For over one hundred years both consumers and businesses have relied on the Better Business Bureau to be the rock, tell the truth, be the point of reference between disputed relations and more than anything help both sides. is it just coming down to a point of pay for a good mark? Is this no worse than a student paying for a good grade? A contractor paying for illegal bid information? A sports figure throwing a game for money? Sure it’s the same thing! But coming from a “non-profit” organization like the BBB is just down right wrong.
I used to be a member of the BBB years ago. After paying out many thousands of dollars I decided that the investment was not worth the little or no return I was getting on my dollar. Then after many attempts by the BBB of strong arm tactics telling me if I joined that they could help “protect” my reputation I was done with them forever. I have also been told that if I paid my dues that my rating would improve quickly! What did you say? Looks like I wasn’t the only one that this was suggested to. I guess they have finally tried their Nazi tactics to many times on the wrong people. Here is a link to a youtube.com video that 20/20 did on the BBB. Very enlightening to say the least.
In over 30 years of being a business owner I have heard the phrase” I’m gonna call the BBB on you and complain………”, only three times. Each and every time my response to them was, If you have time to waste go on and waste it because you’d be better off sicking your poodle on me! If they weren’t mad before the conversation just heated up. Every business person gets tired of hearing this watered down threat. Don’t get me wrong there are some very unscrupulous companies out there, but there are some award winning wacko customers too. We commonly call them our “CUSTOMONSTERS.”
This is just another slap on the face of Americans In this age of major companies falling or having to be bailed out, Problem with all of this is with the BBB now finally showing their true colors it really makes what little strength they had start to trickle away! As I said before the worst of it is this is a not for profit organization. There is no profit left I guess when you have outlets in over 100 cities in the U.S. and many of the directors of these outlets are well into six figure salaries! Wow, sounds like they might need a bail out soon too.
No matter what anyone says, we need an organization like the BBB. Just as much as we need Business Beware to help balance the scales. What a great opportunity each has to be an advocate for the business and the consumer.
All I have got to say is make it right BBB. You definitely will lose income by dropping the strong arm tactics, but will re-strengthen your company and regain some of the trust you have lost or keep going the same way and you are doomed! When you make a mistake admit it and correct it then move on.
Although the verdict is out, right now we give the BBB a grade of “F”, but if you send me a payment I can re-evaluate my findings and do a little grade curve.
Ever heard of Stew Leonard’s stone that sits outside at his place? It’s all about customer service and it reads:
Rule #1 The Customer is Always Right!
Rule #2 If the Customer is Ever Wrong Read Rule #1
Okay, well we have to disagree with you Stew. The customer is not always right. So we set out to find the perfect stone that we could engrave our “customer service rules” where others could read it. We thought it would be fun to share how we found the perfect stone and what we decided to put on our stone. Enjoy!
You know what we talk about here on the show and at Business Beware so this is not a new thing for you to hear us say. We had the chance to talk with Natalie of WomanzWorld.com about tips on how to deal with non-paying customers. These are important to remember every time you speak with a customer at the beginning:
- Do they know what they are looking for?
- Do they understand your charge rate?
- Do they have any idea how long the job will take and cost?
Check out the article Natalie wrote right here. Be sure to follow her and learn more about the amazing things she is doing with Womanz World.
"The Business Beware Show is a father/daughter duo who share the real stories behind what it takes to run a business, the ups and downs of working with family and the real side to customer service."