The Better Business Bureau, one of the country's best known consumer watchdog groups, is being accused by business owners of running a "pay for play" scheme in which A plus ratings are awarded to those who pay membership fees, and F ratings used to punish those who don't.
To prove the point, a group of Los Angeles business owners paid $425 to the Better Business Bureau and were able to obtain an A minus grade for a non-existent company called Hamas, named after the Middle Eastern terror group.
"Right now, this rating system is really unworthy of consumer trust or confidence," said Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal in an interview to be broadcast as part of an ABC News investigation airing tonight on 20/20.
You know, this really pisses me off on two levels:
1) The company I formerly worked for was a member of the BBB, and we won 6 BBB Awards for Excellence, 2 or those awards being the Pinnacle Award. How hard is it to get the Pinnacle Award? Out of about 20,000 HVAC companies in Southeast Texas, only ONE Pinnacle Award is given out each year. And we got it twice. But now I have to ask, for what, if the awards put us in the same company as Hamas?
2) F- ratings are always given out to companies that do not respond to customer complaints. But, according to the article, F- ratings are now sometimes given out to those who don't "pay to play"? If this is true, then this is totally reprehensible, and maybe someone needs to file a BBB complaint against the BBB.
Put both of these points together, and the credibility of the BBB, and it's membership, drop dramatically. I know that the economy is tough, but if the BBB can't stay in business honestly, then maybe they should just go out of business. After all, if the BBB cannot even live according to it's own mission statement, then something is terribly wrong. As much as I have supported the BBB in the past, the time has come for me to stop supporting them, at least, until they get back on track, and start acting like.... well, the BBB.
Article is here.
Afterthought - That the BBB has chosen to give a fictitious company named "Hamas" an A- rating is somewhat ironic, if they are terrorizing companies into paying in order to receive a better rating. If the shoe fits.................... Economic terrorism is also terrorism. Sure, nobody is being bombed to death, but an F- rating might as well be a bomb, if the company goes out of business because it didn't pay.