Better Business Bureau--worth $300? per annum...sheesh. - Posted by ccreed50

Posted by Marvin on May 08, 1999 at 23:58:56:


Thanks for the informative post.
How about the Chamber of Commerce?


Better Business Bureau–worth $300? per annum…sheesh. - Posted by ccreed50

Posted by ccreed50 on May 07, 1999 at 19:29:53:

That’s how much they want to get in their book. Anybody have any experience with BBB?

Seems our activity has been generating some inquiries–that is, people call the BBB to check us out–but there’s no listing on us, so they don’t get any information–good or bad–about us. Is it worthwhile for rehabbers to be in BBB?


I gotta agree with Johnboy (nt) - Posted by hkCA

Posted by hkCA on May 08, 1999 at 19:24:35:


Re: Better Business Bureau–worth $300? per annum…sheesh. - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on May 08, 1999 at 02:37:16:

For the most part, “in MY opinion” it’s a waste of money. I was a member for years through other businesses I have managed and the ones I own.

Whether your a member or not, when a customer does business with you and they have a problem where the customer feels they didn’t get any satisfaction from you, they will sometimes file a complaint with BBB.

They have to put their complaint in writing and mail it to the BBB. The BBB will send you a letter with a copy of the customers complaint that they sent to the BBB. The BBB will request that you respond to them in writing regarding that complaint and what, if anything, that you would be willing to do to help resolve that complaint with the customer.

Whether you intend to try and resolve the complaint or not doesn’t matter to the BBB. What matters is that you at least respond back to the BBB on the complaint giving your side of the story. As long as you respond they will report you as being in good standing without any outstanding complaints against your company.

If your a member they will tell anyone that calls them for a reference on your company that you are a member in good standing with them if you don’t have any complaints against you that you ignored. They don’t give out any information as to the number of complaints that were filed against you “as long as you responded to the complaint”. You don’t have to back down and give in to them to satisfy a customer that you may feel isn’t entitled to a refund or any restitution on something they feel you destroyed somehow. Just as long as you respond to the complaint in writing giving your side of the story and whether or not there is anything more you would be willing to do for the customer to try and resolve their complaint, they will give you a rating as being in good standing with them.

If your not a member they will tell the consumer that you are not a member of the BBB and you don’t have any outstanding complaints against you as long as you replied in writing to any complaints that someone may have filed against you. If you ignore the complaint then they will say you have x number of complaints that are outstanding against you.

When I was a member part of their requirement in my area was they wanted you to agree to go through arbitration on any disputes with a consumer that was unhappy with your service. They wanted you as a member to forfeit your rights to going to court and agreeing to stand behind their findings if they felt you should pay the consumer a refund, or pay a claim on something the consumer felt was your fault.

This was the one thing I absolutely refused to forfeit my rights on and hand over to them. I told them unless they have someone that has exstensive experience in my line of business then there was no way I would give up my rights and agree to stand behind someone elses opinion on whether I’m at fault on something that I have more knowledge in then they do. Basically, I felt unless they were knowledgable in my business with hands on experience then they weren’t in any position to pass judgement on something pertaining to my business on whether I’m at fault or not. If the consumer wasn’t happy with my final dicission then they have the right to take the matter to small claims and present their case to a judge.

Usually if your not willing to resolve the complaint with the consumer then the BBB will tell them they have done everything they could do at this point and give their opinion based on the consumers complaint and your response as to what they feel about the issue. If the BBB feels you were in the right based on your response they will try to smooth things over with the consumer. If that doesn’t satisfy the consumer or if the BBB feels you should be held liable based on your response then they will tell the consumer they will need to take you to small claims court because there is nothing more they can do for them.

I’ve recieved letters in the past from them stating that I had several people call about my company and they had to tell them that I wasn’t a member at the time. They said since they’ve had some people inquire about my business I should consider becoming a member so they can tell these people I am in fact a member in good standing with them. Personally I think this may just be a sales tactic they pull to recruit new members to join, but maybe it’s not, I can’t say for sure. I’ve had letters like that in several businesses in the past from them and they were all pretty much the same, so I think it could just be a sales pitch.

A lot would really depend on the type of business your in I think. If your type of business is the type that would present a lot of doubt to the consumer on what your company is offering then it might be a good idea to join the BBB since something like that would generate a lot more inquiries about your business. Aside from that, my opinion is it’s more of a waste of money to join since your type of business won’t generate very many inquiries if any at all.

You don’t need to be a member and waste $300 to belong every year just to hear about the ones that do bother to complain about your company. For one thing you will already know about that complaint and if that customer was the type that won’t listen to reason or you didn’t just tell them what they wanted to hear instead of the facts, then they will be the ones to follow through with filing a complaint against you to try and get their way. Aside from that, the BBB will mail you a copy of any complaint they get whether your a member or not so they can try to help the consumer get it resolved. If you respond back to the BBB you will keep a good rating with no outstanding complaints. If you fail to respond then you will have an outstanding complaint whether your a member or not.

Oh, and that book your talking about that they want you to get into. That book is only mailed out to other members that belong to the BBB. They don’t hand it out to the general public. It’s a quarterly magazine that comes out with some articles in it and they sell advertising space to their members. It also lists all the companies that are members and they will list all the companies that failed to respond to a consumers complaint. So unless your primary target is mostly other small businesses then that book is more of a waste also since it’s not mailed out to the general public in your area. At least that is what it is here by me anyway.

So whenever you hear a company saying they are in good standing with the BBB, that doesn’t mean they never had any complaints filed against them. They could have hundreds of complaints that were filed against them. As long as the company just responds to those complaints giving their side of the story whether they intend to try and resolve the complaint or not, they will remain in good standing without any outstanding complaints against them. If you ask the BBB if a certain company has had any complaints filed against them at all inculding any that the company responded to, they won’t give out that information. Only on the complaints that the company failed to respond to will they tell you about. If someone at the BBB does give out that information if the company responded to all their complaints, they will tell you that strickly off the record because they could get into trouble for giving that out since the company did at least respond to the complaints.

A company in good standing with the BBB means that company hasn’t had any complaints or they have responded to all their complaints.

If the company is not in good standing then they have outstanding complaints they failed to respond to.

Is all that worth $300 a year to be a member? Unless your company is the type that would generate a lot of inquiries because of the business you have, my opinion is no, not really.

Thanks for the well-thought out & informative response. - Posted by ccreed50

Posted by ccreed50 on May 09, 1999 at 08:54:26:

I concur. There’s something slippery about the whole business proposition and right now we can put the cash to better use.

And thanks again to JP for hosting this quality resource.