Consumer Action

June 9, 2010

Checking Better Business Bureau Reports. What to Look For.

A member of a networking site where I sometimes post asked if there were any good internet companies offering mailing lists, e-mail list, etc.  At the time of the question, I had knowledge of two companies:  Data Depot (www.datadepot.biz) and Info Group, Inc. (www.infogroup.com).  As I have mentioned many times, datadepot.biz is not accredited with the BBB and has an F rating.  Info Group, Inc. is accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating.

What does this mean?  According to the BBB website, “If a business has been accredited by BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.  BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business’ products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business’ product quality or competency in performing services.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

Ratings are determined by a number of factors including how complaints are handled by the company.  The BBB website states, “BBB assigns grades from A to F with pluses and minuses. A+ is the highest grade and F is the lowest. The grade represents BBB’s degree of confidence that the business is operating in a trustworthy manner and will make a good faith effort to resolve any customer concerns filled with BBB.

Here is a partial list of companies offering these services along with their BBB rating and accreditation status. 

  • Info Group, Inc. (www.infogroup.com).  Accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating.  Approximately 37 complaints closed by the BBB over the past 3 years with 10 of those in the past year.
  • LeadsPlease.com (www.leadsplease.com).  Accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating.  This company has not had any consumer complaints in the past 3 years.
  • Constant Contact, Inc. (www.constantcontact.com).  Accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating.  This company has had 19 complaints over the past 3 years with 4 of those occurring in the past 12 months.
  • List Giant (www.listgiant.com).  This is a Gold Coast Partners business.  Gold Coast Partners is not accredited with the BBB and has a D rating.  This company has 1 complaint over the past 3 years that was unanswered by the company.  Also operates under the name Universal Lists.
  • Data Depot (www.datadepot.biz).  Data Depot is not accredited with the BBB and has an F rating.  DataDepot.biz has had 56 complaints closed by the BBB in the past 3 years with 50 of those ocurring in the past year.  Company is also known as In Touch Media, LLC and operates additional websites www.b2bdata.org and www.email-list.com

Each of the respective BBB sites provides additional information about these companies.  It is a good place to start your research before giving any company, especially on the internet, your money.

BBB reports provide a great starting point to determine what type of company you may be dealing with. 

Hope this helps at least one consumer avoid a bad mistake such as the one I made when I stupidly engaged DataDepot.biz to provide mailing lists.

Let me know if you know of any other company that deserves mention, whether good or bad.

Thanks.

Clark

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