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Tell me about your experiences with the BBB in your area. We have been approached by them several times to join. Years ago I though it was simply something I had to do. The guy have me his pitch and said he would send out the information package.

I recieved the package, reviewed the offerings and the costs and decided it did nothing for me. Although this was sent as an information package, they continued to try to "collect" my fees even though I told them we have decide NOT to join.

Time passed, we still recieve "sales calls" from them trying to get us to join, but simply state we are not interested.

Now, in 15 years of business I get my first client who refuses to pay a final invoice. Not really even a dispute yet. However this homeowner files a compaint with the BBB, who really has no jurisdiction or moderation authority, however the BBB proceeds to file the claim and send a somewhat threatining letter to us about it being our resonsibility to resolve this matter.

BBB seems to have developed such a household name as a fair and honest authority in business practices, but I wonder what the small business man thinks of them.

My opinion is that they are just another business association scam, trying to get our memebership money, yet find it disturbing that they were quick to jump on the customers side without even getting any details

So anybody else have any experiences with BBB?

And who exactly is the BBB?
 

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BBB is a waste of money, except they have done a great job marketing to the residential consumer. Some consumers feel you are reputable if you are a member.

I know some scum bags that are members. I know some reputable contractors that are not members.

The fact of the matter is, anyone can have a complaint member or not. The difference between being a member and not being a member, and NOT having complaints is this: When someone calls to check your record if you are a member with no complaints, that is what they say. If you are not a member and have no complaints, they say they have no record.

Is it worth the $550 a year membership? That's the question. Will you win just one job for your $550? Maybe. Also remember $550 is the minimum charge. They base your rate on the number of employees you have. You can easily go into the thousands per year if you are a large co.

The BBB is a non profit orginization with no authority to make you do anything. They are not government.
 

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I joined the BBB a few years ago and was a member for that year only. The folks there seemed amazed that I did not want to renew, after all there had been 7 inqueries (whoopee!) and they had recommended me to 3 people.
I did get 3 calls related to them. 2 were requests for estimates (I was doing them for free back then) and the one job that I did get I may have broken even on, it seems that I was the only one that didn't know that the plumbing had been cast in concrete.
When I didn't renew they sent some demanding letters insisting that I remove any stickers and send their plaque back. As it turned out I had sold the truck with their sticker on it and the plaque was already at the landfill.
I'd keep right on doing what you're doing. Use the money for some new tools.
 

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Wow, the BBB. No subject can make experienced business people roll their eyes faster. Both comments above say it all. If your membership fees are worth the priviledge of having the BBB logo on your marketing materials in your eyes than it is worth it.
 

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I want to say that part of my sales presentation revolves around my credentials and earning the customer's trust. Right now I work for someone. The day I open my doors I plan to join the BBB just for a year and see if I can work their bran washing of the consumer into my presentation. I'll try it for a year and see how it goes.

The BBB doesn't offer much, but if I can use my membership to earn the customer's trust then it may be worth it. We shall see.

It may be a waste of $500 but heck if I don't piss it away this way I might just do something stupid like buy my wife to be a diamond for her neck.
 
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Easy now Grumpy, $500 splurge on a diamond necklace isn't going to get you too far with the wife to be...better keep saving if you want anyone to be able to see the rock.
 

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Grumpy, $500.00 will buy you a visable Cubic Zirconia in a 14K gold filled setting if you shop the Mart stores.
Forgot the thread, gettin' old is tough.
Waste your money if you want to but remember you was informed by those that were once there.
 

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Teetor when I buy jewlery I go to a jewlery store and I still think $500 is alot.

I *think* I can make the BBB membership work for me IF I use it actively. I know passively it's worth less than a pile of rocks to me. Actively I may be able to win a few jobs with it. "Mr. home owner we are a very reputable company. We are licensed by the state of IL, we have full incurance, we are certified by x, y & Z manufacturers, we are members in good standing with the BBB and our local chamber of commerce and the nrca. It doesn't get ANY better than us!"

I know it's crap. The membership is absolute crap but the BBB has done a really good job brain washing the residential consumer.
 

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Mike sez: If your membership fees are worth the priviledge of having the BBB logo on your marketing materials in your eyes than it is worth it.

Thats the main problem. These guys have hounded me too, and I thought it might be a good marketing tool, but they don't allow you to use their name or logo on anything. After I heard that I told them to forget it.
 

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ProWallGuy said:
but they don't allow you to use their name or logo on anything.
Are you sure? I see it on people marketing all the time. I've never looked into it, but I assumed being able to use the BBB was one of the main reasons a business would join, maybe the only reason.
 

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I was told that members were not allowed to use their logos or name on any marketing materials at all. I asked why would I benefit from it at all, how could I use this for marketing. They said I could include copies of my 'welcome to the bbb' letter that would be sent to me after I joined to my estimating package. I said that is weak. They sent me copies of their last 4 newsletters. There was an average of 100 companies signing up with them each month, and showed all the companies that were kicked out for various infractions. Several were booted for 'inapropriate logo usage'.
 
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