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View Full Version : I threatened the Better Business Bureau


callthatgirl
07-30-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm so sick of their scare tactics to become an "accredited member" that I called them and threatened to turn THEM into THEM. I immediately got a call back from the local VP who listened to my complaints and said she would talk to their sales dept. She also said, "we have changed our sales strategy...bla bla" and I said, "apparently not, I got that same scare tactic call today". I also told her how she could have won me over 3 years ago if they had a pitch that included positives on how it would help me, but instead the sales guy was negative and somewhat threatening. I know this has been brought up here before and many members all agreed that we saw no direct benefit from being a member and it hasn't hurt our businesses not being on an accredited member.

For the new businesses out there reading TN, in your first year out (and many more years)....you will receive these types of calls and never feel like you have to join them. Angie's List pushes you to join too, but they don't scare you.

TenYardFight
07-30-2011, 12:51 PM
Nice job Lisa! They are a SCAM. A classic protection racket. Good article here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1328368/is_the_better_business_bureau_on_the.html

Techless
07-30-2011, 01:00 PM
If you have an Android phone or use Google Voice for your business number the easiest thing to do is block their number.

callthatgirl
07-30-2011, 01:39 PM
The thing is, the business itself was built on reputation and it's SCARY when you get a voicemail, "Yes, we have had an inquiry done about your business, please call the BBB at your earliest convenience"

:eek: who is reporting me!

Ok, no one. That's their tactic and it is BS.

I also told the VP that I have a voice and a blog and I am not afraid to tell the world about this at all. Blogs go viral for a reason--telling everyone that I turned in the BBB to the BBB would make for an interesting story. Threatening them back felt really good.

Appleby
07-30-2011, 05:22 PM
Amen! I've been very outspoken here about the BBB and their legal scam/racket. Their tactics feel like extortion.....if you pay us money, we will watch your back and tell people how good you are.....if you don't pay us.....well...well I guess you will just have to wait and see. UGH!

I've gotten those same scary voicemails from them telling me to call them immediately. Then they lie and say there has been an inquiry.....it's the same old thing every time and every where.

When I see their signs in businesses I think it means 1 of 2 things...

1) The owner joined voluntarily because they thought it would help their business.

2) They paid them off by joining because they were scared. No different than if "Vinnie" had walked into the store, hit him in the kneecap and informed them he'd be coming by weekly for his 10% cut.

nightkingdoms
07-30-2011, 08:58 PM
I got a call from them early on stating the same thing. I told them that if there was a complaint, there's a complaint process that the client needs to follow and is clearly outlined in their agreements. They stated that my business was searched for online and they had no information so they wanted to learn more about my business. I told them to send me something by mail or Email and I'll fill it out at my convenience.

A couple days later I got both an Email and letter with questionnaires. I filled them out, sent them in and checked it on their site about a week later. Totally wrong info! So I Emailed them and told them that they need to change it. They stated that's the information that they collected from me and that it stays, integrity, blah blah blah. I gave them my lawyer's name, address and phone number and told them to expect papers for libel shortly as what they're publishing is clearly wrong. I got asked to correct my information. ;)

Went from a D- to an A+ instantly! Who would have guessed? :D

Edit: BTW, I'm not even a member of the BBB, but as a non-member my company has an A rating. lol

emsbronco
07-31-2011, 12:11 AM
I quit the BBB after I had a dispute with another BBB member, The Berry Company. It took 3 tries for the BBB to get a response from them, I had written documentation showing they violated their contract and over a years worth of email and written correspondence showing they auto renewed me despite being told I refused to renew, etc, etc.

Long story short, the BBB closed my complaint as resolved with company response, even though I told the BBB that I did not accept their response. I then contacted my BBB and the national "office" with the recommendation to remove The Berry Company since they had so many complaints and my experience shows they violated the BBB Code of Ethics. The verbal response I got is that they pay a lot more than I do and they do not take recommendations from BBB members.

My issue was resolved shortly after once I got my lawyer involved...I got a senior director of the Berry Company to acknowledge they were in the wrong and that I was sold features of their online package that weren't even active yet.

But, after that I quit the BBB and they call me once a year trying to get me to sign up. I always tell them they are a scam and I quit them once. Their sales tactics then change and they try to explain what kind of marketing benefits the BBB offers.

rsarceno
07-31-2011, 09:04 AM
I was surprise to read this post. First time I heard BBB using scared tactics.

But I'm not sure exactly how it would work because they will only rate BBB members. So if you got rated and your not a member then you get a free service. But if they bad mouth your business and can not prove it then you can sue and retire early.

Roel
__________________________________________________ ______
Sarceno Network Consulting
http://www.snccomputerrepair.com/

emsbronco
07-31-2011, 09:21 PM
They will rate any business, but if you don't join, you automatically get dropped a level. When I quit the BBB, my rating went from A+ to A.

RegEdit
08-02-2011, 09:49 AM
I always thought that the BBB was a government agency. I just read on Wikipedia that it's a company with franchises. That explains why they once called me about PAYING to join. They basically told me that the sky was going to fall on me if I didn't join. I told them I could care less if I was listed or not.

ProTech-MN
08-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Yea, never been a fan of the BBB either. Try looking up your company on their site and within hours, you'll be getting a phone call from them to join..

...and while not as heavy handed, Angie's List is relentless in trying to get you to advertise with them.

-Randy

kellycomputerservices
08-02-2011, 09:37 PM
Thought this was just me! Glad to know this is their entire marketing tactic...:rolleyes:

IAMPC
08-03-2011, 12:09 AM
BBB is nothing but a useless expensive crap... that is all I have to say about them...

ljtechservices
08-03-2011, 01:53 AM
Try looking up your company on their site and within hours, you'll be getting a phone call from them to join..



I'm going to do this.

nightkingdoms
09-07-2011, 10:43 PM
Just got a call from them and wasn't available to answer so (thankfully) it went to voicemail. I listened to the message and they were requesting a call back, no reason left. Figuring the normal B.S., I emailed the CEO of the Southern Arizona chapter (the one that left the message) asking what the call was for. Got this response:

"It looks as if Xxxxxx Xxxxxx in our office was calling to discuss BBB Accreditation with you." [name removed]

My response (hehehe):

"Please file this as permanent notice that I am not seeking nor interested
in accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in any form or
chapter. Please do not call or email this company regarding similar
requests.

This company is willing to receive forwarded complaints that have been
filed against the company if received by BBB, but kindly request that such
persons follow the established procedures for support and complaints by
using our then-current contact information.

A copy of the current rating of this company as it now stands on the BBB
site has been made for reference in the event it may change due to this
refusal and is attached.

Thank you for your interest." ;)

joydivision
09-07-2011, 11:26 PM
I am amazed this sort of thing is allowed to go on, sure enough it does happen in the UK, but it operated in this way it would get shut down. Is there no trading standards type organisation in the USA which has the power to close rogue businesses down?

The protection rackets which go on in the UK are a bit more serious, it is more "pay me 500 a month you your pub will go up in smoke, grass and you will end up in smoke"

RegEdit
09-08-2011, 12:06 AM
From a consumer standpoint, complaining to the BBB never amounted to a hill of beans anyway. The BBB has been replaced by Yelp anyway. The BBB is like Tower Records. They are sooooo yesterday.

BDPCR
09-08-2011, 08:19 PM
Interesting i was considering joining them at one point.

Tony_Scarpelli
09-11-2011, 08:15 AM
I'm so sick of their scare tactics to become an "accredited member" that I called them and threatened to turn THEM into THEM.


You go girl! You are funny. :)

OldSchoolPC
10-13-2011, 09:58 AM
I've got a guy call me from the BBB 3 times a week or me leaving voice mails. He is very insistant that I fill out the application for accredidation and especially fill out all the form to pay for the $400 fees. With that kind of money I could put that toward a blog team which will increase my reputation much more than the BBB. People just use BBB to complain anymore, they use reviews and "likes" to decide to buy or utilize a service. So, I blocked his number.

NETWizz
10-13-2011, 12:51 PM
I've got a guy call me from the BBB 3 times a week or me leaving voice mails. He is very insistant that I fill out the application for accredidation and especially fill out all the form to pay for the $400 fees. With that kind of money I could put that toward a blog team which will increase my reputation much more than the BBB. People just use BBB to complain anymore, they use reviews and "likes" to decide to buy or utilize a service. So, I blocked his number.

Could have simply told them to put you on their Do Not Call list. I am certain they WILL comply with it as per law. They are not sneaky... they tell you who they are, etc.

TopLevelComp
10-13-2011, 06:37 PM
Within 2 days of being listed in Yellow Pages got a call from the BBB wanting $500 to be accredited, told them to shove it. I, as RegEdit said, thought they were a government agency (bureau in the name), until I did some digging after they called, I also called other repair shops in my local area, and those that had been accredited, all had paid a different price, once I heard that, it was cemented in place, they are crooks.

smmirza
10-17-2011, 09:02 PM
Haha.. They called me up too. I saw NO value and declined. The sales guy didnt give up and kept asking me the reason why i didnt want to join and I said because of a pushy salesman. That got him to shut up.

Rosco
10-17-2011, 09:43 PM
The thing is, the business itself was built on reputation and it's SCARY when you get a voicemail, "Yes, we have had an inquiry done about your business, please call the BBB at your earliest convenience"

:eek: who is reporting me!

Ok, no one. That's their tactic and it is BS.

I also told the VP that I have a voice and a blog and I am not afraid to tell the world about this at all. Blogs go viral for a reason--telling everyone that I turned in the BBB to the BBB would make for an interesting story. Threatening them back felt really good.


Awesome call that girl us little techies got to fight the system!

callthatgirl
10-18-2011, 12:07 AM
I'm also a bit ticked off at the Angie's List thing too, F rating stuff....really?

I try to be very careful when someone calls from Angies List. Don't do something right and you get an F.

F

Cornerstone Technologies
10-18-2011, 02:14 AM
I'm also a bit ticked off at the Angie's List thing too, F rating stuff....really?

I try to be very careful when someone calls from Angies List. Don't do something right and you get an F.

F

Maybe its just my natural cynical way, but I find Angies List almost condescending in its exclusive club.

RegEdit
10-19-2011, 09:51 AM
The other people who are always calling me are various "internet yellow pages" companies and "internet business listing" companies that claim that they will get me to the top of Google and Yahoo. I'm already at the top so I love yanking these people's chains.

callthatgirl
10-19-2011, 01:51 PM
lol--I'm at the top enough I figure. I also think that the top paying ad guys deal with a ton of tire kickers and we don't get many.

donte10
10-26-2011, 01:04 PM
The thing is, the business itself was built on reputation and it's SCARY when you get a voicemail, "Yes, we have had an inquiry done about your business, please call the BBB at your earliest convenience"

:eek: who is reporting me!

Ok, no one. That's their tactic and it is BS.

I also told the VP that I have a voice and a blog and I am not afraid to tell the world about this at all. Blogs go viral for a reason--telling everyone that I turned in the BBB to the BBB would make for an interesting story. Threatening them back felt really good.

I got the same call. I was a member of the BBB for one year, but didn't see a direct benefit from it. I cancelled my membership and haven't seen a change in business. I think I had 1 client in 2 years ask me if I was on the BBB and told them I was not but that they can call them if they'd like... my rating is still good. The new client is now a customer of mine with or without the BBB. Hope this helps.. If clients want to see reviews they can always go to Google :)

PWD
10-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Nice good job. I'm happy I have not had to face BBB yet. I think I would tell them the same.

nesrinamb
10-27-2011, 07:21 PM
First week that I file my license with the city stating that I was in business I get a call from the BBB telling me that a customer had called asking about my company.

But that was a load a bull considering that my only customers at the time were coming from friends and family who recommended me to other people.

I did some research on the company later on and it turns out that theirs tons of recordings and conversations on the internet where employees of the BBB will remove bad reviews for a fee. Or will decide to give you a "F" and bring it back up to an "A" for a fee.

When it comes to having a good image so that customer trust you all you need is some good Google reviews.

No one cares about the BBB anymore.