Earlier this year, we wrote an investigative blog post
criticizing the BBB’s pay-to-play policies. Many of you (including the Today show
) were interested in our research.
A few months later, we received a nasty letter from the BBB threatening that they would freeze our accreditation if we didn’t take down the post. We wrote back asking for a discussion, stating that our research was objective and embodied the “integrity” that BBB purported to uphold.Finally, we got a response from them…in triplicate (email, snail mail, and certified mail). Our accreditation was suspended. Here’s the letter:
Ouch. It looks like if you say anything that the BBB deems “aversely affects (their) public image” you’re out. Not much of a fair system.Since launching that investigative post, we’ve had a lot of resonance with other small businesses who had similar concerns about the BBB. Heed this warning: it seems that any critique of the BBB will result in losing accreditation. For many small businesses, this would be terrible news, as consumers still see the BBB as an moral organization acting with their interests in mind.Having just recently received our “Accredited by the BBB!” plaque, we realized it had no use anymore, as the result of our sleuthing. We began brainstorming other ways we could use this now worthless piece of wood.1) Frisbee-
The plaque makes for a surprisingly nimble frisbee. 2) Dog Bowl-
FeeFighters’ resident ninja dog, Tuesday enjoyed using the plaque as a dog bowl.3) Heat-
As a last resort, we figured we could use the base materials of the plaque (wood) as a heat source to battle the cold Chicago winter.