Not too often, but now and then, a prospective client asks us if we belong to the Better Business Bureau. The short answer is no. The long answer is….when we first started our business, we thought it would be great to have a high rating with the BBB. I visited their website and read everything and then applied for accreditation. What’s involved is they make sure you don’t have any lawsuits filed against you, that you are properly licensed, that you aren’t involved in false advertising, and quite a few other things, mostly things regarding the legitimacy of your business, things people can find out easily for themselves online. What they don’t check is references. They don’t go to your clients and ask them their opinion about your service. They don’t rate you on how good your business is. Isn’t that what you want to know? Yes, they will tell you if anyone has filed a complaint with them, and that is why most people go to their website…to see if a business is bad. I think that’s why Angie’s List does so well. They tell you the bad AND the GOOD.
So, just because you belong to the BBB doesn’t mean you are a great company. It just means you don’t have many, if any, actionable complaints against you.
So if no complaint has been filed against you with the BBB, does that mean you are a good, honest, reliable company? Maybe yes. Maybe no. It’s really hard to tell, isn’t it.
We thought, okay, we’ll fill out the paperwork and send it in. Very soon afterwards we got a call from the BBB congratulating us on passing our accreditation. Now all we had to do was pay them $300 (per year) and we would be a member.
Ah…wait. We had to PAY to be a ‘member’? Then we could say we ‘belonged’ to the BBB? We didn’t want to be a member, we just wanted a good rating with them. Anyone can be a member if they pass scrutiny and continue to be a ‘member in good standing’ as long as they pay the fees and don’t have so many complaints they are booted out. So how much does it really mean? We wanted it to mean more than that.
So no, we don’t ‘belong’ to the BBB. We are more concerned with staying off their BAD list, which you can be on for free. Angie’s List carries much more weight with people these days and we are slowly racking up reviews with them. We’d love more, but they will come. Meanwhile, we just continue to do what we do best…take care of our clients.