Home > Uncategorized > Better Business Bureau – A useless institution ?

Better Business Bureau – A useless institution ?

September 21st, 2009

For the last many years I had very high regards for Better Business Bureau. When I used the word “Better Business Bureau”, it sounded to me like a quasi judicial institution that safeguarded consumer interests and helped resolve their grievances against erring companies.

If you look at the BBB logo – it says – “Start With Trust”. And this trust is what is there in persons mind. They think that if they are not properly treated by companies they can trust on BBB and have their grievances addressed from Better Business Bureau. I was one of those persons.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) was founded in 1912. It is a corporation consisting of several private business franchises of local BBB organizations based in the United States and Canada, which work together through the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). As per wiki – “The BBB goal is to foster a fair and effective marketplace, so that buyers and sellers can trust each other.”

How does BBB work

According to wiki – “BBBs gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve disputes. News media frequently turn to the CBBB and local BBBs as expert sources of news about scams and consumer issues.”

What if a consumer has an issue

The BBB does have a dispute resolution system. The procedures for dispute resolution are established by the Council of the Better Business Bureaus. This in turn is implemented by local BBBs. According to the wiki -”disputes can be resolved through mediation; when appropriate, low or no-cost arbitration may also be offered and provided through the BBB. The BBB acts as a neutral party when providing dispute resolution services.”

What happens in practice

In practice there is nothing like “mediation or low or no-cost arbitration”. If you have a grievance, you complain to BBB. What does BBB do ? The Better Business Bureau forwards it to the local BBB unit. And local BBB starts investigations ? It starts mediation ? Absolutely no. All the loca BBB does it forwards your complain to the concerned company. It gives two weeks of time to the company to respond. The company can respond anything it wishes. The company may even respond just one liner -”This is according to our terms and conditions”. Better Business Bureau, does not even read you or the companies reply. All it does is that it checks if your reply is with 700 characters. Note 700 characters – not 700 word. You can not write anything more than 700 characters. Their online system does this check. And it will not tell you automatically.

So the company replies back with a curt reply. And then what does BBB does. Nothing. It just forward you the reply. You are dissatisfied. You thought you made a very good case against the company. And you wanted BBB’s support or at least BBB’s acknowledgement that the case deserves merit and attention. No. BBB is not at all concerned about it.  BBB just forwards the reply to you. You can then again make a reply. And BBB then again forwards it to the company against which you have grievance. And then again 2 weeks of waiting time. The company may or may not reply. If it does reply, you get the reply from the company which may be a curt reply for half a line. And then the case is closed. BBB is not at all concerned what the reply is about.

In other words BBB is a useless institution. Worst, you have trust on BBB and that trust is shattered.

Why Does BBB exist

Well BBB is not a place to address your complaints. Never waste your time on BBB for you complaint addressal. BBB sells the BBB Certifications to companies. And this is where is makes money from. That money brings the bread and butter for its employees. If we rely upon the report http://www.ripoffreport.com/Better-Business-Bureau/Better-Business-Bure/better-business-bureau-or-buye-eq4fb.htm as reported by consumers then BBB encourages and solicits money from the very businesses they monitor! How could this be beneficial to the consumer ?

Read from that report -  “What the BBB does, is give the business that is being reported the opportunity to respond. If the business responds many times this is enough to give the business a satisfactory rating, no matter what their response is!”.

What is ridiculous is that the if the business responds just once, the story ends. BBB does not care if they responded subsequently. The businesses still get satisfactory rating.  The above article in ripoff report says that -  “The BBB does provide a mediation service, but the BBB cannot force the business to do anything for you to resolve your consumer rip-off. They can only make suggestions. And if the business does not comply, this will not insure an unsatisfactory rating for the business that ripped you off.”. In my case however, BBB did not tell that they are ready to mediate.

You may also like to check http://bbbroundup.com/. According to the report – “of two similar businesses, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle–both major market, reputable newspapers from February 2009.  There are two differences between them:  1) They are graded by two different regional BBB offices (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and 2) the San Francisco Chronicle is a BBB member, the Los Angeles Times is not.  This suggests either members are favored over non-members or different regions grade differently.”

If you have trusted BBB so far, it is because you have not gone to them to have any of your concern as consumer addressed.

Also read the comments below and another article Executive pays in BBB

No related posts.

Uncategorized

  1. Darrell Hinkle
    October 12th, 2009 at 09:25 | #1

    I’ve long maintained that the BBB was a useless institution. This just confirms my suspicions. Thanks for the head’s up.

  2. sherry c
    November 19th, 2009 at 11:15 | #2

    Agreed they are absolutely worthless. File a complaint on an autobody repair. Because I did not request any monetary compensation the complaint basically goes to BBB’s file and the Company’s file and the Company’s rating remains A+. BBB called this a “letter of experience”. I will never rely on BBB’s info again it basically Company paid accreditation.

  3. Connie
    November 20th, 2009 at 19:53 | #3

    Wow, I wished I read this before I went to the BBB, they did exactly what was mentioned…completely nothing for me!

  4. sarah duke
    December 28th, 2009 at 14:04 | #4

    LOL Wow you must not have a good BBB where your from. I have a great one here. Follows through, does investigations, holds business accountable and notes their record if they fail to respond or don’t resolve the dispute, which DOES effect a company’s grade. I have done alot of research and a good portion of a company’s grade is based on complaint history. If a company that has 500,000 customers has 1 complaint it is graded differently than a company with 500 customers and 1 complaint. BBB’s are non-profit, they don’t “make” money, it goes to the community. My suggestion, get some solid research under your belt and don’t throw the institution under the bus because your BBB situation wasn’t handled appropriatey. Each BBB is run differently, but adheres to a core set of principles. Making money is not one of them.

  5. December 30th, 2009 at 06:39 | #5

    Sarah duke,

    The whole point is – BBB is useless and completely worthless for an individual. Individuals are in the impression that BBB will support them and help them in case they get cheated or some fraud happens with them. It turns out that this is not the case that happened. BBB does absolutely nothing for customers when they are cheated by any company. And this is not just John’s case or Bob’s case. This is true of each and every individual.

    Your assertion is absolutely true that “If a company that has 500,000 customers has 1 complaint it is graded differently than a company with 500 customers and 1 complaint.”. The point here is that the 1 customer who files the complaint to BBB does get absolutely no benefit from BBB as far as his particular case is concerned. The BBB just records is and that’s it. It does help BBB “in rating the company”.

    This is different from what a person in general has the image of BBB in mind when he proceeds to BBB with a complaint. In other words, the customers are working for BBB rather than the other way round.

    As far as the word “non-profit” is concerned it is misunderstood by people misused by the organizations ]. In most “non-profit” organizations, – the persons working at non-profit do get paid for the work they are doing. So, if BBB is not paid by the companies, the employees do not get paid. The persons working at BBB do have an interest to see the BBB gets customers. The BBB and any other non-profit organization, for that matter, do have a business model. And there is nothing wrong in it. The wrong thing is to use the word “non-profit”.

  6. sarah duke
    December 31st, 2009 at 08:57 | #6

    LOL No just for a few unfortunate individuals. The BBB has helped me when a company cheated me, and 3 of my co-workers were able to get help from the BBB when a scam was going on in our area. Again just because YOUR BBB didn’t handle YOUR complaint correctly, that does not mean that every BBB is useless. Talk to people the BBB has helped instead of having a biased article that is strictly anti-BBB. Look at both sides. Each BBB is run differently by different Presidents. You have no idea how the BBB responds to complaints. I went in person to my BBB and saw here they handle complaints. They are responded to, heard conversations between the BBB and the business being complained about. The fact is that the BBB can’t force companies to respond. If the company does not operate ethically and respond to the compaint that is not the BBB’s fault. What do you propose, send the BBB down to the business and demand a response. No instead the company’s grade is affected which DOES help future customers avoid that unethical company and costs the company business. So your situation, which is unfortunate, probably helped others to see how the company you dealt with treated you. And NO customers don’t work for the BBB what an ignorant statement. My BBB last year dealt with over 100,000 complaints alone, 86% were resolved within 18 days, in favor of both parties. The BBB is a neutral entity, it does not take sides! Do your research my word!! It is Non profit!!! The BBB pays it’s employees to handle complaints, it’s not a group of volunteers, but it is non profit in that what is left after minimal compensation to employees (minimum wage) the rest goes to the community. The fact is you are ignorant on HOW the BBB works! Your BBB is not a good one, but again there are over 114 BBB’s nationwide!!! One bad one doesn’t make the whole organization bad.

  7. sarah duke
    December 31st, 2009 at 12:52 | #7

    BTW the BBB does not have “customers”, the general public doesn’t pay a dime to use the BBB, business pay to fund the organization. Why is Target with the BBB, and Best Buy and Supervalu?? It’s not like they aren’t household names, but the BBB helps the community and that is why they support it.

  8. Ron
    January 1st, 2010 at 20:59 | #8

    I will encourage everyone to read the blog

    http://www.thebluesmokeband.com/bbb.php.

    Some excerpts

    Enter The Better Business Bureau. Until last week, I thought that the BBB was a government-run organization, funded by my tax dollars. I thought that it was a neutral observer of business standards and practices, a place where one could get information on a legitimate business or where one could lodge a formal complaint against a shady one. Just about none of this is true.

    The BBB is not run by the government, but they do a lot of business with the FTC — at least that’s what I hear. They are a non-profit, charity organization known as a 501(c)(3). This means that whatever money you donate to their cause is tax-deductible. The money that you donate is supposed to go into programs and charitable causes. The organization is supposed to report their income, report their board of directors, report about their programs, and so on. This information appears on IRS form 990.

    990s are public information. So, with my wife’s help, I got hold of the 990 for our local BBB. Turns out, they report no income, no board of directors, no contractors who earn over $50,000 per year, and they have no programs. All they appear to have is -$849 in assets. This is, to say the least, shady.

  9. Kimberly
    January 3rd, 2010 at 21:49 | #9

    I completely agree that the BBB is useless, and I’d never waste my time reporting a company again. They might resolve issues sometimes, but unless the business really WANTS to make an effort to satisfy the customer, and that isn’t likely to happen, the customer is out of luck. No, the BBB doesn’t have ‘customers’. People here are using the word ‘customer’ because they made a purchase for goods and services in good faith. They were a ‘customer’ of the business. Anyone helped by the BBB is fortunate. The case usually ends up closed – period. The business isn’t forced to do anything. They’re not held accountable. Why would they be? It isn’t a court. Being a member of the BBB means nothing because the businesses never look bad no matter the outcome. If you want an example, take a look at the outcome of complaints. You don’t even get details regarding the problems. It’s a joke. Businesses pay to become members of the BBB, and they have the upper hand. Customer service no longer exists in many businesses.

    Contacting the BBB was a complete waste of time in my case. I was ripped off by a crooked construction company, and the BBB couldn’t do a thing about it because the ‘owner’ had no intention of doing the right thing. If you feel you have a case, take it to court a.s.a.p., and don’t waste precious time going back and forth with the BBB. Don’t count on regaining your loses even if you win the case. If the company files bankruptcy you’re out of luck anyway, and fraud is very difficult and very costly to prove.

  10. sarah duke
    January 11th, 2010 at 07:00 | #10

    LOL Ok again, one-sided commentary. I guess if you want to bitch about your experience, with YOUR BBB go right ahead. Mine happens to be a great one and there has been no complaints in our area regarding the BBB, and you can find information regarding programs and board of directors quite easily. If you want to find somthing negative in everything, guess what, you’ll find it. I prefer to remain positive.

  11. Gus Sinks
    January 18th, 2010 at 09:55 | #11

    You are right Kimberly, your BBB couldn’t make your dishonest contractor behave ethically but your complaint could lead to the company getting an F rating if unanswered or at least lowering their grade. Future consumers could get this information and decide to not do business with him/her based on that info. Before you invest, investigate. Our website provides information on companies and tips and links on how to be a smarter consumer. We provide free shredding services to consumers, speakers to schools and social organizations on many topics, our military line program educates our troops on scams and ripoffs. And our website continues to gain strength as more and more consumers go there for help in their buying decisions. And while BBB is not perfect (and who is), we have saved countless consumers from getting ripped off and we have resolved millions of complaints to the satisfaction of the consumer. You were dealing with a crook, what did you expect?

  12. Boston Creme, Arizona
    January 18th, 2010 at 17:35 | #12

    Yes I have had the exact same experience. As a matter of fact BBB accepts fees from the businesses that want to maintain the status of “Accredited Busines” that is clearly a conflict of interest. I wonder how come the government or anybody objects to this kind of biased mediation? It should be illegal in my opinion. In my opinion, BBB is not for consumers it actually protects the interest of businesses.

  13. sarah duke
    January 20th, 2010 at 11:37 | #13

    Again the BBB does not side with business or consumers! The BBB is neutral! And you don’t pay a fee to stay Accredited, you have to maintain sound business practices, that is how a company becomes accredited. My word ignorance must be bliss.

  14. Boston Creme, Arizona
    January 20th, 2010 at 12:06 | #14

    Sarah Duke – Please do some reality check before you post your next comment. Read the following content from the BBBs own website.

    http://www.bbb.org/us/Business-Accreditation/

  15. Boston Creme, Arizona
    January 20th, 2010 at 12:13 | #15

    Moderator – Please include the following in my post# 14.

    This is an example of what BBB charges to maintain Accredited Status.
    http://louisville.bbb.org/dues/

  16. Goingback ToCali
    January 26th, 2010 at 20:42 | #16

    Ohhhh! Booyah Sarah Duke! Where you at now?

  17. Melissa
    February 4th, 2010 at 06:53 | #17

    I agree with you completely. I have personal experience with the BBB as I have recently filed a claim only to be told they closed it administratively when the issue was not resolved. I thought they were required to help the consumer, but this do not appear to be the case.

  18. Tim
    February 14th, 2010 at 20:44 | #18

    Speaking from experience here people, don’t waste your time with the BBB. And just because the business has a good rating with the BBB doesn’t mean anything. Case in point: a car dealer in Framingham and Marlborough, MA has 26 complaints in the past 36 months, and an ‘A’ rating. (LOL!) As long as the business pays the BBB to be accredited, the consumer will always lose. The BBB is a complete waste of time, and is a *total and complete joke.* Go to your attorney general, or get a lawyer.

  19. jason
    March 5th, 2010 at 09:45 | #19

    @ Tim
    Another thing to consider is that some of the people who file complaints are idiots.
    I have had several people file complaints just because they didn’t want to abide by my terms and conditions.
    my terms and conditions are completely realistic so if you don’t agree with them don’t buy. its real simple math.
    another did not read her emails so thought she was being ignored.
    well how do I fix that? i’m supposed to teach someone how to use email now?..lol
    seriously.. it works both ways…
    just because someone files a complaint it does not automatically make them right and the business wrong or bad..
    There are a lot of people out there who think “the customer is always right” regardless of the circumstance..they also think that gives them the right to act rude and ridiculous. there should be a BCB “Better Customer Bureau” if you ask me.

  20. Walter G. cochran
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:19 | #20

    The BBB is not a police institution. They are merely a watchdog group.

    I had a case with them that went to arbritration and I won it. The BBB has no authority to make the company, that I had a beef with, pay me.

    My next step was to go to court which I have not done yet. They have, however, taken the company’s good rating away and show that there are two unsettled claims against them.

    That was my goal and I am satisfied with them.

  21. Sarah is psycho
    March 31st, 2010 at 17:46 | #21

    I’m Windering why Sarah can’t seem to say her piece and move on.. The only time the bbb has handled any of my complaints correctly is when the company im complaining against follows the law and settles. The bbb is laid by the businesses it is protecting. I let one of them
    have it today. Sarah is the only one on this thread acting like they need saintdom… Follow your own advice Sarah. Your ONE good experience doesn’t negate all of the obvious misrepresesentation. Get a life and shut up and move on

  22. Sarah is psycho
    March 31st, 2010 at 18:01 | #22

    AlterWalter you were lucky… A lot of these bbb ppl apparently don’t take their job seriously. I had one say that my case was settled efficiently when a lawyer for the company wrote a letter saying that Rey could confirm or deny nothing according to Colorado law. They are reporting a LIE on my report and told me to contact them (again) rather than them contacting me. The bbb in my home town is the same way… Totally stupid and not reporting legitimate (Jason) complaints. Where do you go to complain about the bbb caseworker idiots who aren’t doing THEIR job. I agree their ‘trust’ would make the definition mean nothing … They need to evaluate their caseworkers and hold them accountable or remove the ‘trust’ word from their advertising. Two workers I’ve dealt with in two different stated didn’t even know common —-common knowledge FTC law. Gimme a break! Evaluate!! Ha

  23. sarah duke
    April 9th, 2010 at 08:25 | #23

    Ah yes you pay a fee ONLY after you are accepted by the BBB for meeting and maintaining standards. Why don’t you do a reality check! Why didn’t you see that standards have to be met first. Maybe your BBB doesn’t adhere to standards, but mine does. Too bad for you!

  24. sarah duke
    April 9th, 2010 at 08:29 | #24

    Oh my look at that right from your link…accredited by the BBB means the BBB determined the business has met standards. Fees are paid for the review/monitoring and to support BBB services. WOW thanks for the link you proved my point!

    If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB accredited businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

    BBB Code of Business Practices represents standards for business accreditation by BBB. Businesses based in the United States and Canada that meet these standards and complete all application procedures will be accredited by BBB. The Code is built on the BBB Standards for Trust, eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business.

    BBB accreditation does not mean that the business’ products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business’ product quality or competency in performing services.

    Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

  25. sarah duke
    April 9th, 2010 at 08:33 | #25

    There’s my piece. The BBB does not deserve saintdom but when you can’t provide facts for what you are stating, that’s where I have an issue. Quite frankly our BBB does a great job. It’s too bad yours does not. It makes me wonder why you are so upset on this board and make personal attacks on people (ie: Sarah is a Psycho? get a life?) Maybe you have something to prove to people or lack self-esteem. I would look into that. Ba-bye

  26. kathy
    April 21st, 2010 at 13:38 | #26

    B.B.B. is useless and misleading. They solve absolutely nothing and tell you when you TRY to address an issue to go to the Labor Board or Civil Rights.It’s a dead end road for everyone other than the business’s involved. The company pay’s to be protected is about all B.B.B. amounts to.

  27. kathy
    April 21st, 2010 at 13:40 | #27

    I don’t know what state sarah duke is talking about but it’s obviously not Colo.

  28. mjolnir
    May 21st, 2010 at 05:49 | #28

    In case anyone is still not getting it, Sarah Duke is a BBB plant.

  29. mjolnir
    May 21st, 2010 at 06:08 | #29

    @sarah duke
    Wrong again…(sigh). I’m a business owner. The BBB got me on the phone and went through their banter and told me “all we need to finish today and get started together is the credit card you’d like to use.”

    Oh, unless of course she considered our 3 minute phone conversation sufficient evidence of our obvious adherence to the lauded BBB standards.I politely told her that we’d not be joining at that time.

    BBB is an anachronism. I maintain my own standard of ethics and answer to myself. BBB is like one of those “who’s who” ripoffs where you pay for inclusion in some useless list.

    Read Jason’s post above. That guy is a business owner, and he knows the deal. Disgruntled customers with an axe to grind and a self-endowed license to be rude and non-compliant with terms of service use it as a threat. They don’t realize that it’s a toothless threat.

    I’ll spend my $405/year on an employee party.

  30. Doug Ables
    May 22nd, 2010 at 17:53 | #30

    It is interesting reading this. I have contacted the BBB in 3 cities on three different occasions about incidents. Each time they did absolutely nothing. Why would they? I am a citizens and not a member of the BBB.
    the companies are paying members. You can’t tell me that doesn’t make a difference. If they upset their membership by ruling against them they might lose some cash.
    A totally worthless and misleading organization. Not only that but deceptively making the public think they are working to make the playing field level. Only thing missing is that they don’t charge you to make a complaint. Oh I better not give them any ideas.

  31. Robert
    May 24th, 2010 at 21:14 | #31

    My experience as a business owner is that the BBB is out to extort money from businesses.

  32. mike
    May 25th, 2010 at 09:47 | #32

    I also don’t know what BBB Sarah is talking about, but mine sucks as well. With all due respect Sarah, you seem to know an awful lot about your BBB, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you either work there or have someone close to you who does. Unfortunately, it seems yours may be the only worthwhile BBB to speak of.

  33. jeffrey
    May 27th, 2010 at 07:32 | #33

    My God! I have been putting my trust in BBB for settling a case in which the pavement contractor refuses to finish the driveway project upon having collecting the down payment worth 70% of full payment. … then, where shall I go to seek help? A local mafia? does a mafia charge a lot?

  34. Ross
    June 9th, 2010 at 13:27 | #34

    People, be reasonable. Nobody at BBB promised you your money back or satisfaction guaranteed. Who the hell said they gonna go and beat out that refund from that contractor, business, whoever???

    They log incoming complaints and businesses’ answers and show ratings. They make some money on accreditation. They are there for local community ’cause they show where not to buy.

    What I see is that furniture store I’m bitching with now has got 28 complaints (18 unresolved) and F rating. Store across the road has got 2 complaints, both resolved, B+ rating. Both stores are not accredited.
    Where would you go for your next sofa learned that the easier way?

  35. HistoryChick
    July 1st, 2010 at 11:22 | #35

    Here is your proof of the value of BBB:

    AFNI, a clearly disreputable collection agency, (just google their name and you will be flooded with poor people freaked out about being dunned for accounts never opened and car accidents they weren’t at fault and very very scary practices) here’s just one place keeping tabs:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/debt/afni_p2.html

    Now, for giggles and grins go and look at the AFNI home page:
    https://www.afnicollections.com/
    and look in the lower right corner and there is the stars-and-stripes of confidence-building logos, that’s right, the BBB Online Reliability Program, where you click and see that AFNI has an A+ rating. That’s right folks, A+. It’s virtually impossible for a sentient being, whether or not they have had an interaction with AFNI, not to be able to see what they are all about but take heart, the BBB is here to tell you to TRUST THEM.

    Of course collection agencies are a special breed of company with a special type of “ethics,” but there are many out there that don’t have the level and detail of complaints registered against them. Ms. Duke and some of the others in this discussion may have a positive view of their local BBB and they just might be good folk doing a good job. But BEWARE, and I mean be VERY AWARE, that the online BBB is just a place to take $ from companies so they can slap the logo on their website for a sense of legitimacy. Yeah, BBB is a complete waste when it comes to consumers. Do your own research, ask trusted friends and family and don’t place any stock in BBB (at least the online version of it!).

  36. i’m sarah duke
    July 2nd, 2010 at 19:15 | #36

    “You are all unfortunate. Too bad you can’t live by me and enjoy MY BBB. Blah blah blah.”

    Interesting comments.

  37. honcho
    July 10th, 2010 at 09:46 | #37

    BBB is an organization that is used as a means of screening and eliminating complaints lodged against it’s paying members (local businessess). I challenge you to even locate their local office phone number! If the company you are thinking of hiring says”Member of BBB”. THEN DON’T BOTHER CALLING THEM!

  38. Teegee
    July 10th, 2010 at 09:56 | #38

    Called and set up appointment with A&L roofing in Terre Haute. They never came nor called. When we called them they said didn’t have us set up till following Monday (this was on a Sat.) I reminded them they even asked what time we got up in the AM so they could get here early. Responce was “do you want me to come now?” It was now 12:30. They promised to be here around 9AM. Told them no and expressed our disappointment in their lack or professionalism. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND A COMPANY THAT DOESN’T BOTHER TO SHOW UP EVEN FOR JOB ESTIMATES. ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THEIR LACK OF RELIABILITY ONCE THEY HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN GIVEN MONEY UP FRONT FOR A JOB!

  39. Teegee
    July 12th, 2010 at 12:31 | #39

    this is a joke, the BBB is just protecting its paying members…

  40. July 14th, 2010 at 00:48 | #40

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the BBB is completely useless and is one of the biggest scams in the country. It’s just an institution to make money. Their business model is to create an institution, then market AGAINST those who don’t join, and collect membership fees.

  41. Buckeye1977
    July 20th, 2010 at 20:25 | #41

    mjolnir- you almost made me laugh when you said “I maintain my own standard of ethics and answer to myself”. Doesn’t every business think they are a good company? Do you think the fly by night contractors go around thinking, “wow I am a crook”!?? Really? Thank goodness there is a BBB to monitor companies just like you. I am not a business owner but if I was one I would definitely want to support ethics in the community and as a consumer I would never do business with someone that said “oh, I am not a crook, I maintain my OWN standard of ethics! If that worked so well the BBB wouldn’t have been created over 100 years ago.

  42. Buckeye1977
    July 20th, 2010 at 20:31 | #42

    mike :
    I also don’t know what BBB Sarah is talking about, but mine sucks as well. With all due respect Sarah, you seem to know an awful lot about your BBB, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you either work there or have someone close to you who does. Unfortunately, it seems yours may be the only worthwhile BBB to speak of.
    </blockquote

    I have several friends that own businesses and alot of you sound just like the consumers he talks about. I guess some people you could build them a house for free and they still wouldn't be happy! The truth is all of you bashers are probably consumers just pissed because you were trying to file frivolous complaints because you were simply having a bad day and felt like you deserved something for nothing.

  43. July 22nd, 2010 at 02:55 | #43

    If you actually believe that BBB are of any real value you have clearly been toking for too long. They gave an A- to a damned Middle East terror group, what does that say to you? Next they will be accrediting the scumbag Orange County Skinheads or the Bloods for their work in “educating the youth”

  44. Eric Basile
    July 31st, 2010 at 07:56 | #44

    The BBB is useless. They didn’t do anything to resolve my issue all they did was forward what i wrote to them to the compnay. Then the company pretty much wrote back no we won’t do anything. Then the BBB closed my case saying sorry we couldn’t resolve the issue. Wow i will no longer use them you might as well just not use them. Its a waste of time.

  45. real duke
    August 14th, 2010 at 05:31 | #45

    BBB IS BS. it seems its just free money for whoever works there. we should figure out a way to do something about this. sarah duke kind of sounds made up? doesn’t have to be whats obvious is she works for the BBB and is dumb enough to think were going to believe her stupid bs she doesn’t even do it right. she thinks shes smarter then us and shes actually way dumber, which is rare but it happens

  46. Dennis T
    August 15th, 2010 at 04:54 | #46

    When Berkeley Honda ripped me off and I filed a complaint with the BBB (Oakland Branch), the BBB did nothing but send the dealer a letter, which the dealer simply ignored. I asked the BBB to step it up a notch, so what did they do? Sent the dealer another letter simply extending the deadline to respond. That’s it. Wow, guys, way to stand up for the consumer.

    Problem is, the BBB has ABSOLUTELY NO NEGATIVE SANCTIONS WHATSOEVER TO OFFER. Nevertheless, they could make a difference by simply getting on the phone to advocate. So far as I can tell, they don’t lift a finger to do that either.

    I’m afraid the cynics on here are right: it appears the BBB is a business-funded institution that creates an illusory assurance of recourse in order to make you more likely to spend money with a business.

  47. Kirby
    August 16th, 2010 at 13:06 | #47

    Absolutely the BBB us a useless organization. I had personal problems with a company which I tried to resolve through the BBB. Look them up and you’ll fund TONS of unhappy, ripped off customers. They currently have 109 complaints in the “standard reporting period”. And their rating? A+. Ratings are for sale, apparently, and not just at the BBB. The Rip Off Report is also for sale. Look up their favorable review of Cash4Gold for proof of this. Their commercials alone tell you that you’re being ripped off. If they are able to offer you 20% higher payout than their normal rate they aren’t paying you anywhere near fair market value.

  48. E K
    August 25th, 2010 at 07:22 | #48

    I must agree with the author’s sentiment of the BBB. I filed a grievance against a roofing company, and the process went to the point of arbitration. The roofing company precommitted to arbitration, and then refused, at which point the BBB closed the file and marked the case as unresolved. According to the BBB, the arbitration process is completely voluntary for both parties. I am mulling the idea of pursuing legal action against the BBB…any suggestions?

  49. Hector
    September 7th, 2010 at 18:47 | #49

    @sarah duke
    I agree! People has to research a little bit more because my local bureau really goes after the bad complaints. If the complaint doesn’t go through is because the deal was made according to contract…Anyway nice way to explain the other side of the coin…

  50. Hector
    September 7th, 2010 at 19:05 | #50

    Just as an example: Go to ebay and you’ll find a feedback on every seller. If the seller has 200,000 transactions and 2 negative feedback he may still have 99% positive feedback because of the amount of transactions. Works the same in the BBB, if a business have a complaint and they answer accordingly and in a proper time their score will be restored by default because its based in an mathematics algorithm. The local Bureaus are constantly monitored by the CBBB or Council BBB and all local bureaus are obligated to follow the same procedures by a common software implemented lately and still under upgrades and changes. The BBB is changing the way to check on a business and its completely free for you the consumers. Even websites are getting their accreditation with the BBB because consumers have a better idea of who they are dealing with thanks to the Bureaus reports. No, I don’t work for the Bureau, It happens to be my MBA thesis a year ago. Thanks!

  51. ed m
    September 9th, 2010 at 05:20 | #51

    file a complaint against the bbb with the bbb. @E K

  52. Jennifer Mitchell
    September 21st, 2010 at 12:38 | #52

    The BBB did nothing to help. I have long maintained that it is just a directory of businesses who pay a fee to the BBB. I had 3 non working new appliances delivered from SEARS. After 6 months, we still could not get them to do anything about it. These items were delivered in non working condition! We were not able to check them because we hooked them up ourselves and then found out later that day. BBB said SEARS did not respond to them either and still they did nothing. Sears knew all along (and told me) that all they have to do is offer some kind of resolution. It could be a stick of gum to make up for it all. If they offer anything, the BBB considers the case closed. If I refuse the offer, the case is closed and noted that the consumer is refusing to work with the company. So if you are out $4,000 and they offer you a $20 gift card and you don’t take it, they are cleared of any wrong doing.
    It’s clear they side with businesses that pay them – especially large companies like Sears. I think they are probably tougher on smaller companies because they do not need their membership to bolster credibility.

  53. Geore Le
    September 23rd, 2010 at 17:32 | #53

    I agree, the BBB is completely useless. They don’t do anything for you. They make it hard for people to complaint. Just go to their website and in the complaint form you can only sumbit 150 CHARACTERS. YOU ONLY HAVE 150 CHARACTERS!!! not only that, the font in the text box is so small that you can’t ever read it, seriously. If you don’t believe me, then just go to the website and see it with your own eyes. The BBB has a conflict of interest with the businesses it suppose to grade. The BBB is a complete JOKE!

  54. LH
    September 27th, 2010 at 06:45 | #54

    The BBB sucks for consumers and businesses alike. If a business is a paying member, that business is able to screw over people as long as they are paying the BBB. It is a marketing gimmick for businesses to pay because they will always have a high rating – nice huh? The businesses that will not or do not pay are out of luck, because the BBB “has” to put up with those non-paying businesses too in order to keep the face of “For the public good”. That way, the CEO of the BBB can still make the well over 200k per year. So much for Non profit?? Consumers think twice before believing the BBB!

  55. LH
    September 27th, 2010 at 07:58 | #55

    “It happens to be my MBA thesis a year ago. Thanks!” Then it seems the problems of the BBB would have been a better topic of the thesis. lol Especially for an MBA, the BBB markets its services wonderfully (by soliciting money in a bully-fashion); however, they have very little consumer/customer satisfaction or goodwill.

  56. MD
    October 11th, 2010 at 14:23 | #56

    @sarah duke Sarah, do you currently work for the BBB and or have you ever worked for them in the past??? You sure have a lot of “stats” for just being another consumer?! Some of your stats ARE NOT CORRECT! I have worked for the BBB. your statement declaring that BBB’s are non-profit, (quote) “they don’t “make” money, it goes to the community and that they pay minimum wage” – is so far of base, I can’t believe it. I happen to have 1st hand knowledge, that most of the presidents of each individual BBB, happens to make over $100,000 per year. Some as much as $180.000. How is that “NON-PROFIT”? Minimum wage?
    I don’t think so!!!

  57. MD
    October 11th, 2010 at 15:59 | #57

    To Who Ever Is Concerned: Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a need for such a company as the BBB, however my question is – Who REALLY governs the BBB? The Council? As long as the BBB in question meets their Quotas and Increases their Revenue each year, what’s left to govern? Don’t let them fool you, they DO have Quotas, they DO get BONUS’ for meeting those Quotas and most that work there, DO NOT make Minimum Wage, they make more. They are there trying to line their pocket books, just like anybody else. As it stands right now, they are laughing all the way to the Bank. I think the BBB needs to have a rating, just as the Members do. There needs to be some impartial force, that governs the BBB as a whole. Who is keeping them on the “straight and narrow” – it sure isn’t the Bureau!

  58. Robin
    October 26th, 2010 at 19:04 | #58

    New Castle, Delaware BBB – Company I wanted to submit a complaint on was not in data base. If I wanted to submit a complaint, I had to enter all the information on the Company first, which I had and entered. Character restriction prohibited me from adequately explaining my problem, so I abridged, hit submit “too many characters.” Three revisions and my breach of contract complaint went through. Resolution, I am offering to pay $1,900 of the $4,000 balance since I had to hire someone to fix his work, that cost me $2,100. Reply from Company sent to me via logging on to my new account at opening the “message” His reply, in short -”I want the full $4,000.” I had two choices hit accept or reject “Company’s Offer.” That’s no offer, I hit reject. Sent e-mail to BBB employee, “he didn’t make any offer” and attached copy of contract – that alone proved the guy’s reply contained lies – asked if they want anything else, maybe call and talk to me? Received a case closed notice and how neither one of us was willing to resolve the matter, and I didn’t give them sufficient information. Case closed as “resolved.” If you think this story isn’t true e-mail me I’ll send you the proof. This is a joke on consumers and no one should trust anything they see on a BBB reliability report.

  59. kepler
    October 29th, 2010 at 13:57 | #59

    BBB is a joke. Anyone can file a claim and cause a nuisance. If you have an axe to grind about a clerk at a shop — well file a complaint. If you don’t like the hamburger you at ate last nite, well file a complaint. After all the customer is always right, right? Just file another one… and again and again until their rating goes down. It will. That’s how easy it is. Tell your friends to file a complaint. It’s that simple. Now tell me, if its that simple to ruin a business, then how can that be credible, reliable, or noteworthy?

  60. kepler
    October 29th, 2010 at 13:59 | #60

    …except for filing a complaint against the BBB, now that is not easy.

  61. robert
    November 12th, 2010 at 11:48 | #61

    I’ve used the BBB twice now and both times they completely resolved my issue. Both times they were able to get the company’s to eliminate bills of $200 & $500. I used the BBB in Las Vegas and Pittsburg. personally I think they do a great job

  62. November 12th, 2010 at 17:42 | #62

    @sarah duke
    A good portion of the grade is dependent on whether or not you’ve bribed the BBB apparently. Check out the 20/20 investigation. It will be on tonight at 10/9 cst. Here is a preview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHxnlqJuZ2Y

    Hamas, the terrorist organization, gets an A rating. So does a skinhead group. But regular businesses must PAY to get those ratings.

  63. November 12th, 2010 at 18:09 | #63

    The BBB is under investigation by the Attorney General in Connecticut with good reason. The BBB went to the dark side in 2009. It went to a new rating system. When our company, a long time member at the time, went down in its rating with the BBB, we asked the local franchise owner, Judy Pepper, how she determined our rating. She said they use an algorithm they designed. We asked for the algorithm to determine how we could better our rating and she refused. Why would they keep that a secret? The Attorney General thinks maybe money is figured in.

    We decided to evaluate our membership and determined that:

    #1. Membership in the BBB is a COMPLAINT MAGNET. Our complaints grew 4 times over once we joined.

    #2. The BBB does not care about being fair to businesses it only counts complaints.

    We looked at our competitor who had almost 4000 complaints compared to our 133 complaints in the last three years, pretty good in our industry, and wonder how they keep their A+ rating. The judgments they make are arbitrary and subjective, no objectivity that we can see. As a member all of our complaints are resolved. Once you resign your complaints become serious.

    Judy Peppers BBB franchise is doing well. They just bought a new building worth millions of dollars. Their business model has changed. They make a lot of money for a non-profit. I think it is because they have gone over to the dark side. I suggest if you own a business stay away from the BBB.

  64. charles gregory
    November 19th, 2010 at 18:33 | #64

    the conn. atty general has confirmed that the BBB is A scam, do not trust anything they say.

  65. Rob B
    December 14th, 2010 at 13:44 | #65

    The BBB is in the business of extorting money from contractors in exchange for favorable ratings. In addition to providing favorable ratings they act as ‘nullifiers’ of consumer complaints. I reported a problem and from the start they did not respond to repeated phone calls. When I finally did contact someone they acted as though I was trying to scam the contractor. They know their roll in these situations all to well…..get the dissatisfied consumer off the back of the shoddy contractor.

    The flipside to this is that contractors with integrity and quality workmanship that do not ‘pay up’ get low ratings.

    The BBB is a lose-lose for the consumer and contractors (with integrity).

    Pull the plug.

  66. mike
    January 7th, 2011 at 17:31 | #66

    I’m currently fighting with them about siding with a corporation that refuses to answer my questions. I guess I’m taking my complaint to the Federal Trade Commission now.

  67. Richard
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:31 | #67

    THE BBB IS NOTHING BUT A SCAM. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. THE BBB SHOULD NOT BE TRUSTED FOR ANYTHING.

  68. Bill
    January 15th, 2011 at 09:26 | #68

    I filed a complaint about a bank. My complaint was detailed and did not ask for any kind of recompense. I have never heard back and when I checked on the BBB site for statistics regarding complaints about this bank, BBB reported that there had been NO complaints about the bank in the last 36 months which obviously wasn’t true since I knew I had complained, and the site acknowledged the complaint had been submitted successfully.

    I don’t even know where to look for the status of my complaint. I suspect it would be “trashed” or “ignored”.

    This bank has an A+ rating by BBB.

  69. Satya
    March 13th, 2011 at 17:37 | #69

    I recently finished an internship at the BBB. On both sides, several things are true and false. The rating scheme was fairly new and like new projects they always need tweaking.. (What are we on now, Windows7000?). Since before 2011 it was establish that membership would no longer effect the the rating of a business. Mediators or caseworkers, (as I worked for free) don’t get paid a whole lot just a little above min wage ($8-12hrs) depending on their skills. Also, as an Executive member of any organization aren’t you expect to get a salary near the $100,000yr. Most of these people have MBAs or better and extensive experience. I handled abt 1000 cases within the 3mo of internship. I stood out as one of the top interns and didn’t get paid… I took the job seriously. I can assure you no mediators are instructed to closed cases for Business members but some are closed due to a lack of knowledge from the case worker or in error. Yes, we do forward messages from consumer and business but that does consist of mediation but the business as to be willing n if they are not their rating goes down. If a consumer had a terms of agreement then it is out of our hands. We don’t deal with all complaints either but give referrals to the correct agencies that can help; like the FTC, DCA and even the Attorney General. I have dealt with dumbest “customer” to the most irate business owner. However, I TRY to get a resolution that both parties can agree to. At the end of the day they are nonprofit because employee salary it not an income it’s a liability. And, as nongovermental/nonenforcement agency we cannot force a business to respond in any particular way but memebers must give a goodwill effort. BTW, case workering is not easy the damn complaints NEVER STOP COMING! I understand the term postal a whole lot better now, lol. Regardless of anyones grip here it isn’t that serious but the BBB was an option and you all should read more, smh… sigh–we cannot make everyone happy, such ashame. Oh FYI, and we did use to charge consumers a while back. In closing, does anyone want to donate any computers I was working off a dinosaur… you think they have so much money, :-s

  70. Frustrated
    April 4th, 2011 at 19:57 | #70

    I turned a complaint into the BBB seven days ago. Now I don’t know what to do. About a month ago I was baking in my oven. Ther was a loud explosion outside followed by no power. I went in the kitchen and turned my oven off until the power would come back on. I could smell burnt wires. I went to my braker box and it threw the braker. My house is only 10 yrs old and the oven very nice and about 5 yrs. I reported it to the public utility dist. They sent me a form to fill out. I had an electricion out to look at my oven. He took the back off and evrything was burnt. I turned out to the PUD. they just kept ignoring me for over a month and finally said it isnt there fault. I asked them to pay the damage. It was their fault so now where do I go. I have lived here for 30 yrs and never filed a claim but I know I am in the right…what can I do? I doubt now the BBB will help

  71. Calen
    April 14th, 2011 at 19:37 | #71

    Let me tell you about my experiences with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and the BBB offices it supposedly monitors/regulates. It would take volumes of books to give you the full details, so I will not bore you with that, but will submit to you my overall assessment that is adequately substantiated. The CBBB is more “crooked” than a dog’s hind legs (metaphorically), and the Council’s branch offices are just as crooked (no wonder, the fruit does not fall far from the tree). SELF-INTEREST and CORRUPTION are the attributes of this useless organization (i.e. worthless in the sense that the entity does not practice what it preaches, and deliberately deceives the public for ulterior motives)…. Their slogan of “TRUST” is nothing but “window dressing,” total “hogwash,” and the trademark of a “certified degenerate” in need of an enema of the brain. It would be more accurate to refer to the “BBB” as the “CGIBB” (Crooked and Grossly Incompetent Business Bureau”.

  72. George
    April 16th, 2011 at 16:24 | #72

    I totally agree with all of you out there who have been victimized twice, first by the disreputable company you dealt with, and then by the Better Business Bureau when you complained to the BBB. The unwary consumer needs to understand that the BBB is an organization funded by merchants for the merchants (not consumers). If a business belongs to the BBB and has paid into it, call it application fee or whatever, the BBB owes its loyalty to the paying company, and will act accordingly. The companies that do not join the BBB are ostracized in the marketplace, in some form or fashion (no matter how subtle it might be). The BBB’s catch phrase or slogan, “Start with TRUST,” is merely window dressing; and, believe or not, is intended to lure consumers away from doing business with non-BBB members and shop with BBB members (some who are reputable and some not so respectable). Do you have complete faith and confidence in someone who pounds into your ears, ad nauseam, that he or she is to be trusted? If a fox is guarding the farmer’s henhouse, is the fox to be trusted? I would suggest to any consumer to use his or her own judgment and common sense when buying a product or service, but be adequately suspicious about BBB ratings appearing in any of the reliability reports the BBB puts out on sellers…. An institution is as sound and trustworthy as its weakest link (self-interest).

  73. George
    April 16th, 2011 at 16:34 | #73

    Do you trust the fox that guards the farmer’s henhouse? There’s your answer about the realibility and trustworthiness of the BBB (very useful in furthering its self-interest, but totally useless otherwise).

  74. George
    April 16th, 2011 at 17:13 | #74

    One of my clients, whom I will call “Ms. Deceived,” once told me that she complained to the BBB about a business (which I will refer to as “X Company”) that cheated her out of $75.00. X Company is a large corporation that has offices nationwide. The parent office of X company is listed as a BBB-accredited business that enjoys a top BBB rating, whereas, to my knowledge, none of its branch offices are members of the BBB. Since Ms. Deceived did not live in the same region where the corporate office of the cheating company was located, she complained to the BBB that had jurisdiction over her case. The BBB refused to further assist the complainant, on the grounds that the branch office of X Company was not a BBB-accredited member and that office was uncooperative. When Ms. Deceived asked to have her complaint transferred to the BBB region having jurisdiction over the parent office of X Company, the BBB refused without explanation. Ms. Deceived, quite frustrated and disappointed, told the BBB do stop with its excuses and do its job, to which the BBB replied: “Your telling us what to do is is offensive and, therefore, there will be no further communication between you and our office.” Ms. Deceived was totally flabbergasted by BBB’s door-closing, freakish response. The BBB is all about trust, right? WRONG! A more accurate view of the BBB is “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

  75. samuel
    July 22nd, 2011 at 09:37 | #75

    It seems as if anyone who writes good about the BBB is from the BBB. They are nothing more than money hungry scum bags. What i dont understand is, how can a company owner have BBB A+ Rating and be on the board directors. I saw one company that 6 months ago had 26 complaints and still today has 26 complaints. It is impossible for them not to have had 1 complaint in the past 6 months since i was scammed and ripped off by them and reported this to the BBB. The complaint was not added to their page so instead of 27 they still have 26. Nothing more than bullshit. Who can you trust these days……..?

  76. joe bloggs
    July 22nd, 2011 at 16:04 | #76

    The whole point of the BBB is to function as a B2B– that is, to iron out differences between businesses that pay for its dispute-resolution services. Businesses are themselves consumers of others’ products and services. When the complainant is a member as well as the entity complained about, of course BBB is a boatload more likely to do anything about it! BBB’s selling point to businesses is, “Wouldn’t you like to avoid having to go to Court? For a ‘nominal fee’ we can help in that regard.” In the B2B context, this sort of thing works better than in the business-to-public context; as between businesses, there’s often a fee-shift arrangement in the contract stipulating that the entity being sued can come up with a “best offer” that,should the party doing the suing receive less than that amount by verdict, then the party doing the suing has to pay the defendant’s legal fees incurred after the offer was made(which can wipe out the verdict). In contrast, such provisions are usually not lawful in the consumer-to-business context, and for that matter, neither are compulsory-arbitration clauses. Neither the business nor the consumer has a figurative gun to their head in the usual BBB complaint case and so nothing gets done. Many businesses look upon BBB accreditation as a cost of doing business to at least appear to be amenable to out-of-court settlement with displeased consumers. This is what the allegedly corrupt selling of BBB accreditation, and BBB’s alleged shakedown of noncompliant companies, is all about: appearance appearance appearance.

  77. August 4th, 2011 at 13:03 | #77

    The Better Business Bureau of Abilene, TX states that my complaint against the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union, “….digressed to a point where personal issues cloud the matter.” This is siding with the business I complained about and reeks of politics in protecting the member institution against the ordinary citizen who has a legitimate problem…

  78. Ryan
    August 15th, 2011 at 20:19 | #78

    All I can say is that we’ve slam dunked our case against a clear rip off and all the mediator does is send responses back and forth. There’s really no way to get a complaint to stick to a company that simply responds to every response.

    These thieves have an A rating and use their BBB accredidation to convert sales. We’re standing up to them and the only thing BBB does is send our emails back and forth. Such a disillusioning process because this company is everything an A rated company would never be!

  79. betty
    September 1st, 2011 at 09:46 | #79

    I don’t know if the BBB does their job or not, but I do know they are extremely difficult to work with from the business owner’s point of view. My business has an unfavorable rating, because of one unanswered compliant in 30 years. We have no other compliants, the one we have is recent (maybe 6 months old), and I have been working tirelessly on trying to resolve the issue. The problem is that I can’t get any help from my local BBB. I have called, emailed, wrote letters…I want to resolve this but can’t! Any suggestions??

  80. Sally
    September 6th, 2011 at 11:42 | #80

    All I’ve read here is about the consumer. What about the busineses that get railroaded into joining this BBB because they are so reputable. I joined right after opening my business, paid the dues and got my shiny new plaque for the wall. I dont even know what they are supposed to do for the small busines. They say we are members because of our high rating. Guess what, If my business is so highly rated….why would I need your so called protection anyway. I have never had any complaints. When the subscription ways over and time to renue…Well NO THANKS! They always call to reel us in again and treat us like we are idiots for not joining. Thanks ,,,but no thanks, doing fine without the extra BILL.

  81. admin
    January 21st, 2012 at 14:02 | #81

    We thank everyone who has participated in the discussion and the thread. We expect that the article has served its purpose in educating people about what is BBB and more importantly – what it is NOT.

  82. T Schnowske
    February 3rd, 2012 at 14:37 | #82

    A big lesson learned. The BBB is a joke. Not even really reading my complaint. Doesn’t matter what my complaint was I get a generic answer. Blah…Blah…Blah…Blah…Blah!!! Integrity and Trust and Honor are a thing of the past in many cases in this world and where you deal with a company on line and they never have to see your face, makes it even easier for them to get away with what ever they want. When a company can send you a product that has been damaged and you are not reimbursed for sending it back…there is a problem. And when they try to bribe you with $20 credit to let it all go..you KNOW you have a problem. Talking to the BBB is like talking to this computer. It gets you NO WHERE!

  83. KK
    February 21st, 2012 at 01:56 | #83

    My co. was bbb accredited for more than 10 years, but now no longer with them. They recently sent me a letter persuading me to rejoin and even said I could make payments if money was an issue. They even showed me that in the last year, there were a certain number of people looking into my account to see if I was a trust worthy company or not. Not sure if those numbers were made up though.

  84. Bobby Gibson
    March 20th, 2012 at 15:01 | #84

    Withos.com ……Withos is the alternative for the BBB!!! This company growing out of Tulsa,oklahoma is going to be the next big thing (or at least comipition for the BBB). Growing rapidly out of the tulsa metro area watch for the name WITHOS to be the household name for local and national credibitity and online reputaion

  85. Educated Consumer
    March 29th, 2012 at 07:43 | #85

    FYI – The BBB is “Not” a consumer protection agency! It’s a resource for consumers to find out about the reputation of a company before spending money. You can’t pay to be a member, you can apply but there are no gurantee’s you’ll be accepted. Remember the saying about opinions, everyone has one!

  86. JG
    April 2nd, 2012 at 15:00 | #86

    I’ve tried to use the BBB on two occasions. Both were dismal failures. On the first attempt, I filed a complaint against a marketing firm for using deceptive selling practices. The BBB closed the case as satisfactorily resolved. It was not resolved to my satisfaction what-so-ever. The second instance involved the BBB Autoline service. After several months of discussion, the BBB determined that the case was out of their jurisdiction and closed the case. Again – not to my satisfaction what-so-ever.

    Based on my experiences, I have to say the BBB seems to be a worthless entity that appears to cater to the businesses which they are supposed to be watch dogging. As a consumer I recommend anyone seek guidance elsewhere.

  87. Bull Sniffer
    April 9th, 2012 at 04:20 | #87

    @sarah duke
    Sarah Duke, you are a phony, a liar, a schill, and completely bogus.

  88. JC
    April 13th, 2012 at 10:17 | #88

    I was under the impression that BBB would provide fair assessment to both business and consumer but I was wrong. I had some issues with cell phone service so I filed a complaint. The business replied with a “modified” terms/contracts and did not answer or explain the problems I experienced. BBB closed my case with so called “good faith effort” based on modified contract from business without further investigation. Isn’t that biased?

  89. Denise
    May 24th, 2012 at 16:19 | #89

    I was worried that this was true.

  90. June 1st, 2012 at 12:08 | #90

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not something I normally do! I get pleasure from reading a submit that may make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  91. Mike
    June 20th, 2012 at 07:07 | #91

    I’m sure the BBB is another tool of the bureaucracy, but one good thing about it is being able to look up a business and seeing all of the negative/positive feedback reported on it. sure, BBB might not do much good in resolution, but it’s not very good publicity for a company to have a lot of negative feedback on such a high profile site.

  92. Ranter
    June 21st, 2012 at 11:03 | #92

    The author of this article tells a story of a poorly handled complaint with unrealistic expectations that the BBB should be taking his side…Really??? The bottom line is the BBB cannot EVER take sides (I am not sayng it never happens)and expect to be taken seriously so they don’t they offer a process where consumers and businesses have the opportunity to work out solutions….people here with personal stories of how the BBB did not help them ALL have unrealistic expectations….

    Bottom line – Business owners can benefit by being members – the BBB has more web site traffic than Angieslist and most major marketing web sites – look it up on Alexa.com – this ONLY happens because sonsumers generally support them (at over 85%) so you can always find detractors of any business model that helps consumers and businesses sort out their differences – I would suggest that 100% of BBB detractors here are sore because THEIR case did not work out tho their expectations…that pesky little word of course the necer EXPECT to lose.

    Ask ANY SEO company if your business will benefit by having backlinks on the BBB web site – only members have access to the backlinks in the BBB’s member directory….I can tell you it makes my company over $100,000.00 a year in additional sales and during the last few years we would not have survived without our BBB membership.

  93. Scott Robinson
    July 1st, 2012 at 13:42 | #93

    @Steve There is a strong possibility that Sarah Duke (?) is one of them or their cronies and supports the mafia type extortion they promote. I agree with the comment “Sarah Duke, you are a phony, a liar, a schill, and completely bogus.”

  94. gary smith
    July 19th, 2012 at 15:37 | #94

    why are some business not on the bbb

  95. July 31st, 2012 at 15:32 | #95

    @sarah duke
    Sarah Duke, it is obvious you work for (or have close ties with) the BBB. You are only fostering the negative opinions by replying with your too-obvious positive banter.

  96. Ranter
    August 16th, 2012 at 09:38 | #96

    Interesting…you start your article with “For the last many years I had very high regards for Better Business Bureau.” and then do don’t say why you changed your mind. Clearly they did something you didn’t like but rather than spell that out you go on a rant against them (and I know a good rant when I see one) The BBB does arbitrate disputes and somebody wins and somebody loses so it’s entirely understandable that some people don’t like them but I personally give little credibility to someone like you who rants against a business without saying why….seems like you are just a crybaby who lost a dispute and wants to take it out on the BBB…what caused such resentment? Inquiring minds want to know.

    And I would advise next blog USE THE SPELL CHECKER.

  97. ghh
    August 31st, 2012 at 08:50 | #97

    Ranter shut your f u c k i n g mouth you dumb b i t c h go suck another BBB d i c k like ms sarah

  98. admin
    September 1st, 2012 at 23:27 | #98

    @Ranter

    We welcome your participation in the discussion thread. Most of the blog poster would have banned this comment – but we did not. That says enough about the transparency about the post and its content.

    About

    “and then do don’t say why you changed your mind.”

    I think that the title of the post says enough.

    It is an Institution useless for customers. It is as simple as that. It does NOT safeguard any of the customer grievance and solves no other purpose than to take money from business owners in exchange for a “Certificate” saying “BBB Certified”.

    As for your statement

    The BBB does arbitrate disputes and somebody wins and somebody loses.

    This is completely false and we stand by our statements.BBB does not arbitrate any dispute. It takes no action against a business when a customer complains.

    As for your advise

    And I would advise next blog USE THE SPELL CHECKER.

    We welcome and appreciate the suggestion. We would like to know exactly which sentence need correction and we will be glad to update it. We never claimed that it has been written in a grammatically perfect English. It it does convey its meaning and the comments are testimony to it.

    As you can see, even you comment has at least three grammar errors.

    Example

    And I would advise next blog USE THE SPELL CHECKER.

    Could be

    And I would advise you to USE THE SPELL CHECKER in your next blog .

    But again, what you are saying is perfectly understandable and I thing there are few complaining about it.

    Let us not rant about the minor things and stay focused on the core issue of discussion. Does BBB serves any useful purpose for the customers ?

  99. Bruce
    September 22nd, 2012 at 06:47 | #99

    I suggest that all of us should share this post on facebook, twitter or anywhere we can, to inform people about the crooked organization called BBB.

    It is just amazing to know how misinformed people are about BBB. Time to tell them then truth.

  100. October 8th, 2012 at 19:48 | #100

    I have been trying to contact these people to find out why they have suspended our accreditdation only not to get no return calls but to be treated like I was in line at the employment office. And we pay these people to do a rating for us?
    They did this without any REAL reason or prior calls to review the reason why.
    It’s funny I asked the girl who answered the phone who do I complain about them and they told me to call their own internal manager name Marrisa only to go to voice mail. This is Fraud that should be investigated by th AG. Which is where I. Intend to go to next.

  101. October 8th, 2012 at 19:49 | #101

    I agree they are nothing but a bureaucracy @Bruce

  102. October 8th, 2012 at 19:53 | #102

    @Teegee
    Are you serious you obviously never dealt with these idiots

  103. sezgi
    October 25th, 2012 at 23:28 | #103

    bbb. is nothing but scam. people please don’t waste your time on this. you are not only wasting your time but also your peace of mind. truly worthless company

  104. frustrated
    November 24th, 2012 at 09:26 | #104

    There was recently two articles in the london free press about a new manager for the BBB of Western Ontario and one about the leaving manager. There were no positive comments posted on each of these article – just frustated consumers and business. I am a member of this BBB but will not renew next year after I discovered all the negativiity about this company – and you can not file a complaint about the BBB to the BBB, they will not accept it. The BBB is a private run non profit company that does not have transparency to where there expenses go. The people involved witht he BBB are in it for the money not for the intergrity as they state. I encourage everyone to contact their MP and ask them to make non profits more transparent as far as what the managment is paid.

  105. frustrated
    November 24th, 2012 at 09:28 | #105

    frustrated :There were recently two articles in the london free press about a new manager for the BBB of Western Ontario and one about the leaving manager. There were no positive comments posted on each of these article – just frustated consumers and business. I am a member of this BBB but will not renew next year after I discovered all the negativiity about this company – and you can not file a complaint about the BBB to the BBB, they will not accept it. The BBB is a private run non profit company that does not have transparency to where their expenses go. The people involved with the BBB are in it for the money not for the intergrity as they state. I encourage everyone to contact their MP and ask them to make non profits more transparent as far as what the managment is paid.

  106. Maryann LaPointe
    December 9th, 2012 at 13:00 | #106

    Do not deal with the BBB, they are crooked and are out for the companies that are crooked. They do not help the customer and could care less. Once the company that you hired gets your belongings and your money and lie to you and call you names on the internet. Companies like this do not care and will not care, all out for money and to cheat the customer. I got a referral from Angie Morris, Keller williams realty, what a mistake, she referred to a dishonest moving company. Go to December 04, 2012
    R & M MOVING CO.-CRIMINALS, LIARS, CHEATS & THIEVES. Nothing surprises me regarding my past experience with this company….There is nothing kind about this company or owners/workers that are friendly, once they get your money, business or belongings they could care less. ….Also, Angie Morris with Keller Williams Realty was in cahoots with this company as she was the only person who referred me to this moving company who I thought I could trust, never again….They lied on my report….. Look at the negative comments other people have written about this moving company,they are not in business to help the customers just to give us aggravation, frustration and take our money & belongings & lie, they do not take responsiblility or care for anyone, if anything is broken or missing they will blame it on the customer,just read the negative comments about them with other customers that they have swindled.Be on your guard during the move and have someone or other people with you that you know….Do not be alone…..as I was,never again. ..Worst experience ever in my life …..What goes around comes around, karma is coming. Anyone that notes they they did a great job for a customer is a farse or someone that they know added great comments about this company….Look at the negative comments, that will tell you what they are realy all about….The customers notes will always tell a story on what is missing and not done right, this company or people do not have the common decency to take responsibility,….. they could care less from the customer as long as they can get what they can from who they can…SNEAKY BUSINESS…..MAN AND WOMAN UP FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU HAVE ANY DECENCY, WHICH IS NEGATIVE AT THIS STAGE….F MINUS FOREVER….go to city search website, you will see what these type of companies do to the customer…

  107. ld
    December 15th, 2012 at 11:39 | #107

    BBB is completely useless for comapnies also I have a business with 100,000 thousand plus orders a year With 2 complaints in 3 years and they filed my company an F on their records They di no research on the companies they are rating and because you solve your problems through other methods they rate the company for not answering their request Useless Useless orgainization

  108. R
    December 22nd, 2012 at 15:07 | #108

    My job entails working with complaints for a very large well-known company listed in the Dow-30. While you can say the BBB is useless, and complaints do not get resolved, I personally know that complaints that come in from the BBB DO get more priority, are streamlined and ARE more seriously considered. While I am sure all companies do not act in this manner to resolve complaints, I wouldnt hesitate to use the BBB for that reason alon

  109. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:07 | #109

    This company took many clothes and belongings from me: a red velvet dress that I previously bought years ago from the renaissance festival, blouses, shirts, skirts, dresses, slippers, a water belt for the beach, did not bring back most boxes, broke my electric fireplace, did not bring back all the fireplace utensils, threw everything in the truck, no respect for my belongings. I even had a lady that lives by me watch them throw everything in the truck and laugh while they were doing it.They broke items that cannot be replaced. The owner is the wife and (Roland/ Mover, husband to Rose, has 5 prior felonies/ dealing in stolen property, burglary of a residence, grand theft of a firearm,marijuana charges and robbery. Keller Williams with Angie Morris referred me to this rotten thieving company as she was in on the take. And they had the audacity to call me names, laugh at me, write meaning remarks about me. They just want to cover their lousy business and lousy service. they need to get out of business and get locked up. If they did this in other countries they would get their fingers cut off. This is what we need in this country, then garbage like this will think twice to rip off customers.

  110. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:09 | #110

    scam companies :Do not deal with the BBB, they are crooked and are out for the companies that are crooked. They do not help the customer and could care less. Once the company that you hired gets your belongings and your money and lie to you and call you names on the internet. Companies like this do not care and will not care, all out for money and to cheat the customer. I got a referral from Angie Morris, Keller williams realty, what a mistake, she referred to a dishonest moving company. Go to December 04, 2012R & M MOVING CO.-CRIMINALS, LIARS, CHEATS & THIEVES. Nothing surprises me regarding my past experience with this company….There is nothing kind about this company or owners/workers that are friendly, once they get your money, business or belongings they could care less. ….Also, Angie Morris with Keller Williams Realty was in cahoots with this company as she was the only person who referred me to this moving company who I thought I could trust, never again….They lied on my report….. Look at the negative comments other people have written about this moving company,they are not in business to help the customers just to give us aggravation, frustration and take our money & belongings & lie, they do not take responsiblility or care for anyone, if anything is broken or missing they will blame it on the customer,just read the negative comments about them with other customers that they have swindled.Be on your guard during the move and have someone or other people with you that you know….Do not be alone…..as I was,never again. ..Worst experience ever in my life …..What goes around comes around, karma is coming. Anyone that notes they they did a great job for a customer is a farse or someone that they know added great comments about this company….Look at the negative comments, that will tell you what they are realy all about….The customers notes will always tell a story on what is missing and not done right, this company or people do not have the common decency to take responsibility,….. they could care less from the customer as long as they can get what they can from who they can…SNEAKY BUSINESS…..MAN AND WOMAN UP FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU HAVE ANY DECENCY, WHICH IS NEGATIVE AT THIS STAGE….F MINUS FOREVER….go to city search website, you will see what these type of companies do to the customer…

    @Maryann LaPointe

    @Maryann LaPointe

    @Maryann LaPointe

  111. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:17 | #111

    Maryann LaPointe :This company took many clothes and belongings from me: a red velvet dress that I previously bought years ago from the renaissance festival, blouses, shirts, skirts, dresses, slippers, a water belt for the beach, did not bring back most boxes, broke my electric fireplace, did not bring back all the fireplace utensils, threw everything in the truck, no respect for my belongings. I even had a lady that lives by me watch them throw everything in the truck and laugh while they were doing it.They broke items that cannot be replaced. The owner is the wife and (Roland/ Mover, husband to Rose, has 5 prior felonies/ dealing in stolen property, burglary of a residence, grand theft of a firearm,marijuana charges and robbery. Keller Williams with Angie Morris referred me to this rotten thieving company as she was in on the take. And they had the audacity to call me names, laugh at me, write meaning remarks about me. They just want to cover their lousy business and lousy service. they need to get out of business and get locked up. If they did this in other countries they would get their fingers cut off. This is what we need in this country, then garbage like this will think twice to rip off customers. AS DR PHIL WOULD SAY…..CHARACTER IS WHO YOU ARE WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING………THIS GOES FOR YOU/ RIGHTEOUS 1……..EGO BEARING JACK…

  112. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:19 | #112

    This company has been in business long enough to know the ins and outs of scamming the public and know how to do it, do not trust them as you will never see your belongings again and lie on the police report.

  113. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:20 | #113

    This company lied to the police.

  114. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:22 | #114

    @Maryann LaPointe CORRECTION THEY WROTE

    Maryann LaPointe :
    Maryann LaPointe :This company took many clothes and belongings from me: a red velvet dress that I previously bought years ago from the renaissance festival, blouses, shirts, skirts, dresses, slippers, a water belt for the beach, did not bring back most boxes, broke my electric fireplace, did not bring back all the fireplace utensils, threw everything in the truck, no respect for my belongings. I even had a lady that lives by me watch them throw everything in the truck and laugh while they were doing it.They broke items that cannot be replaced. The owner is the wife and (Roland/ Mover, husband to Rose, has 5 prior felonies/ dealing in stolen property, burglary of a residence, grand theft of a firearm,marijuana charges and robbery. Keller Williams with Angie Morris referred me to this rotten thieving company as she was in on the take. And they had the audacity to call me names, laugh at me, write demeaning remarks about me after I paid them. They just want to cover their lousy business and lousy service. they need to get out of business and get locked up. If they did this in other countries they would get their fingers cut off. This is what we need in this country, then garbage like this will think twice to rip off customers. AS DR PHIL WOULD SAY…..CHARACTER IS WHO YOU ARE WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING………THIS GOES FOR YOU/ RIGHTEOUS 1……..EGO BEARING JACK…

  115. Maryann LaPointe
    January 4th, 2013 at 01:25 | #115

    THE BBB IS ALSO A CROOK IN ITSELF, PAY TO PLAY, AND ROB THE HONEST CUSTOMERS WITH NO DECENCY AT ALL. PARASITIC MANIFESTATION TO THE MAX.

  116. Jess
    January 14th, 2013 at 20:28 | #116

    @sarah duke I personally work for BBB and I can tell you YES businesses do pay an annul fee to be accredited. Also, a few complaints aren’t going to change the status of the business if they are resolved. It’s a complicated process and I will admit some DO slip through the cracks, we are humans not computers and we do make mistakes.

  117. Jess
    January 14th, 2013 at 20:33 | #117

    @Maryann LaPointe
    You should have called the POLICE if that was going on. THEN BBB then a lawyer. Figure it out in court. We only investigate and mediate however personal opinion it can take a long while for anything to get done as we have so many complaints. Get a police report, witness statements, file again and follow up and give your lawyer all your information when you go to court.

  118. Kevin K
    January 20th, 2013 at 13:43 | #118

    Below is good example of how the BBB works in favour of businesses.

    My friend is 81 years old and was recently charged $738.00 to repair her furnace……..after the fact I looked closely into this repair and I believe she got ripped off. What is very clear to me is that she was over charged for a substandard repair.

    The heating company that did the work is an BBB member with an A+ rating operating out of Sherwood Park, Alberta.
    It took them 5 to 10 minutes to repair the furnace and they were gone in less than 30 minutes. Using their “Straight Forward Pricing” and their “Straight Forward Price Guide” they charged my friend $404.00 for a “used” part and $299.00 for what is called a diagnose fee on the invoice. ( Straight Forward Pricing is not what is sounds like and is a whole new issue.)

    I had her show me the part that was replaced, I copied the serial number and checked the price to find out that the part was $97.00 brand new.
    (I have since found that the part “new” ranges from $79.00 to $239.00 at full retail prices depending where you buy it.)

    With my friend’s permission I spoke with the company about this overpriced repair and they refused to do anything, so I filed a complaint with the BBB in Edmonton, Alberta.
    Because the constraints placed on the amount of characters allowed in the actual BBB complaint process my complaint only addresses the deception and the priced charged for the “used part” that the company supplied.

    ______________________________________________
    Complaint to BBB

    Charging $404.00 for a “used” part might have seemed OK at the time. (The house was cold, the outside temperature was -20, the furnace was not working.) The customer was deceived into believing the cost of this “used” part was a reasonable price. After the fact the customer found out the actual cost of the part through a jobber for a ” brand new ” part is only $97.00 retail. Customer is complaining of being deceived and overcharged.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    I am dismayed that the BBB did not contact me to get the full story. I heard nothing and below is the one and only reply that I received from the BBB.
    I simply copied and pasted the main content of the BBB reply but removed the names and contact information.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Complaint reply.

    Thank you for contacting the Better Business Bureau regarding your complaint.

    The complaint was received by the BBB on December 12, 2012 and has been assigned case# 164**** in our files.

    The BBB cannot process your complaint, as it was found to contain issues that are out of the BBB’s purview.

    The BBB does not address complaints where the essence of the concern is a change of mind after the purchase; this is called buyer’s remorse.

    The BBB does not handle complaints regarding the prices for goods or services unless they involve misrepresentation. Since the company determines pricing, and you agreed to the price by paying for it, the amount is not in dispute.

    In Alberta there are few regulations on prices charged. Your BBB advises consumers to contact at least 3 companies for price quotes. This allows consumers to get an idea of going market rate for the desired goods or services involved in their purchase. They can then ask companies to explain their processes and any pricing discrepancies and hopefully make an informed decision from those facts.

    Your complaint will not be reported to the public as it did not go through our conciliation process. However, it will be retained in BBB files for at least three years, and will be considered in assessing the overall performance of the company.

    Thank you for contacting the BBB.

    Sincerely,
    ****** ********
    Marketplace Counsellor
    _________________________________________________________________________

    This BBB reply has so much wrong with it that one can only assume that they are supporting and protecting the businesses that pay them.

    The biggest problem with the BBB is that they do not reflect on current laws but to the contrary they seem to brow beat the consumer even further by placing the blame on them for not getting more quotes.

    When your furnace is out and the house is freezing up who has the time to go shop around? The BBB answer is just so wrong.

    In Alberta we have a Fair Trade Act and it does address this exact complaint. It is my contention that this heating company put my friend at a clear disadvantage in freezing weather and misrepresented the price of the parts. They gouged my friend for the absolute top dollar that they could possibly charge for the used part supplied. The Alberta Fair Trade Act does apply in this situation and an arm of my government called Service Alberta has urged us to take this company to court and seek damages. …….The problem is it’s only $738.00,…………… now what 81 year old lady is going to sue a company over $738.00. (It may happen yet but lets just stick to the BBB for now.)

    It is obvious the BBB has out lived their usefulness and this is a good example of how wrong they can be when addressing consumer issues. It sure looks to me like they are operating a protection racket that is protecting their interests and at the same time protecting their paid members.
    The BBB a “Sanitised Protection Racket” that is operating with impunity throughout North America?

  119. mike
    February 7th, 2013 at 06:05 | #119

    Poorly written! You are citing wiki, a “resource” that no high school allows their students to cite in any paper. I have used the BBB a number of times, both for complaint resolution and to reference various companies with which I was contemplating doing business and I have been pleased on all counts. This rant sounds like it was written by a disgruntled former BBB employee or a small company that shafted a client and got nailed for it.

  120. February 13th, 2013 at 01:10 | #120

    I have a customer who has gone to several wig boutiques and has messed up their wigs and then goes to another wig boutique to complain about the other. She bought a wig from me after visiting several other wit boutiques – a month later she brings mine back and I replace it but before I get her the examine it and she signs she is satisfied and I give her a new wig. She writes the BBB and stops payment on the wig. Now I am out two wigs she never returned the second wig and not payed for it. The BBB give me a D report. THIS COMPANY IS A USELES ORGANIZATION — TILL NOW THEY HAVE BEEN BUGGING ME TO JOIN THEM FOR A CRAZY FEE SAYING THEY ARE LOOKING FO GOOD STANDING COMPANIES LIKE MINE – I REFUSED – IF I HAVE A GOOD NAME I DON’T NEED THEM TO PROMOTE ME – NOW BECAUSE A CRAZY PERSON COMES ALONG THEY GIVE ME A D REPROT BECAUSE I DID NOT RESPOND – ONE TO THEIR CRAZY LETTER SECOND I DID NOT WANT TO PAY THEIR MEMBERSHIP – THE WHOLE COMPANY IS A FRAUD – IT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT FAIRNESS IT IS JUST OUT TO MAKE MONEY – BBB IS A FRAUD

  121. Gabi
    February 13th, 2013 at 09:36 | #121

    @mike
    Mike so not true – look further into this company and you will see what a fraud the BBB is. Open your eyes

  122. Basia
    February 21st, 2013 at 14:50 | #122

    I contacted the BBB in my area in Canada just recently, hoping to get some help in dealing with a cell phone provider’s fraudulent billing. I was told that my complaint would be investigated as it fell under the purview of the BBB. A week later, without an investigation (?) my case was closed because it didn’t fall under the purview. I let the BBB know how thankful I was for the late notification and that it was nice to know that consumers had someone to turn to when they are fraudulently charged by these large telecommunications companies.

    In response, I received the following from a BBB employee:

    “Canada is a free market society, businesses are free to charge whatever price they feel is competitive.

    Consumers are required to research their options and protect themselves, regarding pricing of products and services.”

    Apparently this employee did not read any part of my statement which outlined how the company had not disclosed any of the charges and had charged for services not rendered. I guess they also missed the section where I spoke about an employee admitting that I was overcharged and offering to help rectify the problem only to have that same employee deny this twelve hours later.

    I don’t believe that my complaint of deception, deceit and deflection by the large company was written in a print that was too fine for BBB representatives to read.

    My advice, do not go to the BBB at all. An exercise in futility and frustration.

    But, in a free market and free choice society, you can make that decision for yourself. All that I can say is that I found them unprofessional and condescending and almost as frustrating as dealing with the company itself. Hopefully the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Communications Commission) makes some real changes to the “free market” that the three main telecommunication giants rule in Canada.

    Well, one can always hope that there is someone out there looking out for the people as the BBB doesn’t seem to be, at least in my case!

  123. Dave
    February 25th, 2013 at 08:15 | #123

    Let me give you some insight from a business perspective. First off, let me add the disclaimer that we have never had any complaints launched against us as a business with the BBB or any other complaint forum. Our customer service is superior and in fact has won us numerous local and regional awards. So there is the back history on that. About 6 months ago, I was doing a google search on our business and noticed that the BBB had our address and phone number listed incorrectly. We had moved locations in 2008 and that was the information that they had on file. So I contacted them to have the information updated. I was told in order to do that, our business would need to apply for accreditation. The fee for doing that was close to $600. So fine, we agreed and the process was underway from there. A few weeks later, we got an email saying that we had to remove any reference to being an “award winning” company from our website. Even though we had the awards, contact info for those who issued us the rewards and even newspaper articles where our company was mentioned. At that point, we declined to remove the information as it is accurate information and could all be backed up. A few more weeks passed and then came the next email stating that if we did not comply that it would be reported on their website for a period of 36 months and tarnish our score/rating with them. Consulted with our counsel, who said we were well within our rights to publish this information as it was factual, accurate and a testimony to the services we provide to our customers. The BBB disagreed and so we told them to take a hike and we were no longer interested in becoming accredited with them. Long story short, they did knock down our rating on their website. Keep in mind this all stemmed from us wanting to simply update the contact info on their website. Long story short, from a business side – if you pay them off they will let you do what you want. If you do not pay them – you play by their rules. This was probably a reputable organization 20 years ago … but in today’s world of Yelp, Google Reviews, etc… they are just a small fish in a big pond.

  124. February 26th, 2013 at 15:56 | #124

    The Better Business Bureau is another worthless institution.

  125. Wheelie
    February 27th, 2013 at 00:50 | #125

    I also got screwed over by a company Custom Trike INC. Retired Army and used tehm to order parts on a rebuild, nedless to say i got hosed. BBB was useless and kept saying that the company tried to resolve issue. However they never attempted any resolution and kept calling me a liar and the BBB said tey felt that the company made every effort to resolve my issue. I’m still out $$$$ and BBB could care less. The Attorney General is just as bad.

  126. admin
    April 25th, 2013 at 05:11 | #126

    @mike

    mike :

    Poorly written! You are citing wiki, a “resource” that no high school allows their students to cite in any paper. I have used the BBB a number of times, both for complaint resolution and to reference various companies with which I was contemplating doing business and I have been pleased on all counts. This rant sounds like it was written by a disgruntled former BBB employee or a small company that shafted a client and got nailed for it.

    Mike,

    We welcome your comments. Our commitment to allow comments, even against our own writing shows our sincerity. But, we do not want to allow any wrong and incorrect impressions generated by comments such as yours. First, this article was NOT written by any former BBB employee. Nor as a small company that shafted a client. It rather, reflects the experience of a customer who was not helped by BBB. Perhaps you need to go through and re read the article.

    We understand that wiki is not a perfect source to quote. But perhaps you need to look at what we have used wiki to write about BBB.

    As per wiki – “The BBB goal is to foster a fair and effective marketplace, so that buyers and sellers can trust each other.”

    We have put BBB in better light by quoting wiki. This shows out commitment not to stand prejudiced. All we can say, is that wiki is no poorer than your comments, both of them have equal rights to air views – nothing less, nothing more. We follow the 1st Amendment as much as we can.

    Hope that this will clarify any misunderstanding that your comments may have generated.

  127. ANdrew
    May 3rd, 2013 at 13:07 | #127

    @sarah duke
    Better business bureau is as useful as tits on a bull,
    One waste of time agency lol, don’t waste your time they ar pathetic !!!!

  128. Homer Mann
    May 4th, 2013 at 08:55 | #128

    The BBB is a joke! Twice I submitted valid, documented complaints and neither company attempted any resolution. The BBB did nothing. What a waste of time. Tell your stores and shops to save their money because a BBB sign just makes me laugh!

  129. May 7th, 2013 at 03:02 | #129

    I e-mailed the bbb about a problem they wanted to charge me 25$ to answer my Question.

  130. Tim
    May 12th, 2013 at 13:40 | #130

    Something that I have learned in life is too follow the money to determine where an organizations alliance exists. The BBB gets it money from businesses NOT consumers. Therefore it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out they favor businesses. This was my exact experience when I filed a complaint where I don’t think the BBB even looks at the complaints.

  131. 11925
    May 17th, 2013 at 19:12 | #131

    I haven’t been on referencedesigner.com in a while, just came back today.

  132. Ralph
    August 5th, 2013 at 05:51 | #132

    The BBB branch in San Diego along with many others is a farce and sure
    doesnot represent consumers as it claims,as what it really does represent
    is It’s Own Members not you or me! In fact the BBB REFUSED to accept a new complaint against YAHOO today! So still think the BBB has your or
    mine best interest in heart and will act on your behalf? NOPE! The BBB
    should be put out of business by the FTC and US Attorney General & DOJ.
    If the BBB doesnot act on your complaint please file FTC & DOJ Complaints
    against the BBB. BBB = Big Rip Off Scam Itself!

  133. teri
    September 1st, 2013 at 13:05 | #133

    Agree. So who monitors these morons? They have failed at resolving an issue of a fraudulent account that showed up on LinkedIn – it had my name and city but a different business. I have a very unusual name so it was not a coincidence. BBB simply decided to close my case. No explanation. It sounded like LinkedIn is a faithful customer and clearly money talks to the BBB who clearly was biased towards the business.

  134. Brad
    September 11th, 2013 at 09:21 | #134

    I just went through the process that you described, what a waist of time the BBB did nothing but forward emails back and forth and then the company did not even reply the second time. Then the BBB just closed the file. What a waste of time I no longer have any faith that a company belonging to the BBB means anything. Don’t waste your time with them you are better off just emailing the company you have a problem with direct and trying to settle the dispute yourself.

  135. Mo po
    November 7th, 2013 at 13:29 | #135

    Sarah Duke is a plant maybe the VP of the BBB, shut your mouth Sarah!

  136. Tom
    November 9th, 2013 at 21:58 | #136

    I found this page via Google, after “googling” the words “BBB is a scam.” I have a newish handyman service, but I’ve was a contractor for years and until recently worked as an employee in the same field. Within several weeks after placing my first ads, I received a call from a woman who told me she was with the Better Business Bureau. Her attitude and tone of voice were that of a holy inquisitor. She asked me all sorts of snoopy, prying questions and seemed to take offense when told her I was not keen on being interrogated and I asked her how I could tell she was really with the BBB. She replied, “just phone me back at the number you see on your cell phone and it will prove it is me!” (Huh?) She began to tell me how important it was to become “accredited” and her tone of voice informed me that I would be in big trouble if I didn’t go in for it, so
    I told her to send me a packet of her information and I’d be willing to look it over and consider it. After she hung up, I immediately visited the local BBB website, where noticed that a huge number of businesses and contractors are listed. The top listed businesses are in another color (Blue), and labeled “Sponsor.” Next I looked at a PDF page giving the yearly fees to be “accredited” by the BBB. It varies depending upon the number of employees, but the lowest fee (1-3 employees) is well over $400.00 per year. Thanks, but no thanks, BBB! LOL I recall making the comment to the BBB phone woman that most people assume that the BBB is some official organization related to government, but similar to the Federal Reserve System it just ain’t so! She didn’t think much of that comment, let me tell you :-)

  137. mossmilldesigns
    January 7th, 2014 at 13:29 | #137

    I tried to find the ‘file a complaint page’ for several weeks to file a complaint. My husband had used them a few months ago and he got immediate attention, a quick reply and they were able to resolve it very quickly. I, on the other hand, kept getting an error message on the page I was directed to by their website. I finally sent an email to the BBB in the state the business resided in and sent them all the facts via a detailed email. I have heard nothing from them as of yet and that was Dec. 18th -weeks ago. My scathing email to the company just telling them I was filing a complaint with the BBB spurred them to give me an immediate refund- though I’d like the satisfaction of knowing their name will be listed as a warning to people searching the BBB site for this particular companies website. But I just learned about yelp and another consumer review website and plan to write a full review about the company that screwed me. Thanks for nothing BBB….

  138. JUNK
    January 12th, 2014 at 22:28 | #138

    waste of time. ive read the method of grading. so our company has had one complaint but because we are not a member and they cannot determine how long we have been in business etc etc we get an F. if they were any kind of a business they could go right on the states website to find out how long we have been in business. it also seems anyone can complain about anything they want whether true or false and it gets posted. so in 8 years we’ve had one complaint and there is no grounds for this complaint and we get an F. it makes no sense to me at all. total wast of time, dont buy into it.

  139. mersmom
    January 16th, 2014 at 18:09 | #139

    likes an article on TIME.
    The BBB does nothing. It is a waste of time to file a complaint. Companies like EBAY just claim they are following proper procedures (no proof) and the case is closed. No refund of money…maybe a measly gift certificate to shop on EBAY…but hurry it expires. What a scam. And, then they close the case, ignoring what has been done to the consumer and will continue to happen. Frustrating. There is no consumer action…just inaction.

  140. jimmyjam
    January 30th, 2014 at 08:07 | #140

    The BBB is useless. I filed a complaint over a year ago and it was closed. The business owner contacted them RECENTLY and reopened the case. He said he would resolve my issue by sending a check. I never got it and said I don’t want to deal with it anymore. The BBB sided with the business after a year of waiting around. She told me that since I closed the case they are siding with them, even though he didn’t do what he said he would do.

  141. February 12th, 2014 at 16:36 | #141

    1/12/2014 Of all the scumbags that have worked at the Better Business Bureau shakedown racket the biggest looser is Steve J Bernas of Chicago.

    This bottom feeder has tried to extort a zero complaint business into changing their review of the BBB. This guy is so dumb he should be criminally charged and incarcerated with the rest of the arrogant pond scum that lurks at your local Better Business Bureau.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110919/14221016016/criticize-better-business-bureau-theyll-pull-your-accreditation.shtml

    Please read this story and write about this guy. Let him know that the bottom feeders that extort for the BBB are accountable in the digital age. Contact the BBB’s sbernas@chicago.bbb.org Steve J Bernas yourself and tell him for me that he may just be the dumbest man alive. You can also contact the Chicago Attorney General and tell them that Steve J. Bernas needs to be taking out of society.

  142. Kevin K
    February 18th, 2014 at 11:53 | #142

    Trustlink is a new BBB online business.

    Trustlink, according to its web page, was founded by the BBB. Trustlink say’s that it’s all about “Trust” and Trustlink’s advertising appears to be a type of carbon copy of the BBB website but with a few twists. They don’t handle consumer complaints however if you’re a business you can pay Trustlink a monthly fee to support your business and help you land more clients.

    Copy and paste the link here http://www.trustlink.org/

    Now back to the BBB. Is handling consumer complaints, reporting scams and monitoring businesses and of course the “Trust” word just a big “Front” for the BBB to use?
    (To find the truth one should always follow the money.)

    If the BBB only listed their own members I would not be posting anything here because I would have nothing to post about but what’s wrong with the BBB is that they list and unfairly rate and discredit all businesses that refuse to pay them money. Apart from an unfair letter grade system, all businesses must pay the BBB money or be listed as “NOT A BBB ACCREDITED BUSINESS”. Truth be known is that only about 5 percent of all businesses are members of the BBB, this is a good example of the “Tail Wagging the Dog”. Why is the BBB not being fair to those 95 percent of businesses that don’t pay them?

    Keep in mind that a large number of consumers wrongly assume that the BBB is part of government mainly because of the word Bureau in its name. (A government agency would never list a legally operating business as NOT ACCREDITED.) Why is the BBB causing confusion in the market place by listing 95 percent of businesses as NOT BBB ACCREDITED when they know that many consumers think the BBB is part of government? Why are they offensively and purposely discrediting every legally registered business that does not pay the BBB money? Is this a shake-down? A scam? Is it wrong?

    In my opinion the BBB websites are a fake facade of manipulated statistics, twisted words and absolutely Brain Baffling BS only designed to greatly benefit the businesses that pay the BBB money and the BBB organization itself.

    What makes sense?
    Now hold on, did you have a complaint that wasn’t handled right? Are you starting to look at this with a different viewpoint? Are you a business person that has a poor BBB grade and don’t know why? Do you trust the BBB?

    Is the BBB a do good organization or is it just operating a “Front” as a do good organization in order to cash in on the big bucks for themselves and their members?

    If you follow the money one must ask, are the “good old boys” of the BBB all belly laughing out loud as they gather up the cash?

    Why did the BBB create Trustlink, a company that does not deal with consumer complaints?

    BS Baffles Brains or Better Business Bureau? You decide.

  143. SPARK ALOT
    March 21st, 2014 at 02:58 | #143

    @sarah duke

    SARAH MUST WORK FOR THEM. THE BBB HERE IS ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS IN NM. YOU COMPLAIN, BECAUSE OF ALL THE INCESTUAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THIS STATE, MOST OF THE COMPLAINT GO UNDOCUMENTED. IN THIS STATE EVERYONE IS LITERALLY RELATED TO EACH OTHER SOMEHOW. I JUST MOVED HERE, AND CAN’T WAIT TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

  144. SPARK ALOT
    March 21st, 2014 at 03:04 | #144

    WE BOUGHT A BRAND NEW CAR FROM A DEALERSHIP, A MAJOR REPUTABLE DEALERSHIP, NO MOM AND POP STORE. TWO YEARS LATER WHEN WE TOOK IT IN TO GET NEW TIRES, THE REPAIR PLACE SAID THIS CAR HAS BEEN IN A WRECK BECAUSE THE FRONT OF THE FRAME WAS BENT. WE WERE TOLD TO GO F OURSELVES AT THE DEALER. AND THEY LITERALLY HAD THE POLICE ESCORT US OUT. WE CALLED AND FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE STATE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE JUST TO HAVE THEM CALL US AND TELL US, IN THIS STATE YOU DON’T CHALLENGE THE DEALERSHIPS, THEY GIVE ALOT OF MONEY TO POLITICIANS AND YOU WILL LOSE. SO WE TURNED TO THE BBB. WE SCANNED AND UPLOADED ALL THE DOCUMENT PROOF, ETC, ETC,. ONLY TO BE TOLD BY BBB THAT THEY DON’T ACCEPT COMPLAINTS ABOUT DEALERSHIPS

  145. March 25th, 2014 at 08:49 | #145

    They are absolutely worthless…my question is who governs them? I want to take my complaint against them to the highest degree. I just can’t find out who or what agency is in charge of them. That one guy was just lucky, have never known anyone to get any satisfaction from the BBB. Someone help me PLEASE.

  146. June 2nd, 2014 at 21:17 | #146

    Caution!!!!!!I think the bbb is a fraud. Filed a complaint about a mason that took our money and never came back to do work. Bbb told us they edited comment before posting. We used the word “crook” and was sued for defamation by the business and they won. We contacted bbb about there editing policy and did not want no part of it! We also lost 6 months of pure hell with local police, sheriff department, 500.00 to lawyer and court cost. Will NEVER trust the system again. 5000.00 for telling the truth and bbb screwed us to! Lawyers all got there money , the business got his, and the judge was shocking, to say the least. This guy stole our money twice and hid behind the process and not only kept the 600.00 he stole, his got an addional 3000.00 for the word crook., and was 100% the truth. Way to go bbb! We thought the bbb was a place to tell the truth and got screwed. They wanted NO part of it!

  147. kmill
    June 8th, 2014 at 12:57 | #147

    Wow! Wish I would have found this website earlier. I had the same experience. Filed a complaint, business relies back with crazy comments and untrue statements, BBB closes case. I plan to write a negative review against this company on the BBB website. I plan to list an email address that people can request a copy of the complaint. They will then see the character of the company. This assumes the BBB doesn’t delete my review.

  148. Bill C
    June 15th, 2014 at 19:35 | #148

    The BBB is PAID for by its members who pay to participate.
    There is NO WAY the BBB will bite the hand that feeds it.
    Consumers and customers don’t pay the BBB so there is no way the BBB would ever side with the consumer.

  149. Mervin Leonard McLaren Jr
    July 21st, 2014 at 18:26 | #149

    So far there is no entity that governs them. I am contacting my states Department of Consumer Affairs. The BBB up in San Francisco is useless. They never respond to any of the my current inquires regarding a complaint. However, I have used them before without any complaint but those ones have been resolved. This time, the complaint continues and they do nothing to resolve the situation.

  150. Steve
    August 7th, 2014 at 14:26 | #150
  151. August 28th, 2014 at 11:38 | #151

    @sarah duke
    I have to agree, they are worthless to the common consumer, I’m very glad you had some luck , but three times, with the Chicago BBB, Atlanta BBB, and the Knoxvile Tn. BBB they did absolutely nothing except exchange information. The larger companies are exempt from any unresolved disputes;ie Suntrust and the credit bureaus.

  1. February 22nd, 2011 at 11:10 | #1