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better business reporting on you even if you're not a member?
jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 5:14 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

i just did a search for my business name at bbbmwo.ca and i noticed my company listed! (with incorrect contact information)

i do not want any associations with BBB as i find absolutely no use in their website or services, how do i de-list my company?

 

Automan Empire

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 12:36 am on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Contact them and ask that the listing be removed.

I have gotten calls from them, with a contrived sense of urgency, that some consumer had inquired about us, and they had no listing, and would we like to pay three figures for a listing? NO!
I've heard too many stories of them automatically siding with the consumer to want to get involved. I run my business with honest industry best practices, and have built a good reputation in my market. Therefore, I don't exactly NEED them. I suppose different averages apply in different niches, but in mine (and it is rife with fraud and justified consumer mistrust) I cannot say I have encountered any evidence that any consumer chose a different business because they were listed in BBB. On the other hand, I have seen lots of evidence that snakish bait-and-switch tactics, of the Worse Business Bureau variety, get the masses flocking to those businesses! Go figure!
-Automan

jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 8:11 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

i've contacted them for removal and they said their reporting of non-registered business is protected by canadian law.

how is posting someone's home address protected by law i wonder? they seemed to ignore my mention that my business is run out of my home and it should be up to me where that address is displayed publicly.

i have to ask: if they will list and report on non-members, why the heck do people pay to be a part of BBB?!

iamlost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 9:19 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)


how is posting someone's home address protected by law i wonder?

I am not sure whether "it is protected by law" but it certainly legal by virtue of there being no law against such publication. Providing the information is correct, of course.

Your 'business' information is definitely public domain. A business is no less 'public' just because it is in your house. That is why some businesses use their lawyers office, or similar external address, as their address of record.

Indeed your 'personal' name and address is already public information: phone book, property rolls, etc. Anyone can 'use' such information. Where would all the databanks and directories that surround us be without wholesale reuse of 'personal' information?


why the heck do people pay to be a part of BBB?!

For much the same reason they join the Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade, or any other business association: because it is the norm or they believe it increases customer confidence/sales.

Why do webmasters put various logos/associations on their sites? Because it is the norm or they believe it increases customer confidence/sales.

LostOne

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 9:45 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Because it is the norm or they believe it increases customer confidence/sales."

I think it does to an extent. I've had a few people ask if we were BBB members, and naturally the logo is visible if they scroll a liitle bit. The logo sure makes it open season on you if you say something wrong to a customer. Hey, we all have a bad day from time to time. It hasn't happened to me but one Saturday a woman called ordering the bare minimum on a product we make very little on.

While taking the order I get another call, put her on hold. The new caller is ordering a big profit item so naturally I spend more time with them and kinda blew off the other call. I didn't hink much about it, then we get a letter from the BBB a week later saying how rude I was blah, blah, blah. She even called me a butthead..LOL! They don't do anything with those kind of calls unless there's a transaction. involved..but..like I said..it's OPEN season.

They are practically worthless in my opinion, but some people take it seriously.

Beagle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 4:11 pm on Apr 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't know how BBB operates online, but it's generally a very local operation, and I'd guess that the competency, care, etc., depends on where you are. A former employer of mine was called on occasionally to act as an outside mediator between a customer and a BBB-member business, and I was favorably impressed with the care that was given each case. But I have to assume that the operation isn't always so praiseworthy - mostly because it depended so much on the particular people who worked in that particular local bureau who really cared about what they were doing. (Their office was in the same building as ours, and I got to know a couple of the people well enough to believe I can say that about them truthfully.)

My understanding is that being a BBB member says that you're willing to use that kind of outside mediation if the situation comes down to that, so the customer knows they have some kind of recourse if things go badly - and so does the business.

CernyM

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 12:11 am on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)


I don't know how BBB operates online, but it's generally a very local operation, and I'd guess that the competency, care, etc., depends on where you are.

For complaints against online vendors, you are routed to the BBB branch closest to their place of business.

jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 1:03 am on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

in my six years of both online & offline business, i've never had a single customer ask me if i was a member of the BBB or why wasn't i.. not something i'm gonna lose sleep over, i'll tell you that.

i'm just a little perturbed that they think it's their right to mediate between a business and their customers, that's almost like saying a business is too incompitent to handle things on their own.

i just don't see a point to the BBB's existence; never have.

CernyM

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 3:04 am on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

i'm just a little perturbed that they think it's their right to mediate between a business and their customers, that's almost like saying a business is too incompitent to handle things on their own.

The BBB usually gets involved when the customer feels like they have exhausted their avenues for dealing with a company directly and needs outside help to mediate.

If the company and customer had been able to resolve the issue, the BBB wouldn't be asked to get involved.

jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 3:59 am on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

in situations where proof of shipment exists; but the problem is on the end of the shipping company, i don't feel it's fair the BBB get involved. if anything - they should direct the customer to the proper party they should be complaining to.

CernyM

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 3:12 pm on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

in situations where proof of shipment exists; but the problem is on the end of the shipping company, i don't feel it's fair the BBB get involved. if anything - they should direct the customer to the proper party they should be complaining to.

Uh, ok.

But, there are a lot more areas of potential dispute between businesses and consumers than the one you describe.

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 6:01 pm on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, anyone can post information about any business on the Internet as long as it isn't slander.

But then again, people can post all kinds of unfavorable thing about your business in some cases and it perfectly legal in many cases.

If the only thing you have to worry about is a non-member BBB listing, you are doing good. :)

jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 9:05 pm on May 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Uh, ok.

But, there are a lot more areas of potential dispute between businesses and consumers than the one you describe.


i'm quite aware of that, i was using my post as an example in a situation where the BBB basically needs to "mind their own business"

Unfortunately, anyone can post information about any business on the Internet as long as it isn't slander.

thanks for bringing this up. this brings the question to mind: how does the BBB even identify someone as a business' actual customer? do they ask for proof of purchase, credit card details, etc.? how do they determine that this information isn't fabricated in the first place?

if the BBB is reporting on businesses that want no affiliation with them in the first place, whose to say a competitor can't simply make false accusations and say this or that to the BBB regarding a transaction that has never existed?

CernyM

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 4:45 am on May 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

i'm quite aware of that, i was using my post as an example in a situation where the BBB basically needs to "mind their own business"

Its not like they wander over and poke their nose in uninvited. They are asked by your customers to get involved and help mediate a solution.

You can obviously ignore them or tell them to get lost - though if you take a look at how they operate, you'll find that simply ignoring the BBB is the easy way to get a negative company rating.

Take a look at the reports on some well known companies (e.g. Amazon) and you'll see what actually gets reported. If you are treating your customers ethically then you shouldn't have anything to worry about from the BBB.

ScottG13

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 9:06 pm on May 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

We take great pride in our very positive BBB record. We know it delivers confidence in our users because they comment on it to our sales reps. Users look for 3rd party verifiers when they are unfamiliar with a particular company. BBB is one of them. You don't have to use them, but I think they can be quite valuable in confidence building.

Sunshyn

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 1:47 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can obviously ignore them or tell them to get lost - though if you take a look at how they operate, you'll find that simply ignoring the BBB is the easy way to get a negative company rating.

Yes indeed. Which means it works really well for people looking to hurt a business maliciously. Don't know how common a scenario it is but, many months after the fact, we accidentally ran across a BBB report intended only to hurt us. The people deliberately mis-reported our contact information so that we would not be able to receive the notifications from the BBB. However, the information was just close enough that it would look legit when someone searched for our company. The BBB obviously never checked any of that information. They just rated us poorly based on our not responding to the report we never received. Of course, that would never have happened if we had given them money to become members...

We would never even consider becoming a BBB member after seeing how they operate.

jake66

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 2:28 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes indeed. Which means it works really well for people looking to hurt a business maliciously. Don't know how common a scenario it is but, many months after the fact, we accidentally ran across a BBB report intended only to hurt us. The people deliberately mis-reported our contact information so that we would not be able to receive the notifications from the BBB. However, the information was just close enough that it would look legit when someone searched for our company. The BBB obviously never checked any of that information. They just rated us poorly based on our not responding to the report we never received. Of course, that would never have happened if we had given them money to become members...

We would never even consider becoming a BBB member after seeing how they operate.


thank you for this post, this was my primary concern about the BBB's ethics (or lacktherof)

have you ever tried to contact them and explain the information supplied was false? if so, i'm interested in their response if you don't mind sharing..

Sunshyn

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 7:01 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

have you ever tried to contact them and explain the information supplied was false? if so, i'm interested in their response if you don't mind sharing..

Yes. They did allow us to respond to the complaint as per their usual procedure. However, that was after many months of having been listed as "unsatisfactory" because of it. The BBB didn't seem to think it was their responsibility to check contact information (unless the company was a paid member, of course), despite the opening it leaves for people misusing them for vengeance without a legitimate basis.

It doesn't matter how good the customer service is, any business is far too likely to run into people who just want to make trouble out of spite. I can't tell you how many times we've been told we're being reported to the BBB and every other possible "authority" by people who object to our standard policies (such as requiring cards to pass basic AVS checks). I dislike the implication that we have to pay for membership in order to keep such obvious tactics from causing excess time loss and trouble.

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 10:55 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think if they are claiming someone had a problem with your business and they allow you to clear it up and post that it was resolved or someting, they are not breaking the law.

If they post this stuff and they won't post your resolution of the problem quickly and correctly, it could be breaking the law as they are allowing a one sided story. But I think if they are posting this and not posting it in an open forum type situation where anyone, including the business can post their comments about your business, it could be violating the law.

Do they post positive things that customers may want to report or only negative things? If it is only negative, it could be breaking the law.

The reason why the SUCKS websites that even use trademark logos can operate because they have an open forum where anyone and everyone can post their opinion at any time. If it was a closed, one-sided website, they could be taken down.

Some one-sided sites post things, but they are so ridiculous that anyone should take it as a parody and a judge would probably look at it and agree it is a parody. So if I have a website with Calvin pissing on a Microsoft logo, that is obviously commonly known in the US as a parody even if I dont' say "this is a parody", but it would be best to post that disclaimer some place on your website.

They definetly can't post something SERIOUSLY that is not true and they know it is not true. So if you have proof to show them it is not true, and they leave it up, that is probably illegal.

IANAL

CernyM

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 12:38 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)


They definetly can't post something SERIOUSLY that is not true and they know it is not true. So if you have proof to show them it is not true, and they leave it up, that is probably illegal.

The BBB has been around quite a long time and has dealt with untold numbers of customer/vendor interactions.

I think its safe to assume that if they were habitually breaking any laws, it would have come to light before now.

Peter Cornstalk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 5068 posted 5:28 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is a fallicy to take for granted that someone or some organization does nothing wrong because they have been around for a long time and you have never heard of them doing anything wrong.

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