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Builder/Remodeler
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I received a warm and friendly call from a woman at the local BBB this morning. In a strong and somber tone she announce, "I'm calling from the Better Business Bureau and I need to speak to the owner of the business."

I'm sure that opening is enough to get by most gate keepers. The subtext being, "You might be in trouble, you'd better get your ass on the phone and listen." :rolleyes:

Having heard some of you talk about similar calls I was fairly certain I was about to hear a sales pitch, and certainly wasn't disappointed. I patiently listened as she launched into the standard script about trust and accreditation and 'by invitation only'... yadda yadda yadda.

When I told her, in a pleasant tone, that I wasn't interested--she hung on up me. I would have probably forgotten the call and moved on had she even said "Ok", or "Bye", or even if she'd laughed and said, "You'll be sorry". I'm a busy guy today--I have a stack of estimates to get through, a lunch meeting, and 3 guys out sick... But her rudeness has inspired me to put down some thoughts.

If the BBB is having to resort to boiler room tactics to boost its membership, then I'd guess their relevance is on the wane. I'm guessing this is a woman who's used to hearing the word "no". In the age of social networks, Angie's List, and the indexing of even the most obscure forums and peer review sites across the internet--the BBB seems like a huge waste of money to me. I've heard the same from business owners across the country.

I'd love to hear the perspective of someone with a positive experience with them, as I personally don't know a single business owner who is a passionate advocate of their services. I've heard many make the claim that having those three letters on your materials makes a difference in the minds of many prospects. But that's anecdotal evidence, at best. Franky, I'm not convinced.

BBB, I don't need you. To me you're the buggy whip of business credibility.
 

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Lack Of All Trades
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1,232 Posts
The BBB is all about signing and paying to sign. Profits. I've seen many fly-by-night'ers put the logo on their flyers and instantaneously appear valid. Or not.

Most H/O's don't even check to see if the business is accredited (educated guess?). Just like many don't check all the other things you should, when researching a contractor. But does BBB matter? I'm not sure.

All I care about is not being called upon for a serious problem with my company. So, no, I am not a member. No need to waste company dollars that could be spent elsewhere.
 

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2,633 Posts
Ditto the other responses. They were someone at one time. Now, with all the other people out there that can make a hack seem legit, they ain't doing so well. Also, sites like this that share info for free are the death toll for these types of businesses.
 

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Banned
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I'd love to hear the perspective of someone with a positive experience with them, as I personally don't know a single business owner who is a passionate advocate of their services.
I am, PM if you need details.
 

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Project Manager
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2,642 Posts
I am, to an extent. I joined when I started the business and kept my membership up, and have had several jobs come out of people finding me on the BBB website. So my membership cost has paid for itself over and over.

However, where I disagree, is that my state, PA, just went statewide with licensing. When the BBB called me to renew, I asked when they would be updating their website to include our new registration #s, and asked them if they would be verifying all BBB members with the state, they had no answer.

I'll be honest - that one incident is proving almost fatal to their relationship with me.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm certainly open to hear other perspectives. As I've dug into this further, and received messages from other contractors, it seems there's an inconsistency of experience from market to market--both as a business AND a consumer.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
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25,230 Posts
"I'm calling from the Better Business Bureau and I need to speak to the owner of the business."
Right there my hackles go up. You don't need X, Y or Z, and I don't need to do X, Y or Z. Standard telemarketing/collections pressure tactic. Without a very immediate and rational justification for that need, you're definitely going to get the *click!* response.

Sad. :no:
 

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412 Posts
I think they have their place, but just one tool of many when checking up on a business. I always check before buying anything on-line, just to see that I'm buying from a real company that's been around awhile. It doesn't catch all bad businesses, but will catch most of the outright scams. As for myself in a big city, it helps me to prove that I've been around a long time and have never had a complaint. I've noticed they've also added a grade, however there is nothing explaining how they come up with this or what it takes to improve your grade or loose your good grade. I'd become a hba member before I'd be a bbb member, and yes their sales tactics are dishonest.
 

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To most people, the BBB conjures up images in clients minds of agressive crusaders, protecting the common man. (The name also sounds very governmental and serious)

A lot of people I have talked to in the trades have gotten the same cold calls. It seems that they have sold out.

Unfortunately, their logo will always look good on a business card.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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3,811 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To most people, the BBB conjures up images in clients minds of agressive crusaders, protecting the common man. (The name also sounds very governmental and serious)

A lot of people I have talked to in the trades have gotten the same cold calls. It seems that they have sold out.

Unfortunately, their logo will always look good on a business card.
The BBB is a very old, and powerful brand... unfortunately, it appears to me as if they're running it into the ground.
 

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Banned
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it's advertising guys....this has been discussed soooooo many times....:blink::blink::blink:

1) many (MANY) h/o's trust the bbb

2) spend $300-400 a year to advertise to THOSE h/o's.....


that's it....really

anything else (as you can search) is incidental bs...

search and read....search and read....search and read....you'll get it, eventually ... no, not really, because it keeps coming up...again....and again...and again...and....

just sayin'

IF you choose to ADVERTISE with the bbb, this amount should be a small amount of your advertising budget...

IF $300-400 annually is a LARGE part of your advertising budget...well, ya probably got other problems to worry about
 

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Banned
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14,078 Posts
it's advertising guys....this has been discussed soooooo many times....:blink::blink::blink:

1) many (MANY) h/o's trust the bbb

2) spend $300-400 a year to advertise to THOSE h/o's.....


that's it....really

anything else (as you can search) is incidental bs...

search and read....search and read....search and read....you'll get it, eventually ... no, not really, because it keeps coming up...again....and again...and again...and....

just sayin'

IF you choose to ADVERTISE with the bbb, this amount should be a small amount of your advertising budget...

IF $300-400 annually is a LARGE part of your advertising budget...well, ya probably got other problems to worry about
Please refrain from posting stuff that makes sense!

Members here only want to read about how the BBB sucks, takes advantage, is a shill, is a farse, is a scam... etc...

... then in the next moment they will post a thread asking what's the best way to advertise. "Hi I'm John I have always survived off of word of mouth, but now things are so slow I feel I need to start advertising..."

We are not business owners in the business of making money on this forum, we are knuckleheads.

Post stuff that makes sense again and I will use the report button!
 
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