Better Business Bureau

Last couple weeks, I have been pestered by the BBB to join up as a paid member. They say that last year in my area, they received 1143 inquiries for window cleaning, 624 for pressure washing and 4863 for gutters. It costs about $450 to join. I know that lots of people feel comfortable using a BBB accredited company. Joining gives me the right to use the BBB logo on all my advertising and website. I am thinking about doing it. Any thoughts? anyone doing it? Is it worth the money? Thanks


I pay $36 a month. Does it work? It’s mainly a scam but people do give it value, I get numerous jobs from people saying that being a member was important for them. I think consumers think it’s harder than it really is to be in the BBB. Overall I would say it’s better than being “awarded” a best window cleaner by wc.com

I agree that people do see value in it. It’s hard to see a dollar ROI with it. You may never know if it paid off, but If it makes potential clients happy, it might be worth it. I know the $450 could be better spent with EDDM, or other advertising, but it still seems like a good investment.

i just spent $600 on eddm, nothing

bbb closes quite a few each month

BBB is another way of “Validating” your business to consumers. The BBB has done a fair job of branding over the years, but I do wish they would bump it up a bit.

It’s money well spent in my opinion.

This is their 100th anniversary. Maybe they will use that to launch to new advertising. I am going to sign up.

Personally after hearing stories from other contractors about the one or two nut jobs that went and put a complaint in against their company this is where the BBB doesn’t work. It validates the’s nut wagons by empowering them to hurt your business like that… Take a look at BBB company and see for yourself what your really looking for… The ones who complained. A legitimate complaint is fair enough and you owe it to your disappointed customer to make it right. Fair enough. But listen to some guys who have been using the BBB like Ty from Arizona and how he’s getting shafted because he’s dealing with a complainer just wants to complain. There’s a good chance that strike will stay on his BBB record and one of those demolish the 50 good ones you may get. And when the nut wagon really is a nut wagon who says the worst things about you and your company and that sticks… It stays with you.

The BBB is yesterday’s scam and look for yourself and check someone’s out…bet your going to look for the one who complained… I never dealt with the BBB and I would never support a place that empowers those nut wagons… Man I love saying that word tonight:)

Good points John, but all of the list companies do that. Angie’s List and service magic (or whatever it’s called) allow customers to rate your work. There is always a way for the nut wagons to hurt you. Do you avoid all of them because you might get a negative complaint? Something to think about.

I don’t use those places mainly because they bite. Service magic does work for some but I hear mostly negative about them and once again I know a guy that you probably know as well where he had an unfair problem with a customer and service magic. I consider this guy a good friend and his advice to me about service magic was all I needed to not throw away money.

Angie’s list doesn’t rank well here and the BBB is a scam and has been for years.

But what I do that maybe some other don’t is not only do I have multiple insurance for my business such as WC,Liability,umbrella Policies etc… I have every year a valid Home Improvement lic. and the customers have an avenue in there to complain thru the consumer affairs division. I could be fined and even worse if found wrong such as be brought up on criminal charges. This is where the nut wagons wouldn’t stand a chance.

So I am Lic/ins. and have a perfect record of having both and never had even a claim filed against me… not yet that is:D

I too have insurance and workers comp. I realize people can use that as a complaint but generally that’s only after a claim has been filed for some kind of damages right? They can’t charge you criminally if you are following the law and have not done anything wrong. I don’t really want the negative comment either, but I like the credibility the BBB gives you and the peace of mind clients get from knowing I am a member.

I did a bunch of google searches on BBB scams and there are plenty of people who feel they have been falsely rated by a bad review. They say that if you pay them you can keep a good rating but if you do not, they can give you an F rating for just 1 or 2 complaints. It’s tough to know the right thing to do.

If it works for you Phil then its the right thing to do. I thought about it yrs ago myself but I got to many badluck stories about the BBB so I never went that route. As far as being charged criminally here it outside the normal ways, it was if you were caught advertising without a license the first time it was a $1000 fine. The second time you could be charged Criminally

The crazy thing for me is I dont get the HI sales tax break. NY state doesnt recognized my HI lic. So I have to charge sales tax. My county has written letters for me to the state saying I have to have the HI lic and that’s County law but to no avail because NY state rules it doesn’t matter.

Talk about stuck between a rock & a hard place:(

I do about $10-$12K in biz every year with folks that say they found me on BBB website or in the paper directory the BBB hands out. They push doing business with members here. There is a weekly skit on the local TV here and there are billboards around town advertising the BBB.

Good money spent if your local BBB is proactive in promoting its members. This doesn’t even include the non-traceable ROI like “I hired you over the other guy because he was not a member of BBB” or “I called you instead of the other advertiser that didn’t have a BBB logo”

Thanks Michael. These are the kind of numbers I was looking for. It helps to have tangible information to be able to make an informed desicion. Too often marketing is just being visible in your logo’d shirts or graphics on your truck. You can’t really see what good it’s doing but you keep doing it. As most small businesses, my marketing dollars are limited and I want to get the best ROI I can for every dollar spent, as we all do.

I’ve been with the B.B.B. for a couple of years now. I have no negative stories to tell. It some seem to put some customers at ease and others don’t seem to care. I like the fact that I can use their logo on all my adds & also have it on my card ( business ). They will also work with you if you have a complaint from what they told me. I can’t speak from experience about that though. I try my hardest not to get any & it’s workin pretty good for me:rolleyes:

Hey John-- what does it cost these days to be listed with the BBB?

$445

It will be interesting to see what your ROI is on this the next couple of years.
I use to the most advertising in the yellow pages by me. There was a time I got an ROI with that around $15 made to every $1 spent. Then as recently as 3-4 yrs ago I was almost $900/month locked in yearly for a total of around $10,000 a year to advertise there. Last year at about $5000 spent for the year with the yellow pages my ROI was less then $2-$1spent which for me means I lose money because I have to pay my guys.

This year I had to finish out my yearly contract with the yellow pages which ended in October @$300/month for a total of about $3000 for this year. I do all my yearly expense number next month and when I figure out what I made from each place I market/advertise I’m cringing to think I’m going to lose money again with my now ended relationship with the Yellow pages.

Hopefully you get a great ROI and you don’t get that devastating nut wagon like others had to deal with when being a member of the BBB.