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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago (1991), I decided to join the BBB. The economy had soured at the time, and belonging to such an organization might be worthwhile to boost my business I had thought.

After paying those dues for a few years, the only thing I had gotten out of being a member was less money in my bottom line, it seemed. :blink:

I perceived that recommendations were more dependent on whether I was a paying member, rather than the integrity of my business practices. I may have been wrong, but decided to discontinue paying for a membership that did not offer any real benefits to my business model. :mad:

Fast-forward to last week. The economy is going sour again, and I received a telemarketing call from them trying to sign me up to be a member. While the guy persisted and would not take "no" for an answer (I hate it when they do that), I explained that the only thing they did for me the last time was make my wallet thinner. :furious:

Of course, he did not like that statement from me. Too bad, that's his problem. It's my wallet, and if I want to keep my money in there, that's my decision! :laughing:

Yesterday, I encountered this article about them, confirming my suspicions that they skewer their recommendations based on whether you are paying membership fees, and not as much how well you operate your business. :blink:

While their official rating system has only recently been changed, my perceptions of that practice were the same, nevertheless. So, now I have been vindicated, it would seem. :whistling

Anyone else here care to tell about their experiences? Are you a dues-paying member, and do you think you're getting your money's worth?
 

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I have learned that the only one I can depend on is ME ! I pay no-one to drum up work for me, I have never even advertised, all word of mouth for the last 20 yrs. I think all of those agents or " lead" businesses are scams. I don't even think the local chamber of commerce is a good place. I get involved with the community, schools, events, festivals, astronomy,... and that has lead to allot of connections.


Joe
 

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I stopped being a member for many reasons.

I never heard of the BBB actually giving out leads nor referring a customer as stated in many threads.

The link was a very good article and I agree over 100%. I was a BBB member for about 20 years, was AAA+ for 20 years, and was downgraded to a C. My problem with the BBB is every customer complaint against my company is from people I never worked for. I never went to these people's homes, and on the last forum I was on, I posted a copy of every complaint.

Every complaint I had was people I refused to work for. There are many reasons we can legally refuse to work for a customer. When we advertise a price to clean a drain for $49, and clean a sewer for $65, many times people argue on the phone and insist that we clean their sewer for the same price as a drain. There are many ignorant people who will not accept there is a difference between cleaning a 20 foot 2 inch kitchen drain and cleaning a 150 foot 4 inch sewer. Most complaints are because the complainant is just plain ignorant.

My complaint is; if the customer is ignorant, 100% wrong, and is filing a frivolous complaint, then this should not be classified nor recorded as a complain, and it should not bring down your score. So, when the BBB called me several times to renew my membership and even sent me a letter, I wrote a very nasty note on the bill and told them where to fly. Guess what happened to my rating after three days.

The BBB in Los Angeles makes the number of complaints public for three years. We perform service for over 2200 customers every year and about three customers file complaints every year because we did not show up on time, they got rude, and I told them where to go. I refuse to service any new customer who is 'rude at the gate'. We answer the phone about 15,000 times every year, in three years about 45,000 times, and service 6,600 customers. Ten complains because we refused service, or we showed up late, in my opinion, still warrants an AAA+ rating. In 35 years, we never had one complaint about the performance of the work, or service, we actually provide. If I can find the link to my BBB complaints, I am not shy to post them.

The BBB does absolutely nothing. They are ignorant, opinionated, and biased. I won't bore you with the details. I agree with this thread. Everyone stop being a member of the BBB until after the modify their system. They do absolutely nothing for you. We don't need to be humiliated and downgraded by a third grade idiots.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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37 Posts
Well since it's renewal time, it looks like I'm gonna opt out. I can think of better ways to spend the $400+. It seems as though all I get is more of their salespeople calling about ways to give them more money.
 

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Professional Remodeler
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I used to belong years ago, but found a much better use for the $360 a year they wanted. It was explained to me that the BBB is strictly a "reporting" agency. It does not prosecute or defend for it's members, and only offers a "Dispute Resolution" service, as does any decent lawyer's office or independant arbitrator. So basically it is of no real use to the average above-board straiight shooting contractor that follows the rules. It reportrs complaints or government actions against a business, or lack thereof - That's all. I have had several clients tell me they checked me out with the BBB before they hired me to see if I had a "clean" record. No reason to pay the BBB I guess, as I still show a good report.

If you have no complaints against you, your "report" will basically be the same whether you are a paying member or not. The only difference I see is it will advise someone if you are an "accredited member" or not, meaning it will tell if your dues check cleared or not... Just for fun, I checked my own rating, so far I have an "A" rating, yet haven't belonged to the BBB in years.
 

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Is the glass always half empty or can it be half full sometimes?

Anyone else here care to tell about their experiences? Are you a dues-paying member, and do you think you're getting your money's worth?
My records indicate that I have received 6 leads from the BBB over the past 5 years.

There could have been more than that but the lead source didn’t get recorded as from the BBB.

I classify leads from the BBB as Internet Referral Service.

Out of the 6 leads I got 3 sales, 2 roofing jobs and a roof inspection.

I’ve had numerous customers tell me that they checked with the BBB before hiring me.

Roofers get more inquiries than any other type of contractor.

The BBB has some flaws in their system but at least the consumer can see how many complaints have been filed in the last 3 years.

I have never had a complaint filed in over 20 years of being in business. I made a copy of my reliability report and put it into my PowerPoint presentation which I show to every prospect.

I’ve never been to one of their meetings but next week am going to a Business Card Exchange. The President of our local chapter will be giving a speech about how consumers choose which company they want to do business with. She will talking about some research that was recently done by the Gallop organization.

One of the things I’ve noticed on this forum is that some people have a negative mindset about almost every topic.

Is the glass always half empty or can it be half full sometimes?
 

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I think over the last few years, I have heard just as many good things as bad around here about the BBB, so it keeps me on the fence about joining. I'd hate to do it and find out it was a waste of time and money that could have been spent elsewhere.
 

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Certified Remodeler
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Mel, like it or not, the BBB is not the consumer watch dog HO's think it is.
And furthermore, their education materials are carefully worded to lead people to believe that a nonmember is somehow not as reliable as a paid member. This is irresponsible behavior on their part, and I think they should be above that. I would join in a heartbeat if they were more ethical in their business dealings. I get a call a month from them asking me to join and explaining to me its by invitation only. Sure it is, but anyone with a checkbook is invited.
 

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Preserving the Past
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I have a B+ rating (what ever that means) I tried the link that explains the new rating system and it was down.

I dropped them a few months ago when I had a complaint and they refused to arbitrate the situation:blink:. Isn't that one of the benefits?! They pissed me off those lazy, worthless, b:censored:rd's.
 

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I just recently became a paying member of the BBB and I too thought long and hard about if it was a good use of my marketing $ but I came to this conclusion. Joining is a lot like buying insurance. Nobody wants to pay for it but should a time come where you need it, it just isn't worth not having it. By this I mean, if a time should ever come where a client has narrowed their choices down to two contractors and a possible deciding factor is one of us is a member of the BBB and the other isn't...I just didn't want that to ever be the reason for losing out on a $250,000 job. I doubt it would ever come to that but I decided that was a risk I didn't want to take for a little more than $300.

Like I said, I'm a new member so I don't know the results I will get from being a member but I also liked the idea of being included in their semi-annual publication of BBB members that they put out in the newspapers. We will see if that produces any leads but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe that they charge you more for membership, if they perceive your company is larger than others in the same field. :rolleyes:

In other words, if they think you have deeper pockets, they will reach in further for the $$$. :furious:

As for Mel's experience, I don't doubt that roofers get checked more often than other trades. I've heard too many horror stories about hack roofers than I want to recall. :blink:

It's been my experience that all they wanted out of me was the annual ca$h payment. About all I got for it was a window sticker and wall plaque. :mad:
 

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Retired Contractor
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One of the things I’ve noticed on this forum is that some people have a negative mindset about almost every topic.

Is the glass always half empty or can it be half full sometimes?
JUST on THIS Forum, or Life in General? Ask anyone an opinion and you are more likely than not to hear the negative rather than positive. Why? If ya did good. I am happy. If ya did bad, I am telling everyone.

An old adage: Do me right and I'll tell a friend. So me wrong and I'll tell the world.

The grumpier people are, more likely than not, the more they have been through. I like to cut through the flack and really listen to what a person like that is really saying.
 

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My records indicate that I have received 6 leads from the BBB over the past 5 years.

There could have been more than that but the lead source didn’t get recorded as from the BBB.

I classify leads from the BBB as Internet Referral Service.

Out of the 6 leads I got 3 sales, 2 roofing jobs and a roof inspection.

I’ve had numerous customers tell me that they checked with the BBB before hiring me.

Roofers get more inquiries than any other type of contractor.

The BBB has some flaws in their system but at least the consumer can see how many complaints have been filed in the last 3 years.

I have never had a complaint filed in over 20 years of being in business. I made a copy of my reliability report and put it into my PowerPoint presentation which I show to every prospect.

I’ve never been to one of their meetings but next week am going to a Business Card Exchange. The President of our local chapter will be giving a speech about how consumers choose which company they want to do business with. She will talking about some research that was recently done by the Gallop organization.

One of the things I’ve noticed on this forum is that some people have a negative mindset about almost every topic.

Is the glass always half empty or can it be half full sometimes?
Mel,

Any business model that is basicaly skimming money off the backs of hard working people who actually produce something through real work and effort gets a big double thumbs down from me.

If that makes me a pessimsist, so be it.

I'll consistently bash lead services, the BBB, Angie's List, and anyone else who is just figuring out how to skim money out of an industry rather than actually producing a real product or service.
 

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They are not skimming anything

Mel,

Any business model that is basicaly skimming money off the backs of hard working people who actually produce something through real work and effort gets a big double thumbs down from me.

If that makes me a pessimsist, so be it.

I'll consistently bash lead services, the BBB, Angie's List, and anyone else who is just figuring out how to skim money out of an industry rather than actually producing a real product or service.
They are not skimming anything; if you don’t want it don’t buy it.

What other people say about you is more believable that what you say about yourself. The BBB can give the consumer a reference point to find out if a company has generated complaints.

If one company doesn’t have any complaints filed and another has 75 which one do think the consumer would be more comfortable hiring?
 

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They are not skimming anything; if you don’t want it don’t buy it.

What other people say about you is more believable that what you say about yourself. The BBB can give the consumer a reference point to find out if a company has generated complaints.

If one company doesn’t have any complaints filed and another has 75 which one do think the consumer would be more comfortable hiring?
Sorry, but this this is not accurate. A contractors working for himself could be doing 50 to 100 small jobs per year. His gross sales could be less than $50,000 per year and he may never get one complaint, during his lifetime, even if he provides horrible service.

A contractor doing over 2,200 jobs per year, with 30+ employees, and grossing $4 million, is going to get frivolous complaints, like my company. This is inevitable, even if we provide the best service in the world. Getting 3 complaints, per year, out of 2,200 jobs and $4 million is sales, is a great score when you consider how many ignorant people we have to deal with.

I will post a copy of all my complaints, tonight, and not one complaint is from a person we even met. Every complaint is from persons who were rude on the phone because we could not make them understand the difference between a drain and a sewer, or we were late for an appointment. I tell customers that good and busy contractors are going to be late. There is absolutely no way a busy contractor can be at every appointment on time. We never know how long an estimate or a small job will take and it is very difficult to call, from a job, and re-arrange your entire daily schedule. We turn our phones off when we are on a job. I would rather hire a contractor who is busy and late, rather than hire a contractor who is slow and has no other jobs. This is what I tell a rude customer just before I tell them where to fly. This is why I have 10 complaints.

The number of complaint has no bearing on the quality of the company. I like to think that I am running a top-notch company. I will never take money from a customer until a job is 100% completed. I have a very level head when it comes to dealing with customer problems. All a customer has to do is tell me they have a problem and I make correcting the problem the highest priority. I will drop what I am doing and immediately attempt to resolve the problem, even if this means giving the customer 100% of their money back, even when the customer is wrong. I call this a nuisance payment. Get rid of the nuisance, save the time, and make more money than we would recover, by eliminating arguing, processing papers and litigation. My company grosses about $2,000 to $3,000 per hour because I have 30+ employees.

This is one more serious problem with the BBB. When a customer looks at our record, the report states states that every complaint is 'Failure To Perform According To Contract', or something like that. What contract? We never met these people.

One more serious problem. I can't find any BBB report for large companies like Sears Roebuck. Many of these companies seem to be immune to reports. Just because a steak does not appeal to a person's personal taste, does not warrant a mark against the restaurant. I find that every person who filed a complaint against my company was a complete idiot.

The truth is; I deserve every complaint filed against my company. I get very rude with people when they are rude to me, and I could have kissed a little butt and avoided every complaint. I can't get myself to be nice to people when they are rude and not understanding when we are late for an appointment, or when they threated action against my company because they don't understand the difference between and drain and a sewer.
 

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Pompass Ass
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I have had the BBB call me to try and get me to sign up with them, apparently a customer was doing a check on me, since I wasn't a member they had no information, but if I PAID the BBB I would have gotten a positive response, even though they had no information on me.

I declined to join the BBB and don't see how joining could help me.

The BBB imply that they have leverage over a company, yet they don't.

A BBB complaint is meaningless IMO.
 
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