Sunday, January 19, 2014

Letter to the New President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anglen, Robert  
Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Subject: Story on camelback consign
To: Glenn Michaels 

Story is in today's paper. Your blog is mentioned prominently in the story. Thanks for all of your help. Here is a link:



Updated: 3/23/14

For more details, see the blog posts listed at the bottom of this page. 


Mary E. Power, President & CEO
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
3033 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 600
Arlington, VA  22201-3843

RE: NR Rating

Honorable President,

I apologize for this personal appeal so soon after your recent appointment. I well understand that your agenda is already packed.

However, I believe the following warrants immediate attention as it goes directly to BBB credibility.

The crux of the issue is this, copied from a Council of BBB letter to me, just received:

The firm I complained to the BBB about was assigned an NR rating on 11/19. Today, interested parties still can’t view past consumer reports about this firm previously available through the BBB website. This doesn’t correspond to the promise incorporated in the BBB’s Mission Statement. “BBB is the resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses.”

In short, valuable reference information about firms in non-compliance with BBB standards is automatically withheld from the public for an indeterminate amount of time. Further, the NR rating isn’t accompanied by a clear explanation of its meaning to the viewer. See below:

The unintended result is that while firms with an NR rating are able to continue doing business, consumers are deprived of the invaluable resource that a BBB Business Review would otherwise represent.

The well-being of a great many people depends on the keywords - honesty, integrity and trust -that feature so prominently in the BBB’s Mission description. Individuals disinterested in ethical (business) behavior will surely take quick and full advantage of the opportunities afforded them in the absence of oversight and enforcement. 

I know it. You know it. The owners of NR rated firms know it. The only folks yet to catch on are the ones most likely to become the next victims of unethical behavior.

To make matters worse, from my perspective, the January 14, 2014, BBB letter authored by Marissa May, Manager of Dispute Resolution Services, contains this noteworthy paragraph, as well.

Such a statement does no credit to the reputation of the BBB. Ms. May apparently believes that the BBB either shouldn’t divulge the reasons for the policy I question or that I am incapable of understanding them. She certainly makes no effort to clarify the policy.

I dare say that Ms. May, on this day, wasn’t feeling quite in tune with the BBB Mission Statement, which includes the following assertions:

  • We provide educational information and expert advice that is free of charge and easily accessible.”
  • “BBB is the resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses.”
  • Be accountable to the general public, our members, and to each other for everything we do.”
The public needs a source of information it can trust. And right now, based on my experience, it appears that source will not be the BBB.

Please forward this to those colleagues and senior managers in your organization who might be able to respond appropriately to the issues described.

Sincerely yours,

Glenn S. Michaels
706 W. Palm Lane
Phoenix, AZ  85007

Case #: 9755161

Complaint ID: 8077370

Mike Burns wasn't born yesterday. He wasn't born on the Fourth of July, either. NOPE. Mike Burns was born on 9/11 in 1952. 
He was destined. 
Don't forget to tip a hat to Ms. Indispensable, Vera Manuz, either. Where would Mike be without her?

I don't know if the truth will set you free. But fuss loud enough with a big 'nough bunch a friends and I swear folks 'll do near anything to get you to shut up. Fast as they can. 

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