Selling the Grade

Does the Better Business Bureau Sale its Grades to Businesses?

In the Bronx, there are two different dog grooming companies. One of them a member with the BBB and the other is not. The dog grooming company that IS a paying member has an A-plus rating, and they have one unresolved complaint against them. The other company that IS NOT a paying member, with only one unresolved complaint against them in the past three years, has a rating of F with the Better Business Bureau.

The same situation exists with two different florist companies. One, a paying member that has 3 complaints against them yet they still get a rating of A-plus, and the other, a florist company that isn’t a member of the BBB, has one complaint but a F rating.

Some people claim the BBB will actually put up false complaints against companies to make them repay their membership fee to guarantee that they will get a better rating. A local Wal-Mart store, which has 14 different complaints, is a paying member of the Better Business Bureau and hold an A-plus rating. Fortune 500 company Lowe’s Home Improvement, right down the road from the Wal-Mart, has one complaint against them that has been resolved but they hold a rating of F, and they are NOT a paying member of the BBB.

Seems kind of fishy when the non-profit Better Business Bureau will let one company hold an A-plus rating with 14 unresolved complaints and let a different company with only one resolved complaint hold a F rating. The difference is between the paying member and the non-paying member. It’s obvious.

ABC News has covered this story exclusively.