For many consumers, the Better Business Bureau is considered the authoritative, objective source on whether or not a small business is trustworthy. Most people think of the group as being quite trustworthy itself. But who's the Better Business Bureau for the Better Business Bureau? Josh King
alerts us to the news of how an operation called FeeFighters wrote a rather scathing post, claiming that the BBB was a scam
, based on the story of one company who -- the article claims -- was able to bump its rating from an "F" to an "A" basically by paying the Better Business Bureau. I have no idea how accurate the report is, but it certainly is damning.
So how does the BBB respond? Does it explain to the FeeFighters how they got something wrong in the story? No. Does it admit to a problem in the process and promise to correct it? No. As far as I can tell, those seem like the only two reasonable responses. But the BBB went in a different direction. It told FeeFighters to take down the post or it would lose its own accreditation. And when FeeFighters refused to do so, the BBB pulled the company's accreditation
, and flat out admits that it's because they don't like such criticism.
This seems really quite incredible considering what the Better Business Bureau does: collecting complaints and seeking to get companies to resolve them. And when someone presents a complaint about the BBB itself, rather than trying to resolve the problem... it attacks the messenger and revokes his BBB accreditation. On this one, it seems like the BBB deserves a big fat F
until it apologizes and takes back the revocation. Frankly, it's hard to trust BBB ratings at all after this experience.