Better Business Bureau Serves Businesses, Not You
Brad Tuttle: BBB is not a government watchdog
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2013 11:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – A local affiliate of the Better Business Bureau got booted from the national group last week over an incident that provides a nice reality check about what the BBB is, and what it isn't, writes Brad Tuttle at Time. In the LA case, the local affiliate gave its blessing to a non-existent company—named Hamas—because investigators running the sting dutifully forked over $425. Among other things, this case should serve as a reminder that the BBB is not a government agency, though many people think otherwise because it's often listed under "Government Offices" in the phone book.

Nor does the group define itself as a consumer watchdog, notes Tuttle. It is, in fact, a business itself. "From top to bottom, the BBB is funded by the annual dues paid by businesses it anoints with 'accreditation,' which allows the companies to put those iconic BBB stamps of approval on their storefronts and websites." Pay your dues, and it's relatively easy to score a good grade, no matter how many complaints come along. "The organization’s customers are businesses, not taxpayers or consumers." Click for Tuttle's full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Better Business Bureau Serves Businesses, Not You is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 14 comments
Mar 19, 2013 4:11 PM CDT
nothing new here you get what you pay for!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 19, 2013 2:25 PM CDT
The BBB and banks are alike: both screw the public.
Mar 19, 2013 1:35 PM CDT
I have been on both sides, insofar as I own a business. What happened is that BBB starts you into a dialogue with the other side and wait for you to argue it out. BBB has no real teeth. Some customers think it is a sort of mini-court. It used to be that all businesses were assigned "B+" unless they joined up. That was changed via govt regulation. What I WOULD pay to join is a Better Customer Bureau to weed out deadbeat and otherwise difficult customers. (15% off your next exterior paint job if you show this coupon.)