Better Business Bureau is BBBS

The origins of the BBB were good; advancing trust in the marketplace. Holding businesses accountable to high ethical standards in advertising and selling; curbing any abuses that were false and misleading.

As an “accredited” business of the BBB; I’ve had a love-hate relationship.  For nearly 20 years I’ve felt obligated to pay fees to be what the organization refer to as a business “In Good Standing.”  Don’t all business owners desire to be good standing with the general public? The alternative is NOT to pay the fees and then NOT be in good standing.

Say What?BBB-logo

With the latest news of State Senator and fired COO of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Oklahoma; Rick Brinkley; I can’t help but be outraged by the irony and hypocrisy.

Mr. Brikley is accused of embezzling over a million dollars (from fees that keep our businesses “in good standing”) over a 15 year period.  As reported by the Tulsa World, a suit filed in Tulsa County Court alleges that Brinkley used the embezzled funds to “pay his mortgage, pool cleaner, personal credit card invoices, and to support a hidden gambling habit.”

Now seeing the big picture….does the BBB serve any positive purpose to society?  Perhaps in the 1800’s when Coca Cola, a medicinal “tonic” was criticized for making money on false advertising and quackery advertisements. But today? NO!  Why? BBB has competition. There is a substitute service that is superior. It’s called the Internet.

 coke

Online reviews by consumers put shoppers in a power position. Holding businesses accountable is easy in this day and age when these reviews, blogs, and online forums allow today’s consumer to express their opinions in a safe and public platform.  The information promotes transparency and gives other consumers “real time” and relevant feedback critical in the buying cycle.

Some of the poorest performing businesses are BBB members, in good standing.  How does this organization and the services they offer push for excellence in the marketplace or hold businesses accountable?  They can’t.  Interim President and CEO sent out an email this past week blaming everything on Mr. Brinkley.  What he did was unforgivable…ripping Tulsa businesses off for his own personal gain; but he’s just one variable in a bigger problem of the BBB.  They have no purpose in our community anymore.  They are irrelevant with an outdated business model and mission that they have no way to execute.

Let’s stop paying the BBB dues. Let’s put those fees to good use. Give to a legitimate non-profit committed to making society a better place or use it to develop an in-house strategy to manage online reviews in a healthy, honest, and transparent fashion that benefits you, me, and shoppers everywhere.

2 Comments

  1. Neil on August 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I agree 100%. BBB and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp are both out to extort money from the hardest working people in this country, small businesses.

    • Teresa on August 22, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      You are right on about Dun and Bradstreet! They call us like crazy trying to sell Good Credit. Thanks for weighing in.

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