BBB Ratings for Sale

skydawggyAugust 8, 2010

For those who heve been reading this site for a while, you have heard me caution consumers about too much reliance on the BBB for accurate depictions of contractor competence. I have advised consumers not to put too much faith in the BBB and to make sure the BBB is just one part of your decision tree. I have taken some flack on other sites for my claims that an A+ BBB rating is by no means your assurance of getting a good contractor. I have also said that you may be better off going with a contractor with lower than an A+ rating as long as they check out strong in other areas. With that said, here is an investigative report on the tactic the BBB uses to extort money from businesses. The reason I say extort is my own personal experience with the BBB was that we had an A- rating even though we had only had 2 complaints in 3 years. We had asked the BBB why one of our competitors had an A+ rating even though they had many more complaints. We were told that we could be upgraded to an A+ rating if we would join the BBB and pay their annual fee which we did and sure enough our rating was increased to an A+.

This is very sad and I think any consumer who has ever relied on the BBB should be disappointed. Apparently it all comes down to money.

Here is a link that might be useful: BBB Ratings for Sale

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The problems with BBB accreditation have been going on for some time. Some local bureaus do use the carrot of accreditation to encourage business to join. Such behavior is against BBB national rules, however. You should report your local to the national organization. I'd like to know what results. If they don't take action, report them to your state Attorney General consumer fraud division.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 4:03PM
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I consider an A- still to be an A. I do further check what the complaints, if any were, and if they were resolved. It's the companies that rate C with lots of unresolved issues that I avoid using.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 11:01PM
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