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Better Business Bureau


Jeff Beck
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Back in 2004 there was a post about the relative merits of belonging to the Better Business Bureau.

I got a call today from a potential client who wanted to know if I was a BBB member.

I'm curious if anyone has had a more recent experience with the Better Business Bureau than 2004.

Thanks!

Jeff

Foresight Home Inspection

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There were some good comments on that post. Here in AZ it seems like they are marketing members more now than before.

I have 1-2 customers a month state, one of the reasons they hired me was as a result of me being a BBB member with a good rating.

Most of them are older [ over 50] customers.

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I pick up 6-8 inspections a year by belonging to the BBB. It more than pays for itself. Most are people that have no idea who to call for an inspection. They then turn to the BBB to see who has a good rating. I have been with them since 8/04.

Jeff Euriech

Peoria Arizona

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I may be the the exception to the rule, but in 7 yrs, I have not had one person ask me if I was a member of the BBB. I can't say if that has cost me any leads/job's, but have not been a member. I do however get the annual call, with the usual sales pitch for a $500 membership. Just hasn't been a part of my business/marketing plan.

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I may be the the exception to the rule, but in 7 yrs, I have not had one person ask me if I was a member of the BBB. I can't say if that has cost me any leads/job's, but have not been a member. I do however get the annual call, with the usual sales pitch for a $500 membership. Just hasn't been a part of my business/marketing plan.

My experience has been the same as yours. No one has ever asked if I'm a member. The only discussions I've ever had about the BBB are when they call me each year. They always lead with the same lie, "A potential customer of yours just called us to ask about your rating but since you aren't a member, we weren't able to help him." The last few years, I tell them that I don't do business with liars and I hang up.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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The internet takes away the need for networking organizations like the BBB.

Who needs their validation? Why would anyone pay them when there's one's own website, Facebook, and everything the net provides to provide vastly superior contact?

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The internet takes away the need for networking organizations like the BBB.

Who needs their validation? Why would anyone pay them when there's one's own website, Facebook, and everything the net provides to provide vastly superior contact?

I can't say that I'm a fan of the BBB but I don't agree that the internet takes away the need for validation.

If anything the internet increases risk. It's easier for a person or company to create a website, join Facebook, Twitter, et al and then still provide a lousy product or service. Ultimately they have to improve their service or go out of business but not before some people get hurt.

The fact that one or two of the BBB franchises in Arizona are actively marketing their business customers to consumers with some amount of success (for the business members as well the consumers) seems to be a testimonial to that.

Internet referral companies have had some success in providing validation but tended to fail as businesses. They may have offered a valuable service but their primary business model of selling advertising didn't provide enough revenue to survive.

IMHO, not having a believable validation source hurts the value oriented HIs and lends undeserved credence to the low cost providers.

When all a BBB can tell a consumer is which Home Inspector had complaints, I think that tends to position the entire industry in somewhat of an unfavorable light.

On the other hand, telling a consumer "Here's a list of people that we feel comfortable in recommending" may instill confidence.

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I have been approached by the BBB on an annual basis. In my opinion it is just like any other club, or organization, which is about collecting your annual dues and in return you get to use their name in your marketing. Oh boy....

Never had any one ask if I was a member of the BBB, just like no one asks about Professional HI Associations. .....Waste of money in my opinion.

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I can't say that I'm a fan of the BBB but I don't agree that the internet takes away the need for validation.

You took out the operative word, which I placed in italics. Their validation. Which is purchased. Why would anyone pay for a meaningless validation; it's the same as the hollow web game you describe.

There's plenty of validators I want.

A good website and all the tools of the internet, supported by competent practice, gets me those validators.

Dinosaur........unless you have a teeny local operation like a grocery or something, in a teeny town where you have to brush shoulders with all your neighbors for business. Even then, if you provide good groceries, folks will do business with you without the BBB.

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The funny thing about the BBB is that they only take complaints on their members. If your not a member they will not open a file your company and they simply report that you are not a member. If you are a member and you get a compliant it can take for ever to resolve it and it will always remain in your file, until you stop paying your dues.

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BBB sent me my renewal couple of months ago. They had lowered the renewal price this year due to the ecomony.

I get two-three jobs directly from BBB a year. Pays for the membership. I get a postcard once a quarter listing how many people checked out my company. Usually about 50 hits a quarter.

I believe that BBB may not be the ONLY reason that some clients chose me but it may be a contributing factor. I have a link on my website so people who view my website can click directly to my BBB listing to confirm my membership.

BBB has implemented a new rating system A+, A, A-, B+, B, B- etc. They develop the company rating based on a scale they developed.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 9 months later...

Great comments by Scott and Robert, I have not seen the need to become a member, although I have filed complaints against companies that were members. I have observed that some of the high profile HI companies in Houston are members. I have never been asked if I was a member though. I don't see the benefit for the cost, I think you may do better being a member of the city chambe rof commerce although I have not joined them yet either. I also know a lot of real estate professionals who are members of civic clubs, this may be a great networking vice also.

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I've been a member for ten years. I always ask how my clients heard about me and it is rare that they say the BBB. But, it sure has been nice on a couple of times when their reason for picking me was, "because you were the only home inspector with no complaints." It seems, as Scott has already said, folks leave the BBB as soon as trouble comes up, because getting things straight is a process with the BBB. I also agree with Kurt, it doesn't offer a whole lot other than maybe some perceived credibility. I'm at a point that, like ASHI or NAHI, I've been a member for so long I hate to break the chain.

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I've been a member of the BBB for a number of years and been very happy with it. I get at least a dozen or so jobs a year where the clients state they found me on the BBB site and that is what led them to me.

The funny thing about the BBB is that they only take complaints on their members. If your not a member they will not open a file your company and they simply report that you are not a member. If you are a member and you get a compliant it can take for ever to resolve it and it will always remain in your file, until you stop paying your dues.

Don't know if different areas are operated different ways, but the BBB here will take complaints on any company whether they are a member or not. Also had an issue with a web design company in Utah that was not a member, I filed a complaint with that BBB office, and they investigated and logged the complaint.

Companies that aren't members won't show in the company search database as accredited members, but you should be able to enter a company's name and see if there are complaints against them, regardless if they are members or not.

I've researched multiple non-member companies on the BBB site and have found ratings from A-F for non-members, including the number of complaints they've logged in the three year reporting period. It will also tell you whether they are a member or not as well.

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In today's buyer's market, every little bit of spit polish helps. Membership costs a tad bit over an inspection and it's another pretty strong web presence. I do get a lot of inquiries each month and a few jobs a year via their site, so someone's looking. Having years of membership with an uninturrupted A+ rating can't hurt sales.

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