“Better” Business Bureau

Anti-BBB Penguin

Every now and then, the BBB calls wanting some money, and I am reminded of our story: several years ago, we received a glowing letter of recommendation from a local customer. At the time, we noticed our customer sent a copy to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We thought, “how nice & convenient, now the BBB will have something nice about us on file!” Well, that’s what we got for thinking. The letter started a snowball that took months to clear up. It seems when the BBB received the letter, no one had bothered to read it. We were sent a notice warning us of a business complaint: from the same customer who wrote our kind review. Uh-whaaaa?

After numerous phone calls to varied BBB employees, we were informed they “did not devise a system to handle compliments”, so our compliment was automatically filed as a complaint. Worse, they actually claimed they could do nothing to remove their mistake from their system. Only after repeated begging sessions did the situation miraculously become resolvable. After all was said and done,  I felt like calling the Better Business Bureau on themselves!

Despite the confidence a BBB tag seems to give consumers, as a small business owner with first-hand experience, a BBB seal is no guarantee of quality service: it’s a guarantee of expendable money. The service, at least when I was involved with it, was mostly pay-to-play. The more you pay, the better your standing and calls. The less you pay, the lower your standing. And as you most likely know, more wealth does not mean better customer service, in most cases, the reverse is true. We aren’t fans.



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