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  1. #1
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Better Business Bureau Rant
    I've received a few phone messages from the Better Business Bureau over the past few years, and each call sounded something like this:

    "Hello this is Mr. X from the Better Business Bureau, I urgently need to speak with you regarding your company etc..."

    I got one of these calls today on my voice mail, and was pretty sure it was a BBB sales guy, but called back to be sure. Right when he started talking I asked "are you trying to sell me something" - he said yes, I let him pitch me for about 20 seconds and cut him off. I politely told him I wasn't interested but would keep the BBB in mind.

    The thing that annoys me is that they make it sound like you have some complaint or urgent business to handle with the BBB, but you end up just talking to a sales guy that wants $400+/year for you to join their organization.

    Also, each time I have talked to them they have claimed they were contacted by someone researching my company who wanted to check my company's status with the BBB first. I highly doubt that is the case, considering each time they have called me was conveniently just after some kind of legal or public filing I have made. (presumably, they monitor those for sales prospects)

    Anyone else annoyed by the BBB sales people or am I crazy?

  2. #2
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I haven't been contacted by them. But, who knows who is behind some of the no-message voice mails I get...


    Also, each time I have talked to them they have claimed they were contacted by someone researching my company who wanted to check my company's status with the BBB first.
    LOL What a load of spin!

    *turns on spin translator*
    -->(someone researching my company) Someone=Their research department person

    (they were contacted)=the research dept. contacted their sales department

    (wanted to check my company's status) Yeah, cuz that's the research department's JOB!
    (first) And they needed to check first--before bothering to have a salesman call.
    <--
    */translation*

    I think it crosses the line, myself...

  3. #3
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    I think it crosses the line, myself...
    Totally.

    The sad thing is they are calling on a lot of small businesses with small budgets. $400 per year isn't chump change to your average small business.

    A membership in the BBB might make sense for some small businesses, but the fact that they seem to be lying about inquiries to the BBB about your business is not cool.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes, but who can you complain to about the BBB?
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Did you know each one is independently owned, I think maybe with franchised areas.

    Did you know that if you're a member you'll NEVER have a complaint filed against you that is posted, all complaints are quietly resolved.

    After all how could any paying member do anything wrong.

    There is a biz up the street that sells carpets & furniture, always screwing people over you can see police cars there with irate customers.
    Everyone local stays away from them because of their reputation.

    He's a member of the BBB, if you look him up, guess what no complaints!

    BBB is the scam in and of itself.
    Bob Pets Warehouse
    Worlds Largest Pet Supply DataBase
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  6. #6
    Full Member Tech Evangelist's Avatar
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    I had an issue with the BBB as well. I did join for a year, but found that we had to be a member for a period of time before we could display their logo on our web site. When the time passed, I called to ask about the authorization to display the logo. I was told I has to sign up for an additional service (I think it was for an additional $140 per year) in order to display the logo.

    I cancelled the membership after the first year because I could not find a single new client who mentioned anything about the BBB logo being one of the determining factors for choosing my services. I then received a call from a BBB rep who tried to tell me that there were 230 inquiries about my business over the past year. Perhaps there were 230 people who clicked on the logo on my site to verify membership, but I don't call that an inquiry.

    The thing that a lot of people do not understand about the BBB is that they are a private organization that does not have the authority to do anything about bad businesses. They are simply a report card service. When you are a member, you agree to settle disputes via arbitration, but that only binds me to arbitration. It doesn't bind a client who might decide to sue me, so the agreement to arbitrate is useless.
    There's good, fast and cheap. Pick any two.
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    What do you think about the "Hacker Safe" logo @ $1800 a year?

    Negative words have negative connotations. Using the term "hacker" on your Web site could have negative consequences for your business. Try to put yourself in your clients' minds and think whether you would feel less secure buying from a site which advertises the word "Hacker".
    Bob Pets Warehouse
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  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Here's the deal of the week. You can display the REMATT logo for only $5/year.



    REMATT




    If anyone messes with you I'll kick their Butt!


    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
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    The BBB has frustrated me in the past as well. The first time was when they wouldn't allow me to apply for an online BBB logo because I was in the nutrition industry. They told me that nutrition companies are usually in trouble and that I couldn't join their program no matter how clean my record was.

    That seemed unfair to me as an honest businessman but what really got me was that many other people in my industry HAD THE BBB SEAL! Like Bob said above, each local branch can make their own decisions. So my branch in Pittsburgh said 'NO' but obviously the branches in most other places were saying 'YES' to my competitors.

    As for Hacker Safe I get your point but I'm just not sure. The more the HackerSafe seal appears on the net the more people stop literally interpreting the words in the brand (aka Hacker) and just start associating it with security in general, which is probably good.

    I used one for a couple years and it seemed ok, but I didn't test with and without it so I can't be sure. The high price tag kinda hurts though!

  10. #10
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    The guy from the BBB also asked me (in a very condescending voice): "why wouldn't you want to join the BBB?"

    I said: "uhhh, because you want $400+ per year and I don't think I would benefit"

  11. #11
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetsWarehouse.com
    What do you think about the "Hacker Safe" logo @ $1800 a year?
    Is that how much they charge for that?

    I would have guessed they charged maybe $200 for the hacker safe thing

  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Legal filing???

    Here in Nevada, if you file a dba, update your license, etc... the government immediatley puts you on a list that they immediately make available to marketers.

    Before I got home from the Clark County Gov't building last time, there were dozens of voice mails from the BBB, people who can solve my storage needs, accept credit cards, janitorial services, etc.

    I called my county commissioner to complain, but the list was already sold - she couldn't stop anything.

  13. #13
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Legal filing???

    Here in Nevada, if you file a dba, update your license, etc... the government immediatley puts you on a list that they immediately make available to marketers.

    Before I got home from the Clark County Gov't building last time, there were dozens of voice mails from the BBB, people who can solve my storage needs, accept credit cards, janitorial services, etc.

    I called my county commissioner to complain, but the list was already sold - she couldn't stop anything.
    Filing a DBA is a killer for triggering a massive amount of marketing...but I've noticed there is usually just a flurry right after and then it calms down. There are lots of marketers out there targeting new businesses or those who recently filed a DBA...can you blame them?

  14. #14
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    But I never knew the GOVERNMENT would sell my info!! Had they told me in advance, I would have entered my computer spam telephone, rather then my home telephone, etc.

    Getting the info from the legal pages in the daily newspaper is one thing. The GOV selling my info ticks me off.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    That "Hacker Safe" thing looks like whoever made it couldn't even afford Photoshop, let alone like it came from a legitimate service. For some things, graphics aren't all that important, but for a "trust seal" I want it to look, well, trustworthy! Not like some dude was sitting around drinking with his buds and said on the spur of the moment, "Hey, I bet I can get people to buy this!!" *draws up seal with one hand while holding beer in the other hand*

    It sure doesn't make me feel safe. It makes me think the merchant is either a newb or a sucker. Now that I've seen the price, I'll *really* think they are suckers!

  16. #16
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I agree. I don't mind the core service they provide to consumers, as a place for consumers to voice their disputes. But, their money making tactics are embarrassing ... I had to call our local office to ask them to stop harassing my employees with calls like ... "Someone is asking about your company at the BBB...", etc... when, in reality... nobody was asking and they just wanted to sell me protection yadda yadda.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  17. #17
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I've had a couple calls regarding transactions that irritated the heck out of me. The first one I had legitimately screwed up, but I had already refunded the order, and sent the item out free, provided tracking number, everything, and they complain to them anyway. And, at that point you have to either ignore them, in which case they assume you are evil, or you have to take the time to say, you know what, the guy who complained is insane, this is a non issue, kiss off.

    Because the canvas tarps need to be manufactured ( the turnaround time is posted) , occasionally people jump the gun there, as well, instead of just contacting me.

    I suppose they do a service, but for the most part I see them as an irritant, someone that a psycho customer turns to to tick you off, usually unnecessarily.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    That "Hacker Safe" thing looks like whoever made it couldn't even afford Photoshop, let alone like it came from a legitimate service. For some things, graphics aren't all that important, but for a "trust seal" I want it to look, well, trustworthy! Not like some dude was sitting around drinking with his buds and said on the spur of the moment, "Hey, I bet I can get people to buy this!!" *draws up seal with one hand while holding beer in the other hand*

    It sure doesn't make me feel safe. It makes me think the merchant is either a newb or a sucker. Now that I've seen the price, I'll *really* think they are suckers!


    $1,800

    or



    $200-397

    The less expensive one looks better to me?
    Bob Pets Warehouse
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  19. #19
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetsWarehouse.com


    $1,800

    or



    $200-397

    The less expensive one looks better to me?
    Agreed.

    Hacker Safe makes me think there are hackers!

  20. #20
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    I just got another from call from a different salesperson at the BBB. Apparently they are getting inquiries about my company and I need to join! LOL

    I asked her to take me off their list and to stop calling me, she said: oh we don't have a list, we just get emails when we should call someone.

    Uhhh...ok. Should I complain to the Better Business Bureau about the Better Business Bureau?

  21. #21

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    I do believe if the BBB contacts you about a business "issue" it's 99.9% of the time done by mail to create a proper paper trail. I have never heard of them calling a business about a complaint or issue.

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Good point.

    But they got you by the ba.....s

    If there's a message on your machine saying "This is the BBB, pls call back"

    Even if you're 100% SURE it's a sales pitch, you still return the call

    And they KNOW that!

  23. #23
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Even if you're 100% SURE it's a sales pitch, you still return the call
    They just keep calling. i've gone 6-7 voicemails deep before I finally called back to ask them to stop.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zdig
    I just got another from call from a different salesperson at the BBB. Apparently they are getting inquiries about my company and I need to join! LOL

    I asked her to take me off their list and to stop calling me, she said: oh we don't have a list, we just get emails when we should call someone.

    Uhhh...ok. Should I complain to the Better Business Bureau about the Better Business Bureau?
    LOL, nah, they are members too (I think) so your complaint would never show on their record. Years back, there was a big scandal involving bbb taking kickbacks in the form of merchandise from various merchants. I won't mention which branches were involved, but it made loads of headlines in the papers back then. They are a classic example of people who not only "live" in glass houses, but also build them and then require you to pay them a yearly fee to wash the glass. Ka -
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  25. #25
    Full Member Zdig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Good point.

    But they got you by the ba.....s

    If there's a message on your machine saying "This is the BBB, pls call back"

    Even if you're 100% SURE it's a sales pitch, you still return the call

    And they KNOW that!
    Well, if I was 100% sure, I wouldn't call back.

    I'm only 99% sure, so I call them back. There is a very very slim chance there is something I need to deal with (other than a sneaky salesperson), and you're right - they KNOW that

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