Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Contractor, v2.0
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Come on, guys. All we have to do is RESPOND to complaints with the BBB to keep things cool. We all know how difficult the industry is, how ridiculous these complaints can be, etc, etc... but the absolute least that we owe our peers in this industry is a response to a complaint.

These numbers should be in the mid 90's not 50-75.

We, many times, make things harder for ourselves.

---
 

·
DavidC
Joined
·
2,550 Posts
I come back from a day at the jobsite and check the messages. One says it's the BBB calling, it's very important to return this call asap. I immediately comb through both brain cells trying to figure who would have called in a complaint and why. With a nagging in the pit of my stomach (remember, a claim doesn't have to be valid to start an investigation) I place the call. I identify myself to the person on the other end and explain I'm returning a call.

Good news they say, no complaints on you or your company. We just wanted to explain all the many benefits of signing up. Interesting I say, is that a standard practice to use an implied threat to get potential customers to return a sales call? Well she said, you did call back.

Based on that one call I could give a rats a$$ what they think of me or my business. They've lost any sense of professionalism and display questionable ethics when they resort to scare tactics to make a sale. You might as well have a fox evaluate security on the hen house.

Good Luck
Dave
 

·
Contractor, v2.0
Joined
·
188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good news they say, no complaints on you or your company. We just wanted to explain all the many benefits of signing up. Interesting I say, is that a standard practice to use an implied threat to get potential customers to return a sales call? Well she said, you did call back.

Based on that one call I could give a rats a$$ what they think of me or my business. They've lost any sense of professionalism and display questionable ethics when they resort to scare tactics to make a sale. You might as well have a fox evaluate security on the hen house.

Good Luck
Dave
I agree 1,000% here... my company is not a member of the BBB (which is why, I'm certain, A- is the best score I can get).

However, look at that first column up there - INQUIRIES. THREE of the Top five inquiries are contractors! Wow!

For better or worse, our customers do call the BBB regardless if their info is worth a crap or not.
 

·
DavidC
Joined
·
2,550 Posts
I agree 1,000% here... my company is not a member of the BBB (which is why, I'm certain, A- is the best score I can get).

However, look at that first column up there - INQUIRIES. THREE of the Top five inquiries are contractors! Wow!

For better or worse, our customers do call the BBB regardless if their info is worth a crap or not.
I can't disagree with that. But I've always held that you have little or no control over anyone that wants to bad mouth you or your business. Your best defense is to provide excellent service to the ones that do hire you and cause them to sing your praise.

I can't stop anyone with a grudge from saying what they will say and my defense is sure to make it worse by giving it more air time. Let them sing their solo because the choir will drown out the noise.

Perhaps I'm in a bubble. Since 1981 I have seen 0 complaints from the BBB. I have disappointed a few that differed on what the idea of fair is.

You bring up a valid point, that we need to improve our image. Just that the BBB is not the right vehicle in my view. Their charts are good to report the results however.

Just today we checked in on a job we had lost to a "better" price earlier this year to see how the job went and if they were satisfied with the outcome. The HO reported that the contractor they decided on never returned their calls to go ahead. How anyone could ignore that call is beyond me. There is not much chance that they would respond to a complaint call.

Good Luck
Dave
 

·
Nest Home Improvement
Joined
·
890 Posts
TigerFan
Thanks for bringing this info to everyone's attention!

I recently attended a sales training workshop for contractors. The presenter stated that contractors ranked 3rd behind lawyers and politician in those professions the general public trusts least. Integrity, honestly, trust...each important in getting a customer to buy from you. So I do believe you should do everything within your power to protect your reputation and if that means calling back the BBB (even if it is a solicitation) then doing it. Anything we as contractors can do to improve our perception can only be to our benefit.












Remodel and Repair Solutions -- Home remodel, repair and handyman services serving North Carolina's Triangle region (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) since 1992.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
I have to say the BBB here in Denver is very level headed. I've had a nut job complaint and after a phone call and an explanation they simply removed it due to understanding the situation. Cudos to them.

There are some people who will try to hold your reputation hostage over you by threatening complaints about you. Around here at least the BBB won't allow such things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
I come back from a day at the jobsite and check the messages. One says it's the BBB calling, it's very important to return this call asap. I immediately comb through both brain cells trying to figure who would have called in a complaint and why. With a nagging in the pit of my stomach (remember, a claim doesn't have to be valid to start an investigation) I place the call. I identify myself to the person on the other end and explain I'm returning a call.

Good news they say, no complaints on you or your company. We just wanted to explain all the many benefits of signing up. Interesting I say, is that a standard practice to use an implied threat to get potential customers to return a sales call? Well she said, you did call back.

Based on that one call I could give a rats a$$ what they think of me or my business. They've lost any sense of professionalism and display questionable ethics when they resort to scare tactics to make a sale. You might as well have a fox evaluate security on the hen house.

Good Luck
Dave
I have got a few of those messages and thought the same thing. Like WTF? or WHOTF?, turns out they are trying to sell memberships.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,565 Posts
I have to say the BBB here in Denver is very level headed. I've had a nut job complaint
There are some people who will try to hold your reputation hostage over you by threatening complaints about you. Around here at least the BBB won't allow such things.

Nut jobs are always seem to be the ones who make a complaint if you have been a diligent contractor.
I had a lady that threatened to call because a plow truck hit her garage a year after I finished my work.She wanted me to repair damage for free.


I never got a call from BBB but the threat of a tarnished rep.kept me from even calling her back to try and find common ground for a remedy.

I guess as far as the BBB goes,it would depend on how you present your case and the attitude of whomever takes your call there.
 

·
The Deck Guy
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
I must be due for a nutjob because I never have these problems with getting paid, having complaints lodged or anything strange. Sure, I have had PITA clients (we all do), but I must be the luckiest guy in the world not to have these problems. I give a price, we do the work, the people pay, and we part amicably. Sheesh, today I received a check in the mail and the HO wrote "Reference any time" on the little paper wrapped around the check.

Maybe I do something to keep the crazies away and I don't even know what it is! I should bottle it.:laughing:

I will say that I have pretty good radar for whackos and am extremely assertive from the first meeting. I think that maybe the people who think they can pull one over on the contractor realize from minute one that they won't be pulling anything off on me. I dunno...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Consumer Assumed Perception of BBB = Reality

In 2007, I ran a seminar at the DCU Home Show in Worcester Mass with the BBB, The Attorney General, a Consumer Advocate and a lawyer. The perception of the attendees was that the BBB was a governement watchdog agency protecting consumer rights. Very few people had knowledge that the BBB is a for profit agency. Their sales representatives make a large commission on every membership sold. In this market the BBB recently had two presidents, one fired for poor performance and one resigned after he was implicated in a fraud case (then he died soon after). The most recent President came in and was pushing hard to increase membership and the entire office staff quit.
I think the quality of service varies from market to market. However the public perception is strongly in support of believing the BBB really matters where in many locations they are more concerned with profit than fulfilling the mission of the agency.
If you research consumer groups you will find that most recommend checking with your local BBB before hiring a contractor. This leads to the perception that the BBB is an agency backed by consumer and governement organizations.

The safe bet, to not lose business, is to register with your local BBB and answer all complaints quickly, and most importantly, make sure they are resolved. The contracting industry historically has the most inquiries every year. Having a listing is a basic staple of setting up your business. I have seen many people screwed by companies listed with the BBB and complaints against long term members quickly dismissed without properly satisfying the legitamate complaint. This is very common.
However, I have found that customers claim that having a good standing with the BBB was important in the decision to hire their contractor. I hate to waste $400-500 bucks on the BBB, however the chance of losing a job is great with a public who has a strong perception that the BBB is there to protect them. Long held perceptions are hard to change even if we know they are based on inadequate information. The consumer perception of the residential remodeling and home improvement industry is poor. To combine this with not having a listing with the BBB can cause loss of business.

mark the coach
 

·
wannabe
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
I have no credibility when it comes to business due to lack of experience and credentials, but I'm going to add my $.02 anyway.

I was in need of a service and had no way to reference legitimacy. So I looked up the BBB and researched a few companies of interest.

I was more likely to go with a company that was a member, with no, or very little complaints.

The BBB may very well be an asset/deciding factor determining whether or not you close. A HOer told me we got his $230K job partly because our BBB report was excellent. 2 complaints, and both settled. Educated HOers with no building experience, and little idea who is worthy to do their project will probably use the BBB as a qualifier. Perhaps, this could be a reason why some folks here don't know why the HO hired somone else. I see it kinda like freecreditreport.com.

Even being a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bereau, etc... only adds to your level of ligitimacy....The owner of my company has been in the local paper numerous time for his community involvement. It costs $$ but in IMHO, these credentials are legitimate selling points. :party:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
I know this thread is not about the BBB, but I wanted to add something to the credibility of the BBB.

After reading this thread, I spent 45 minutes on the BBB website, and could not find one contractor in my area with a bad rating. I am sure there must be some, but i could not find them.

Are contractors in my area that good? or are our consumers that complacent? or is the BBB placating the contractors to increase, or hold onto customers.

I looked up competitors that I know have had significant issues with customers, and no record of it anywhere on the site. (High praise to the contractors that are listed, because every one of them has responded to and closed out every complaint that was reported.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
I know this thread is not about the BBB, but I wanted to add something to the credibility of the BBB.

After reading this thread, I spent 45 minutes on the BBB website, and could not find one contractor in my area with a bad rating. I am sure there must be some, but i could not find them.

Are contractors in my area that good? or are our consumers that complacent? or is the BBB placating the contractors to increase, or hold onto customers.

I looked up competitors that I know have had significant issues with customers, and no record of it anywhere on the site. (High praise to the contractors that are listed, because every one of them has responded to and closed out every complaint that was reported.)

I was a member for a few years, and the third year i did jus as you said, i looked up a siding/window company i used to sub for many years ago that has a long standing history of customer complaints since they over sell/under deliver and the owner and salesmen get down right beligerant with customers to the point of belittleing them, and i talked with the secretary who lives down the road and she said they're constantly in court and dealing with claims from the BBB. Here's the kicker, their reputation was great and said "typical amount of calls given the nature of the business" and that was it.

So all one needs to do is use their head-
WE pay to keep them afloat, do you think they are going to out right talk smack about a paying customer and possibly/most likely lose their business?? HECK NO, they're going to sugar coat it anyways possible since it's a paying due none the less.

I'm sure many of the guys in the service feild may need to play their game to close jobs, so i guess we're lucky that all of our work that actually sells ALL comes from referrals, and the referrals are based on the way i treat our clients...i have nothing to hide, no smoke and mirror show, so i dont need some BS company to mediate a thing. IF for some crazy reason something ever went so awry i needed a mediator, i call my lawyer and I'm confident they would know exactly how to handle it and what to do, and at $500/yr i'm well ahead of the game in savings to pay my lawyer if it really came down to needing him.

BBB is selling, but i'm not buying, our market area/customer base we work with just does'nt need yet another hole in the financial boat...i plugged it and have'nt seen a gain/loss of business because i cancelled; would YOU bad mouth a customer of yours that is paying you?? nope, you smile, act like you care and move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,527 Posts
Good news they say, no complaints on you or your company. We just wanted to explain all the many benefits of signing up. Interesting I say, is that a standard practice to use an implied threat to get potential customers to return a sales call? Well she said, you did call back.
I've had that happen twice. They call like it's something serious. The first time I called back.
They just called recently and I ignored it. I'll never bother with them again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
I pay the local mafia enough in bribes to work (union town). Why do I need to pay another mafia more money to mediate for me? As I've said before in other threads, the BBB is FOR PROFIT. It is in their own best interest to create problems and then resolve them. Betcha' you could line up quite a few complainers with people who know someone in the BBB.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,362 Posts
BBB Business = Trademark membership sale. If there is no more problems with contractors elsewhere...or everything is QUIET... BBB will CEASE TO EXIST$$$!!!.. :thumbsup:

So, let's the BBB controvery begins & be well-known... :whistling
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top