Is the Better Business Bureau Really Better?

“I am going to report you to the Better Business Bureau (BBB),” is a phrase often uttered by consumers who feel they are being taken advantage of by a company. However, I am not so sure that the BBB can be as helpful as consumers want to believe.

I discovered this when I tried to report a magazine company for falsely representing themselves and their policies, never delivering my subscriptions, and still charging me for them. I sent this claim to the BBB only after sending several letters to the company and trying to contact them by phone in order to resolve the situation. This is what the BBB suggests, trying to contact the company with which you are having a disbute in order to try and solve the problem. However, after no response on the companies part, I filed my complaint with the BBB.

I received an email from the BBB that the company had disbuted my claim and that if I wished I could submit a rebuttal. Otherwise the case was resolved in the magazine’s favor. Resolved in their favor simply because they made a rebuttal to my claim? Of course the company was going to make a rebuttal. I found this ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as what happened next.

I did indeed file a rebuttal because the company was lieing in their response to my claim. However, the response I got from the BBB suprised me. They stated that they were sorry but the company had stood by their rebuttal. The BBB also stated that they could not force this or any company to resolve a dispute, but only worked to try and get a resolution that could be agreed on by all. But if the company refused to work with the consumer, then there was nothing further that could be done. The BBB said that they would create a file for this company and include this information.

I realize that the file for this company will serve the purpose of keeping this company from scamming others, but it does not help me any. I could have continued writing this company on my own with the same response that the BBB got for me. Why utilize the BBB if they can do nothing but contact the company and make them aware of your complaint. You have to provide the companies address or phone number in order to file the claim, so you already know how to contact them, so you could do this yourself. Then, the company can refuse to compensate the consumer in any way. At that point there is nothing more that can be done. So this leaves me asking myself: Is the Better Business Bureau really Better? As for you-I will let you try the BBB out for yourself and come up with your own conclusions next time you have a conflict with a business:

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