10 Reasons why the Better Business Bureau is bad for good business.

While we are listed as a Cincinnati mover with a positive rating by the Greater Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, we want to make a case for how harmful the BBB is to businesses.

Here are the 10 reasons why the BBB is bad for good business.

  1. The Better Business Bureau is a franchise whose business is to sell memberships. They often use tactics like “suggesting” a business join if they want to maintain a good rating or receive help in dealing with consumer complaints.
  2. Even when the they are clearly wrong, if the consumer refuses to accept a solution from a business, the complaint is left as unresolved which makes the business look bad. Basically a consumer can extort a business through the BBB and refuse any replies leaving a negative mark on that business.
  3. A consumer can make up complaints and the BBB makes no effort to remove statements the consumer has no proof of. This actually happened with us. Our competition filed a false complaint with the BBB. When we asked the BBB to require proof of the alleged service we performed and the consumer did not, the complaint was left with a negative mark against us.
  4. There is no way for the public to read the actual complaints against a company so you have no idea how relative or petty they may be.
  5. The public cannot read how the business replied so there is no idea of what efforts were made to appease the consumer.
  6. The BBB only reports the complaints. There is no balance to that with all the good ratings and good work a company may do.
  7. The BBB does not base its ratings on any logical standard. Google being a great example has a few hundred complaints but only a minute fraction of those are “unresolved”. Yet still, the company has a bad rating. Google does MILLIONS of transactions a day and less than .0000004% of those result in a complaint. Still the BBB gives them an “unsatifactory” rating.
  8. As a business, if you have a short history with the BBB you are automatically excluded from receiving a positive ranking. That is unless you pay for membership. This is another one of their pressure tactics to sell memberships.
  9. A business cannot get an A+ rating unless the business PAYS for BBB “accreditation”.
  10. The BBB can add the information of a business without their permission or input and then refuse to update or remove incorrect information about your business to their listings. To be fair, they often do send an automated request but the information a business submits may be ignored unless you pay to become a BBB member.
  11. The BBB often uses outside companies and telemarketers to solicit businesses for membership. How fair and reputable can a rating service be if it employs some of the very tactics consumers complain about?

As our boss tells us, how the BBB operates is pretty easy to explain.

“The BBB just called and your worst enemy was telling them about how horrible you are. They want to know what your side is but they are only going to publicize that someone filed a complaint against you and no matter what you say your enemy gets to determine how you are rated. By the way, they also want you to pay a couple hundred dollars a year to get accredited.”

Unfortunately the Better Business Bureau is one of those institutions that was once wonderful and is now archaic. With ratings services like Google Maps, CitySearch, Angie’s List and most ratings services the one common thread is that you see the good as well as the bad.

A perfect ranking system would be one that charges no fees, maintains no interest in either side and allows both the business and the consumers comments to be made public. Very similar to what Google Maps now does for businesses but adding a feature that allows the business to reply to any comments made.

In the end the BBB is no better than a street gang and their membership is merely “protection” money for a service they don’t really provide to businesses.

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