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Old 11-17-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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The BBB is not a real threat to anyone. A business is not required to join the BBB(and yes, the company has to JOIN...like a country club). If a complaint is received and the consumer follows through the BBB offers arbitration for the business owner...

Other than a few conferences like the Chamber of Commerce offers, the BBB is impotent.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
4,356 posts, read 10,050,545 times
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Not sure where you are, but I'd start by contacting the licensing department for the contractor's industry. Here in MD, contractors have to have a MHIC number and you can report them. Also, I'd contact the consumer protection division of your state attorney's office.

I had a minor dispute with a contractor over shutters on my house. I sent a certified copy to the contractor indicating I'd be contacting those departments and then at the bottom I cc'd those departments. TOh, and I also cc'd my homeowner's association b/c that definitely impacted his business.--our HOA keeps lists of contractors that other people have used--no opinion or anything, just a list. But he didn't know that. That was enough to get my shutters.

Oh, and I'd also try to find out who their main supplier is and call them up and just say that you're in a dispute with this contractor. Nothing else, just that you thought they'd like to know.

Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:12 PM
 
109 posts, read 721,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
The answer is maybe...

If the contractor is a BBB member, he has pre committed to binding arbitration to settle marketplace disputes. I have mentioned this to friends and colleagues in disputes and 3 of the 4 were pleased with the result and the 4th one said he should have taken the guy to court since he had free legal advice in the family.

Individual complaints don't amount too much. A large number of complaints have prompted action by State's Department of Consumer Affairs and/or Attorneys General.

The BBB also administers Lemon Law Arbitration at no cost and non binding on the Consumer... it's a can't loose for the consumer with a Lemon Law dispute.

Your State's Contractor License Board may have more pull if you can prove the contractor failed to comply with Contractor Law regarding estimates, draws and deposits.
This company is NOT a BBB Accredited business....and the company is not responding to the BBB as of yet. Will try to do something with the licensing board. Will be filling complaint with the secretary of state.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
Not sure where you are, but I'd start by contacting the licensing department for the contractor's industry. Here in MD, contractors have to have a MHIC number and you can report them. Also, I'd contact the consumer protection division of your state attorney's office.

I had a minor dispute with a contractor over shutters on my house. I sent a certified copy to the contractor indicating I'd be contacting those departments and then at the bottom I cc'd those departments. TOh, and I also cc'd my homeowner's association b/c that definitely impacted his business.--our HOA keeps lists of contractors that other people have used--no opinion or anything, just a list. But he didn't know that. That was enough to get my shutters.

Oh, and I'd also try to find out who their main supplier is and call them up and just say that you're in a dispute with this contractor. Nothing else, just that you thought they'd like to know.

Good luck.
I will be filing a complain with the secretary of state in attempt to have their license revoked.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:24 PM
 
27,236 posts, read 55,645,344 times
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Originally Posted by akire View Post
I will be filing a complain with the secretary of state in attempt to have their license revoked.
You just might succeed.

10 Years ago I was an Owner's representative for a 5 million Hospital Expansion. The Hospital job was completed, but not without problems for many of the Sub Contractors.

It surprised my how little effort the larger Subs put into collecting from the general what they were owed.

More of a surprise was that a Mom and Pop landscape company with a $2300 unpaid bill was relentless in her... (The Mom of Mom and Pop) collection efforts... she told the general he would pay them or she would see to it that he never worked in this state again if it was the last thing she did.

It took 26 months... she followed through on principal and was responsible for the general loosing his license... the big guys owed many thousands of dollars moved on, but the housewife co-owner of the landscape business ultimately prevailed on a $2300 bill.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:11 PM
 
11,282 posts, read 46,201,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
You just might succeed.

10 Years ago I was an Owner's representative for a 5 million Hospital Expansion. The Hospital job was completed, but not without problems for many of the Sub Contractors.

It surprised my how little effort the larger Subs put into collecting from the general what they were owed.

More of a surprise was that a Mom and Pop landscape company with a $2300 unpaid bill was relentless in her... (The Mom of Mom and Pop) collection efforts... she told the general he would pay them or she would see to it that he never worked in this state again if it was the last thing she did.

It took 26 months... she followed through on principal and was responsible for the general loosing his license... the big guys owed many thousands of dollars moved on, but the housewife co-owner of the landscape business ultimately prevailed on a $2300 bill.
And I've been the $9,000 sub-contractor that was defrauded by an outfit with a facilities maintenance contract at an A-B Brewery ... and got them thrown out of A-B for the abuse/non-payment of a number of subs on site whose work was performed in accordance with their contracts and they, too, were too lazy/chicken to confront the contractor when they didn't get paid.

Further, I made sure that Coors Brewery knew the miserable track record of the outfit and they were denied an opportunity to bid on a similar large brewery contract for which they thought they had a "lock" on the bidding.

But ... what's all this got to do with the OP's BBB question? Nothing. The BBB didn't have any effect upon the process. It was all through pressing claims through the licensing and legal systems, just like the landscape business cited above.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 11,109,224 times
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Generally no, they are pretty useless. They do record what has been happening, and the AG uses it to find complainants if they get really bad.

So far my own has been pretty useless, but Amex has been great.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:12 AM
 
27,236 posts, read 55,645,344 times
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post

But ... what's all this got to do with the OP's BBB question? Nothing. The BBB didn't have any effect upon the process. It was all through pressing claims through the licensing and legal systems, just like the landscape business cited above.
The OP said, "[i]I will be filing a complain with the secretary of state in attempt to have their license revoked."[/I]

My reply was offered as encouragement by relating an incident where determination prevailed and the contractor did indeed loose his license.

The BBB can and does help many... mostly through persuasion. The BBB is a private enterprise and has no independent police power.

I have used the BBB personally in two disputes and both were resolved to my satisfaction...
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:41 AM
 
11,282 posts, read 46,201,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
The OP said, "[i]I will be filing a complain with the secretary of state in attempt to have their license revoked."[/I]

I don't know of any state where the secretary of state is the licensing authority for a contractor. The SOS is concerned about incorporation and tax issues, not licensing.

My reply was offered as encouragement by relating an incident where determination prevailed and the contractor did indeed loose his license.

OK, determination to pursue a claim through the appropriate channels is a desirable component of getting a settlement. But you still have to apply that through the correct channels.

The BBB can and does help many... mostly through persuasion. The BBB is a private enterprise and has no independent police power.

As you say, the BBB is private enterprise, in business to make money for themselves by primarily collecting fees from business members who ascribe to their "code of ethics".

I have used the BBB personally in two disputes and both were resolved to my satisfaction... :
I have no issue with your determination that the BBB resolved disputes to your satisfaction.

But, in my experience, they're a worthless member of the business community, a "feel good" enterprise of self-promotion. Their only "power" is that of an implied threat that your business will suffer if you don't settle a claim to the satisfaction of a complainer because the BBB will publicize the complaint and your business' failure to satisfy somebody. Sometimes, as a business, you cannot satisfy a complainer and the BBB will not reveal that you attempted in good faith and consistent with good/fair/ethical business practice to go overboard to try to resolve a complaint. That's the fallacy of the BBB ... they have no expertise in any particular business except their own self-promotion. Their sales reps are strictly commission paid ... and have no interest in performance of the BBB, only selling memberships and supplying those little plaques which may impress somebody.

The OP has other resources available to pursue their claims for damages that are much more effective. Licensing boards, consumer protection boards, or even the small claims court system are the real avenues of settlement.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:21 AM
 
109 posts, read 721,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I have no issue with your determination that the BBB resolved disputes to your satisfaction.

But, in my experience, they're a worthless member of the business community, a "feel good" enterprise of self-promotion. Their only "power" is that of an implied threat that your business will suffer if you don't settle a claim to the satisfaction of a complainer because the BBB will publicize the complaint and your business' failure to satisfy somebody. Sometimes, as a business, you cannot satisfy a complainer and the BBB will not reveal that you attempted in good faith and consistent with good/fair/ethical business practice to go overboard to try to resolve a complaint. That's the fallacy of the BBB ... they have no expertise in any particular business except their own self-promotion. Their sales reps are strictly commission paid ... and have no interest in performance of the BBB, only selling memberships and supplying those little plaques which may impress somebody.

The OP has other resources available to pursue their claims for damages that are much more effective. Licensing boards, consumer protection boards, or even the small claims court system are the real avenues of settlement.
Thanks, I will also be going through the consumer protection board now, I wasn't aware of them.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:18 PM
 
27,236 posts, read 55,645,344 times
Reputation: 21493
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I have no issue with your determination that the BBB resolved disputes to your satisfaction.

But, in my experience, they're a worthless member of the business community, a "feel good" enterprise of self-promotion. Their only "power" is that of an implied threat that your business will suffer if you don't settle a claim to the satisfaction of a complainer because the BBB will publicize the complaint and your business' failure to satisfy somebody. Sometimes, as a business, you cannot satisfy a complainer and the BBB will not reveal that you attempted in good faith and consistent with good/fair/ethical business practice to go overboard to try to resolve a complaint. That's the fallacy of the BBB ... they have no expertise in any particular business except their own self-promotion. Their sales reps are strictly commission paid ... and have no interest in performance of the BBB, only selling memberships and supplying those little plaques which may impress somebody.

The OP has other resources available to pursue their claims for damages that are much more effective. Licensing boards, consumer protection boards, or even the small claims court system are the real avenues of settlement.
My BBB experience is limited to CA.

The BBB in California is certified by the State of California to administer California's version of what is commonly referred to as the "Lemon Law"

The Lemon Law sets up a procedure where a consumer can require Auto Manufacturer's to participate in Binding Arbitration as an alternative means to settle market place disputes.

The Arbitrator(s) decision is final regarding the manufacturer should the consumer accept the decision. The consumer is free to pursue legal action, without prejudice, should the consumer reject the decision. It is truley a win/win for consumers.

I would hardly consider such a valuable service administered by the BBB, at no cost to consumers, worthless.

The Secretary of State can be a valuable resource in dealing with incorporated businesses. Is the OP's Contractor a corporation?

The BBB really came through for me in my Dispute with DELL computer.

DELL was giving me the run around when I asked that my written warranty be honored for on-site service. I filed a complaint with my local BBB and Dell contacted me, asked how they could help and replaced my computer... Sure I could have taken DELL to court, but contacting the BBB was much easier, extremely fast and with no out of pocket expense.
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