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.
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.
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 They are irrelevant with an outdated business model and mission that they have no way to execute.