! Now how the hell can they get an A+. Sounds like they bought their rating!!!!!
I've actually had cases closed from the BBB where the business has sent an email saying, "Too bad, that's how we do business." The BBB closed the ticket and said, "Case closed, business made best effort to satisfy customer"

Really?!

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