FLORIDA WINDOW AND DOOR VS BBB SOUTHEAST FLORIA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Dear Florida Window and Door Customers:
As always, on behalf of our employees we would like to thank you for your support in regard to the lawsuit that we filed against the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean.
Candidly, I have been overwhelmed by the response from our customers, potential customers and other business owners not only in Florida, but across the nation that have been apprised of the lawsuit and contacted me directly.
One business owner even offered to come to Florida from Minneapolis, at his expense to help support our case, as his company too has been improperly evaluated and his business harmed by his local Better Business Bureau franchise.
Unfortunately as he and other business owners have stated, they simply do not have the financial resources to fight back. Which judging from my experience, is what the Better Business Bureau is counting on as they continue to harm tens of thousands of business owners, their employees and families across our country.
What we have learned in our deposition of a Customer Service Representative of the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean is that she was hired as one of 12 commissioned sales people offering prospective companies membership and BBB sponsorship for a fee.
After working in sales, she was then transferred to customer service where she evaluated companies and their respective complaint history. In her new job as a Customer Service Representative, she was given no formal training, no training manuals, and no oversight in evaluating a company or its performance. In fact in sworn testimony, she claimed that she based a company evaluation and whether a pattern of complaints existed on what she felt at that moment. Not on a BBB policy, not on a BBB procedure and not on a BBB analysis. Simply on her feelings of what she thought was right.
When asked if the size of the business, amount of customers dealt with, or sophistication of a business mattered, she simply said NO. When asked what constituted a pattern, her response was if a company had a complaint from twelve months ago and then a complaint was filed a year later, if those complaints were similar in nature that was a pattern. As a result of that specific pattern, a company grade would be lowered and she would issue an alert on the report. Again, with no formal training, no formal procedures, no formal guidelines and no opportunity for the company to respond.
In depositions of the Vice President of Operations, a person who has been with the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean for over 17 years. She admitted in sworn testimony that no operational handbook, procedure manual or other training information existed. Nor was there any formal process or way to audit a company’s size or the amount of customers they are in contact with. She even stated that she had no idea what factors went into a company evaluation or grade.
Please understand, that conceptually I believe that there is a place for the Better Business Bureau in every community. I believe that the Better Business Bureau has an obligation to protect the consumer against businesses that do not do things properly or satisfy customer complaints.
The Better Business Bureau must perform this function with formal policies and procedures that highly trained staff members at every Better Business Bureau franchise must adhere to. These evaluations of companies must be based on industry standards and geographic locations that guide consumers to an accurate evaluation of a company and complexity of a business.
How for example, can the Better Business Bureau use the same informal criteria to evaluate our business to another business that makes hamburgers or another business that manufactures complex medical equipment? Should we really all be evaluated using the same matrix, with such drastically different business operations and products?
I am confident that I speak for all business owners’ in that it would be our primary goal in business to satisfy each and every customer we come in contact with. In our case, having dealt with thousands of customers over 36 months; we had 36 who had a problem or issue with our services. In each case the complaint was resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer and without Better Business Bureau assistance. Is that not what any consumer or the Better Business Bureau would expect out of a company? Can a large company or any company really have 100% satisfaction without a product defect?
Unfortunately, as evidenced thus far, our local Better Business Bureau franchise is a fee based organization which offers no formal process, nor formal training to properly advise and train its staff on how to accurately evaluate a company and its respective profile. In response to this lack of process and procedures; we have been forced to file a lawsuit against this BBB franchise to protect the interests and reputation of our business.
The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean has simply betrayed the public trust that consumers and businesses would expect and have come to rely on from their local Better Business Bureau franchise.
Again, we thank you for your support and will continue to update you as to the progress with our lawsuit as it progresses.