Dear Consumer, BBB Has Failed You.

Not so long ago, I would not hesitate to recommend to my friends and/or clients to consider joining and become what is known an “accredited” member. In the past I used the website of Better Business Bureau to check out more than one business. But watching last night ABC’s 20/20 report about BBB’s shady practices, I am completely disappointed by the company. Especially disappointing was BBB’s Steve Cox answers to questions of ABC’s Brian Ross.

I doubt Mr. Cox would ever read my blog, but if he does here is the script he might consider using next time he speaks to a reporter: “BBB screwed up and we are ashamed about all the allegations. We will investigate every case and will make every effort that every business gets a fair treatment by BBB.” Or something to that effect.

I have to say that as an affiliate marketer looked to BBB to see how my potential partner is handling complaints by consumers.

Gary Vaynerchuck’s Wine Library gets C from BBB?

BBB gives C to Wine Library

BBB gives C to Wine Library

The original title for this post was supposed to be “Dear Gary, BBB has failed you”. Gary Vaynerchuk is the founder of Wine Library and the host of internet’s most passionate wine show Wine Library TV. He is a best selling author and a host of a radio show Wine & Web. Gary ofter speaks to entrepreneurs, CEOs and business owners across many industries and is highly respected by many people. Yet as of this writing rated Wine Library with a C. And the irony is that right on the same page it states the following: “BBB processed a total of 0 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period.” How can that be Mr. Cox? Zero complaints in last 36 months yet still a C? Is that yet another mistake or BBB just trying to get some money out of Gary Vaynerchuk? If any of my companies will every get a bad rating from BBB, it will only make me proud to be in the company of people like Gary Vaynerchuck or Wolfgang Puck, who is till rated “F” by BBB even after airing of the ABC’s 20/20 investigative piece.

Why you should not trust BBB?
We do not leave in a perfect world. People screw up. Companies screw up. Just the fact you have screwed up does not mean you are a bad individual or a sleaze company. Mr. Cox, in my opinion, missed a golden opportunity with ABC’s Brian Ross to apologize for the BBB’s screw up. Mr. Cox failed miserably choosing the sweet “denial”. By doing so, Mr. Cox made BBB to fail every consumer in US and Canada. There is no reason anyone should trust BBB or their rating system. BBB just got an “F-“! And one thing is most certain, BBB will never get a penny out of me and if I can help it neither out of my friends and/or business partners.

More coverage about BBB scandal:
Better Business Bureau Leadership To Meet In Aftermath Of Devastating ABC Expose

Meet the Author

Fr Vlad Zablotskyy

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Doc Sheldon Dec 5, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Great piece, Vlad! I’ve been aware for a while of a lot of “questionable” issues surrounding the BBB’s credibility, but the cases highlighted in the 20/20 Report remove any questions, IMO.

    It’s a shame, because there was a time that the BBB seal meant something. Now it just means that the vendor was willing to shell out a few hundred bucks to buy a vote of confidence. I have to doubt that the BBB can ever recover from the blow to their credibility that such policies have dealt them.

  • Vlad Zablotskyy Dec 5, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Sorry for holding your comment in moderation. Having some serious issues with spam lately.

    I think the most disappointing was the arrogance of BBB official in that 20/20 piece. Of all people he should now better, instead of taking offense make an sincere apology and promise not to repeat those mistakes again.

    They are risking to become completely irrelevant very soon.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

  • Everwebby Oct 3, 2011, 7:46 pm

    What I did not like about the BBB was that I would consistently get phonecalls from cellphones trying to get me to sign up. Now I am not sure if these were actually offical agents working for the BBB or if they were shady techniques to obtain credit card information, but what I do know is that if someone wants to discover credibility of a business entity, they do not need the bbb to discover it. Like the yb, their was a time and a place for the bbb; a time that simply passed on.

  • Christer Johansson Oct 13, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Who needs BBB anyway? I live in Sweden, and heard of this shady business-model a long time ago. I mean, a private corporation offering a “credibility seal” for money? No, this type of seal should be obtained from a consumer based service.
    It would have better credibility to have a seal, where consumers rating matter, isn’t your customers opinion of your company worth much more than some paid-for-seal from a company no one has heard of?

    In Sweden we have a similar service, but it’s offered by a “house of commerce” that consists of member corporations or merchants.

    We also have a swedish version of pricerunner called “prisjakt”, which is similar to pricerunner. This website is often integrated with webshops and e-commerce websites, so that any customer can read and see comments from registered customers in the webshop.
    This type of recommendation is many times better than some seal on a website. (which really is just a little picture, anyone can copy it)

    Anuway, keep up your good work…I found your website in my search of OpenCart affiliate stuff.

  • Buzz Hill Nov 8, 2011, 5:09 am


    I think BBB is a wait of time. If they pay for a listing they get a positive feedback, so you are not really gets an unbias opinion of the Company.

    Use BBB at your how risk.