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Posts Tagged ‘Better Business Bureau’

Better Business Bureau – An Accreditation Process Based On How Much Money Your SmallBiz Pays?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Remember the Better Business Bureau?  Do you use it? Do you like it? If you found it helpful…well it might not be as helpful as you thought it would be. According to MSNBC, the BBB’s accreditation process might be based purely on money. Criticism is being directed at the BBB’s aggressive membership sales process.  The BBB has admitted to making mistakes and said that they have reviewed the 16 factors that they consider when deciding whether or not give a business accreditation.  MSNBC’s post goes on to say that it’s better for consumers to solicit opinions on Social Media platforms on the business that you are interested in as opposed to specifically relying on the Better Business Bureau.  This is not the first time that there has been some criticism of BBB as we previously covered news reports by ABC News of BBB allegedly selling grades for small businesses.

Some people are really not happy with the BBB right now. But, some people go pretty far in venting their anger toward the BBB’s practices. Fee Fighters, a comparison shopping website for credit card processing, came out with a post that called the BBB is a “[@#$% ]Scam“. They then went on to say that the BBB may be exhorting people by describing some interactions that a business had with BBB when that business contacted the BBB in regards to some complaints that were apparently filed against the business.  The business, according to the Fee Fighter’s blog post, was told by the BBB that if the business would pay over $700 for a BBB membership than those complaints would be potentially cleaned.  In fact, according to the Fee Fighter’s account once the business paid for the BBB membership the rating for the business jumped from an “F” to an “A-“.  Oh by the way apparently according to this story on Gawker, the terrorist organization, Hamas, that has claimed responsibility for lots of bad things somehow gets an A- from the BBB.

Fee Fighters followed up on their post with a post recording the BBB’s reactions. At the time that they had published the post, they themselves at Fee Fighters had received BBB accreditation and had paid a lot of money for it. However, when the BBB saw their post, the BBB sent them a letter revoking Fee Fighter’s accreditation because the post did not conform to one of their guidelines.  Fee Fighters sent the BBB a letter back that stated that they were just telling the truth” which resulted in the BBB changing their status on the BBB’s website to Fee Fighters now having no rating.

How does all of this look for the BBB?  What do you all think?

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Posts Tagged ‘Better Business Bureau’

Does the Better Business Bureau Sell Its Grades?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

I was watching ABC News the other night when I saw this report that suggests that the Better Business Bureau is essentially selling good business ratings.  In this report, Brian Ross makes some fairly shocking realizations while interviewing a small business owner that had received a ‘C’ grade for her business and the day after paying the $400 membership fee to the BBB her rating immediately shot up to an ‘A’.  The small business owner indicated that she did not do anything else that would have resulted in her increase in grading. 

The report goes on to detail how some “pranksters” made up a business called “Hamas” which is a well known terrorist organization and paid the same $400 membership fee to the Better Business Bureau and, sure enough, this made up business received a grade of A! 

The ABC report also includes an interview with Wolfgang Puck, who has an ‘F’ rating by the way, and says that he thinks paying for a grade is wrong.  Other business owners interviewed in the piece say that they think the BBB is running a scam by trying to strong arm these small businesses into paying for their BBB membership in order to get a good rating through their system.

The end of the report seemed to indicate that the Connecticut District Attorney was in the process of requesting that the BBB stop rating businesses using this rating system as it seemed to be fraudulent.  If these allegations are true, this no doubt will have huge impacts to the small business community as a large number of them have purchased trust and rating seals from the Better Business Bureau and they would now most likely be requesting refunds for these products if the rating system is, in fact, fraudulent. 

Have you ever purchased any of these products for your business from the BBB and had similar issues in getting a good rating?

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Posts Tagged ‘Better Business Bureau’

Video: Can You Trust Online Product Reviews?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

We have covered in previous posts the issues of online reviews here and the artificial inflation of numeric reviews and online ratings.  The truth is,  we all look at reviews, whether they are for a hotel on Trip Advisor, a take-out place on Yelp or a product review at your favorite online store.  With the proliferation of reviews across many sites and across so many of our online shopping choices, the issue has now become what is a legitimate review and what is a fake?

Here is a good video interview  of Alan Bligh, Executive Director of the Coastal Bend Better Business Bureau in Texas.  He outlines a series of items in this video that are red flags you should look out for when you are reading an online product review.  We highly recommend watching this video as it will help you stay safe when you are shopping online and it gives online shoppers practical security tips to help you avoid being a victim of online fraud.

Some of these red flags include:

1) Reviews that are actually from an employee or even a disgruntled employee;

2) A review written by a competitor;

3) Product reviews with too much technical jargon may be written by an “insider”;

4) Be careful of reviews that sound like an advertisement for a product;

5) The same review or largely the same review (using the same wording) is written many times on a site or  an online store’s site;

6) The review is all positive.  Typically legitimate reviews have positive and some negative (or at least potential improvements) included; and

7) Reviews with a user name that has 3-4 numbers at the end of it are typically auto generated by software or a computer that trolls the internet and automatically places generic reviews on multiple sites.

This is a good list of red flags to look for when you shop online.  Please tell us if you have any red flags or seen any odd comments in product reviews that have raised a red flag with you.

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