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Better Business Bureau Gone Bad

The other night I was flipping through the channels and stopped on a special report about the Better Business Bureau and it was really interesting! As you know, millions of people around the world are turning to the Better Business Bureau for accurate information and customer reviews from real life people and customers like you and me. However, it looks like there is more to the BBB than most of us might be aware of.

Is the Better Business Bureau as Legitimate as You May Think?

Without going into too much detail, the video reports that BBB is basically giving companies and organizations a very low grade, even as low as an “F”, just for not being a paid member of the BBB. Sure, some companies deserve an “F”. but after you watch the video below, you will have a new concept of how the BBB works and the business that they run. If you want a better grade, and changed basically over night, all you need to do is pay a few hundred bucks to get an “A”!

Better Business Bureau Featured on ABC 20/20 News

Watch the full ABC 20/20 News Special on Better Business Bureau video here.

Better Business Bureau Video Cliff Notes:

– Well known companies such as Wolfgang Puck, The Ritz Carlton, DisneyLand and other companies have all received ratings of an “F” from the BBB.

– The BBB is a non profit company, but there are more than two dozen individuals in the company earning six figure salaries. William Mitchell, the head of BBB, earns over $400,000 per year.

– Earlier this year, the Mid East terror group “Hamas”, received a rating of “A-“, when applying with the Better Business Bureau. This wasn’t actually “Hamas”, but a company listing setup by bloggers to “punk” the BBB. The price of this Hamas “A-” rating was $425. Even better, the same group listed a another fake company, which was for a racist white power web site, and used the actual contact name of “Aryn Whiting”, which was also approved with an “A+” rating after paying a $425 membership fee.

Have you ever done company research or reported anything to the Better Business Bureau?

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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dotCOMreport says

That's dreadful…people need to know this so that they do not keep going to them.
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    Zac Johnson says

    I'm sure the YouTube video will go viral and more stories will be re-written and shared with others. Only around 1,000 views so far, but it's quality stuff.

Barbara Ling says

Ever since I investigated them when the Nuskin 'Nourish the Children' scam came out…I've been less than thrilled with the BBB….
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    Zac Johnson says

    The "Hamas" and "White Power" setups were amazing… it shows how much they really care just about the money when indexing these sites.

steve Dale says

Small business opportyunity magazine did a story 10 years ago on this. I've set up over 2000 people in business and have always told my clients to ignor the BBB. Did you know you can buy your own BBB? It sorta like a franchise.
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    Zac Johnson says

    Wow nice, I'm not surprised. They are spread all through out the country, so why not franchise… more money for the guys at the top!

Zac Johnson says

I was surprised too… but not so much… It's tough to find truly legitimate companies these day. It really was a great piece from ABC 20/20 though. I'm sure it shocked a ton of us.

Aluminum Cases says

This is brutal. So many online customers rely on sites like the BBB to get information about companies they are considering buying from. I don't know how they can claim to be non profit with those kinds of salaries. There really should be legal salary limits for non profit organizations.

    Patrick says

    Yea I used to be a member of an American Red Cross chapter and the CEO of the north east Ohio region made 6 figures. So did a few other positions.

Josh Lancaster says

I thought it was controlled in some way by the government and that we could rely on their ratings. This is just ridiculous and looks like one of the biggest frauds ever. Is there an easy way we could share this information with as many people as possible?

    Zac Johnson says

    I bet a lot of people have that same misconception, which is why it's so dangerous. Sharing through social media on Twitter and Facebook would probably gain the most attention.
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      Aluminum Cases says

      I agree that many people probably have this misconception. Inexperienced online shoppers don't realize that almost all company review sites are actually businesses themselves. It's a tough situation for companies who rely on customer reviews though. While they should boycott sites like BBB who do things like this, it would ultimately help the company to get better BBB ratings.

Joy Parks says

What is worse is after exposing their lies will they go to jail? Or some top notch lawyer will just reason their way to building more Better Businesses for them. Hope the government can put a stop to this?

    Josh Lancaster says

    I start to think that the government already knew this. If this information doesn't spread to the masses I don't think anything will change.

    Zac Johnson says

    Im sure nothing will happen, just like how nothing ever happens to all of the fraudulent companies around the world.
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demir says

That's dreadful..

Kek Lapis Sarawak says

If all people rely on BBB I guess many big company will face bankruptcy. When I saw the video I really don't understand why it give F to the some great company. Maybe they want some cheap publicity, well they got it I guess.

Claire Price says

Now its BBB. Who do you think would be exposed next? This sad reality should makes us always question & double check all those rating & review sites.

Jenn@t1 service says

Wow, that is super lame. In fact, it makes the Better Business Bureau a suspect business. People have been trusting them for decades, so for them to engage in such a shady practice degrades the trust factor they've worked so hard to build! Who is watching the watchers? BBB gets an F for this practice in my opinion!
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antalya ilaçlama says

If all people rely on BBB I guess many big company will face bankruptcy. When I saw the video I really don't understand why it give F to the some great company. Maybe they want some cheap publicity, well they got it I guess.
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Michael Wang says

Its Just Pure Disappointments when over millions of CONSUMER used and trusted BBB.
I myself though it was a government funded agency when I first became aware of BBB's rating but I still did trusted it as far as online network information goes after finding out its was cooperate runs by individuals.
In fact I liked it even more because they werent associated with and to the Governments or any other corporations give better and honest ratings to all without any form of distinction and preferential treatment.

Throw a few Advertisements on their websites for legit good reviews on their paying subscribers to generate the revenues… by giving rating base partly base on distinguishing "Pigeons" is not what BBB WAS about. The Founders of BBB would give the current BBB's rating system a D.

Fix it as soon before it end up like Megaupload. BBB has a long standing record of serving the community for generations so if All their rating can be review and re-adjust fairly, I think we can still trust their rating again. I do not believe that the controversy during the recent years is commented by all members of BBB.
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