In many reports we see that the Federal Trade Commission has referenced the Better Business Bureau. It appears that the Federal Trade Commission is using this private business as an example and potential justification of their on-going rule making and regulation in many industry sectors and categories. Some feel that any association with the Better Business Bureau is bothersome in that if they are in constant alliance with the Federal Trade Commission then the Federal Trade Commission, is not watching their potential abuses or manipulations in the free market.
We had done a report approximately three years ago to find out exactly what the Better Business Bureau was all about after a decade or more of what we believed were to be questionable practices as they attempted to interact with our Independent Contractors, Company Owned Units, Franchisees, Customers, Consumers, Business Associates and Chambers of Commerce in which we or our associates were members of.
Here is what we found:
We had found what we believe to be Better Business Bureau Fraudulent Sales Practices. We asked our contacts in the 23 states we have set up franchises in if any other small businesses had a problem with the Better Business Bureau and there sales practices? We have for quite some time. Our franchisees are required to join the local Chambers of Commerce as part of their franchise when one exists in their exclusive territory. But as soon as they do the Better Business Bureau calls up and says;
“We have been getting a lot of calls about your service, but we did not know what to tell those customers who inquired about you with The Better Business Bureau?” Then the pitch goes on? “for about $300 plus dollars you will receive?.”
I contacted the Washington D.C. head office of the Better Business Bureau and they denied that any such incident has ever occurred and referred me to the fact that they are a 90-year old organization. Maybe, but as it stands have been and probably still are breaking the law. This has occurred five times in sales calls to me personally from Better Business Bureau representatives.
I feel these sales techniques are fraudulent and disreputable. I am also concerned with the “Boomerang” closing techniques when the Better Business Bureau sales person gets a negative response to join.
“We will not be able to tell the people who call us that you are a reputable company.”
Implying that the consumer will assume the opposite, that you are disreputable company. This in itself maybe good for Better Business Bureau sales, but it is an extortion technique. Asking small companies to fork over $300 plus dollars is unnecessary and they will receive little if any benefit for their Better Business Bureau membership. Perhaps the plaque displayed may be of value to customers in a store, but the way in which they attempt to sell it is dishonest. The Federal Trade Commission is hereby on notice that these alliances if gone unchecked mean that the Federal Trade Commission is a clear and present danger to the consumer and accessory to fraudulent sales tactics and misrepresentations.
The Better Business Bureau works closely with the Federal Trade Commission and after contacting the Better Business Bureau to make a complaint about their sales tactics, the gentleman in charge told me I was wrong, and that I did not know what I was talking about and that the Better Business Bureau would never do such a thing? Which is also a falsehood since I have experienced it first hand. When I told them that I might have to contact the Federal Trade Commission in this matter, they said go-ahead knowing their strength in alliance with the government. Knowing that they were considered beyond reproach? So the saying: “Absolute power corrupts, absolutely” again has a home at both the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in my opinion. Maybe you have a different opinion on this; Do you think something should be done about it?
“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs