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Dynasty Remodeling LLC - 8+ Years with an A+ BBB Accreditation Rating - TV & Radio Commercials through their Marketing Campaigns for A+ Rated Members. Then after not Renewing Our Membership or Marketing Dollars w/ the BBB, Our A+ Rating Started To Plummet - Now We Know Why... And So Should You.  

The Better Business Bureau may be a nonprofit, but behind the scenes it's a money-making machine -- squeezing big money out of businesses in exchange for its coveted stamp of approval.

That approval, known as "accreditation," doesn't come cheap. In 2013 alone, the organization raked in nearly $200 million in revenue -- most of which comes from the very businesses it oversees, according to a CNNMoney analysis of IRS filings from the BBB's 102 U.S. bureaus and national office.

Where the money comes from: A self-proclaimed source of mediation and unbiased ratings of millions of businesses across the country, the BBB receives the majority of its revenue from membership fees paid by hundreds of thousands of companies.


Ratings fluctuate constantly

Grades on the BBB's website can fluctuate wildly on a regular basis, making it impossible for consumers to get a reliable reading on a company.


When CNNMoney started looking into the BBB earlier this year, for example, Pepsi had a D. Weeks later, its grade had jumped to an A+. Google's grade, meanwhile, has been on a rollercoaster -- changing from a C- to an A- within weeks, and plummeting to an F by the time of publishing.


And a couple of weeks after CNNMoney asked both the BBB and HSBC about the bank's F rating, the grade was removed and changed to a "no rating." At the time of publishing, the grade had jumped to an A+.


But some swings in ratings are more questionable than others. 



The Better Business Bureau portrays itself as a watchdog, protecting the unsuspecting consumers from the bad guys.  After learning a little more about the Tony Soprano like practices of at least one BBB chapter, we need to ask... who's watching the watchdog?


Questions about the BBB's integrity came to light after an ABC 20/20 investigation of the BBB titled "The Best Ratings Money Can Buy".  This original investigation was back in 2010 and uncovered multiple stories of extortion and bribery.  Basically, the Southern California BBB chapter was blackmailing companies by charging them hundreds of dollars in return for an “A” grade. If you don’t pay up, don’t expect a good grade.   Sign up to pay your $425 per year and shazaam... you're "F" grade is turned into an "A" the same day your credit card clears. 


20/20 reported that two dummy companies (one of which was called "Hamas", the name of a known terrorist organization) received A+ ratings as soon as the membership fee was paid. 20/20 also recorded phone calls where business owners were told that the only way to improve their rating was to pay the fee. In one instance a "C"  gradewas turned to an "A" grade immediately after payment was made.  In another case a "C-" became an "A+" immediately after payment.


The National BBB Finally Acts

More than 2 years later, the national BBB organization finally expelled the Southern California chapter in the spring of 2013 for running a "pay to play" enterprise.  In a statement released by president and chief executive of the BBB, Carrie A. Hurt explained the reasons behind the Southern California BBB chapter expulsion. She stated, “Over a period of more than two years, BBB of Southland failed to resolve concerns about compliance with several standards required of BBBs, including standards relating to accreditation, reporting on businesses, and handling complaints."

2 years later?  C'mon BBB... what took so long?  The slow actions of the national organization does not exactly inspire confidence.   Some believe that the timing of the expulsion is directly related to a lawsuit filed by Brookstone Law against the Southern California BBB at the end of 2012.  As the lawsuit picked up steam in the spring of 2013, the national BBB was forced to act. 


The BBB is NOT a Government-Run Watchdog Organization

The BBB has been around for more than 100 years, but most people don't really understand what it is or how it works.  Many consumers believe that the BBB is a government agency set up to protect consumers.  The BBB is not a government entity, despite the word "Bureau" in their name.   The BBB is an independent, supposedly non-profit organization... that brings in over 200 million dollars per year in revenue, mostly from the very companies it reports on.  There is no governmental or regulatory oversight of the BBB.

The Better Business Bureau actually makes its money by charging businesses an annual fee to earn the right to don the "BBB Accredited" badge. The fee costs several hundred dollars per year depending upon the location. Whether or not the business pays the accreditation fee is not supposed to impact the "A - F" grading system, but payment clearly impacted grades in the case of the Southern California chapter. 


The BBB Uses a Business Model Similar to a Restaurant Franchise

The BBB is composed of 113 independently operated chapters located all around North America. Each branch is like an independent business, sort of like how restaurant franchises work. The Southern California BBB branch was the largest in the U.S. up until it was shutdown in mid-March.

Companies are able to register with their local BBB and opt to pay the annual fee for accreditation. The BBB then grades the company based on 16 different factors, primarily related to how well the company handles customer complaints. An “A+” grade with the Better Business Bureau is supposed to mean the company is excellent at making sure the customer is happy with the product or service.

As the Southern California debacle shows us, the BBB is not just a watchdog.  It's a watchdog with a business model.   In business, it's not uncommon for greed to supersede integrity. The BBB's model only works if each individual BBB chapter maintains a high level of integrity and is impartial in the grading system.


Has the BBB Lost its Credibility?

The highly paid executives at the Better Business Bureau are in damage-control mode following the shutdown in California, and rightfully so. They maintain that it was an isolated incident, and this sort of corruption is not commonplace at other BBB branches around the country.

There is plenty of other complaints against the BBB, indicating that the Southern California tactics may not be as isolated as the national organization would have us believe. 





1) The Better Business Bureau is NOT a government agency. Instead the BBB is a private 501(c)(6) organization with $143 Million in annual revenues derived from membership dues it receives from the very businesses it reports on.

2) Attorney General questions new BBB Grading System. The Connecticut Attorney General is looking into the practices of the Better Business Bureau after they gave their annual Torch Award for Best Business to Custom Basement, a firm under investigation for violation of consumer protection laws. .

3) U.S. Representative says BBB negatively classify businesses they don't like. Addressing Congress, US Representative Corrine Brown said some BBB's libel and slander small businesses they don't like while rating other companies with terrible records as being satisfactory. .

4) Membership in the BBB guarantees a better grade. By their own admission, membership in the Better Business Bureau improves a business' grade. Calling this a membership service is a misnomer, it more closely resembles an advertising service where "members" pay to play.

 The executive who heads the organizations Los Angeles branch makes more than $400,000 a year. His San Diego counterpart brings in $206,000. The head of a smaller office in New York earns $175,000.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an organization containing more than 100 privately owned franchises loosely controlled by the Council of the Better Business Bureau (CBBB).


BBB- THE FOX GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE When most folks think Better Business Bureau; consumer protection, ethics and integrity come to mind. Right?

1. Would it amaze you to find out that there are numerous legitimate complaints and even lawsuits against Better Business Bureau franchises? Yes, you read correctly. The BBB is a corporation comprised of several private business franchises very like to McDonald's.

2. Many people are under the perception that the BBB is a government agency. It is not. The truth is it operates as a non-profit and its funded primarily through membership fees paid by businesses.

The fact that they make money collecting payments from businesses should automatically raise an eyebrow.

How can they honestly look out for the consumers best interest when their customer base is businesses? They claim neutrality but to any rational person there is an obvious conflict of interest.

So you see a business with a BBB member sticker in the window, a plaque on the wall, or a banner on their website and you think they must be creditable. What should also be swirling in your mind is the fact that in order to become a member of the BBB the business has to pay an annual membership fee. How many renewals would the BBB get if the members were graded badly?

3. The truth is members of the Better Business Bureau have much higher grades than non-members. It seems like an A+ grade is only possible for dues-paying customers (members).

4. The fact of the matter is everything that the trusted BBB warns us about when it comes to unscrupulous business practices, they are considered by some as the biggest offenders.

5. The list of growing complaints around the country accuse local Better Business Bureaus of:

Unfair and Disingenuous Business Practices.

Underhanded or Misleading Advertising.

Discrimination Against Certain Businesses Based On Their Industry.

Use of Non-Profit For Personal Gain.

Many of us look to the Better Business Bureau to establish the legitimacy of a business or to report a business, but where do we go if we have a problem with the better business bureau? Who watches them?

The savvy consumer and self-respecting business owner does due diligence on the Better Business Bureau just as they would before dealing with any other company. It just makes sense.

It has been reported to the "" that, the BBB encourages and solicits money from the very businesses they monitor! How could this be beneficial to the consumer?