BBB battles to keep good name

October 5, 2009 5:26:51 PM PDT
The Better Business Bureau is dedicated to making sure consumers get a fair shake, but the agency is battling to keep its good name. The Better Business Bureau has one of the most recognizable logos around and when you see it, chances are you feel pretty good about the company displaying the logo. But even the BBB says looks can be deceiving.

The BBB logo inspires confidence in just about everyone.

"I think maybe if they are with the BBB they have better quality and are insured," said Claire Chang.

There are about 9,000 area companies on the rolls of the Houston Better Business Bureau and most act responsibly. However, even the BBB says you have to check out anyone claiming to be a member because non-members are using the logo too.

"There are companies out there that use logos like the Better Business Bureau or government agencies to gain consumers trust in a company. It's a way for them to gain a consumer's trust and make money and find new customers," said Monica Russo of the Houston BBB.

She says they see fake BBB logos showing up in ads and on websites nearly every day. According to the agency, any company using the logo in a local ad must be members locally if they don't have a national membership.

Russo says even if you see a BBB logo, don't assume everything is fine. Check the BBB website to see if the company is in fact a member and in good standing.

"Double check with the BBB, with the local BBB to verify the company is indeed an accredited business," said Russo. "It's very easy, it's free and it only takes a couple seconds to do."

When a business is part of the BBB, the agency can intervene to get a resolution. When they are not members, the BBB can try to help, but has little muscle behind them.

If you want to check out a company, we have a link to the Houston Better Business Bureau here.

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