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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May 21, 2010

What Do You Really Know About Google?

Filed under: Google — Clark @ 9:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m passing along this information – it is not my original info but it does pertain to consumer rights and protection so I think it is worth sharing.

Find articles such as:

Is history repeating itself with Google antitrust saga?

Consumer Watchdog Says FTC’s Google-AdMob Decision Will Hurt Consumers

Latest Facebook privacy intrusion touches Google

Latest Facebook privacy intrusion touches Google

and more on Inside Google, a new watchdog site with a focus on keeping an eye on Google – the internet giant.

They post articles about things going on with Google and provide a place to file complaints.

Pass this along.  As always, we consumers do have the power if we just take the time and make the effort to exercise our power.  Together, we can hold companies accountable.

Have a great day!

——————————————————————————————–

Advertisement

Looking for business or consumer e-mail lists?  Be sure to check out the Better Business Bureau ratings of any company before sending them your money.  One company to avoid:  Datadepot.biz – rated F by the West Florida Better Business Bureau.

April 22, 2010

DataDepot.Biz E-Mail Lists May Not Be All They Are Advertised to Be

Stop!  Before you purchase that e-mail list from DataDepot.biz, you should know that you may well be buying a list comprised of duplicates and garbage.  You may think you’re paying for a list of some number of e-mail addresses based on what is advertised but, beware, you may have a lot of entries that are merely variations of one e-mail address.  One example provided to this author by one who was duped by DataDepot.biz is:

[name]@seven_eleven.com
[name]@seveneleven.com
[name]@7-eleven.com
[name]@seven-eleven.com
[name]@sevenelevens.com
[names]@seven-eleven.com

(the actual name in the example above has been replaced with “[name]” to protect the person’s privacy).

As you can see, you are not really getting 6 different e-mail contacts although, you may be paying for 6.  Do you suppose datadepot.biz will allow you to see the file before giving them your money?  Don’t bet on it.  But, here is something you can bet on – once you have given them your money and find you are not satisfied with what you receive, they will not do anything about it and, most likely, will just tell you that you agreed to their terms that state all sales are final.

Once you’ve reached this point, you have just joined the ranks of many others who have made the mistake of doing business with this company who, by the way, is the proud owner of an F rating with the West Florida Better Business Bureau.

If you are looking for an e-mail list supplier, I suggest you keep looking and stay away from datadepot.biz.

April 7, 2010

Don’t Give Up the Fight

If you have been ripped off or experience really bad customer service such as my well-documented troubles with DataDepot.biz and feel there is nothing you can do…don’t quit.  There are many things you can do.

Perhaps you feel filing complaints is a waste of time and, in the short term, it may be.  You may not get the resolution you want but, if you quit the fight while there are still options available, you have done exactly what companies such as the F-rated DataDepot want you to do. 

Filing complaints at the very least creates a record that law enforcement agencies utilize.  This record also provides information to consumers who are checking out the company before doing business with it.  Your time filing the complaints and documented the company’s poor customer service or scams is going to help someone else avoid that company and, in time, may end up helping to bring government action against that company.

Here are things you should do whenever you have been the victim of a poor company:

  • Save all e-mails, letters, etc. related to your complaint.  This is crucial for supporting your facts.
  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau serving the area where the company is located.  This may or may not motivate the company to do the right thing but it creates a public record and impacts the company’s rating with the BBB.
  • File a complaint with the County Attorney General’s office where the company is located.
  • File a complaint with the State’s Attorney General’s office where the company is located.
  • File a complaint with the FTC.
  • File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Center.
  • Tell your story on every blog, forum and site you can find (do an internet search for “complaints” and you’ll find a long list of places).
  • Share your posts using the “share this blog” or “share this post” button available on most sites.  You can then publish your post on Stumble, Digg, etc.

Why is posting to complaint sites and blogs important?  When someone does an internet search for the company, they will also see the complaint sites referencing the company.

Again, your efforts may not result in the desired outcome for your specific situation; however, you will help steer others away from that company by taking the time to tell your story.  Remember, always stick to the facts that you can support and remain professional.  These points are keys to your credibility.

Finally, depending on how much time you are willing to spend, post messages inviting others who have had problems with the same company to contact you.  You may find enough people to begin a class-action suit.

I encourage everyone who has experienced scams, poor customer service or otherwise just bad business dealings to take the time to make your story heard.  If we consumers fail to act, these bad companies will continue to escape accountability. 

Good luck.

– Clark

March 27, 2010

Data Depot Uses Multiple Names

Filed under: Data Depot — Clark @ 7:03 am
Tags: , , ,

You may have read my posts regarding the unscrupulous methods of DataDepot.biz.  Perhaps you read some of the numerous complaints against them by others.  If you looked only at the name datadepot.biz, you may have missed some.   According to the BBB (with whom Data Depot has an F rating), they also can be found under the names www.b2bdata.org, www.email-list.com and In Touch Media, LLC.

Be sure to check them out uses all of their names. 

Stay safe on the internet and certainly stay away from this company.

Until next time…

March 26, 2010

Complaints Against Data Depot.Biz Continue

Filed under: Data Depot — Clark @ 10:34 pm
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Yet another complaint by a customer who was ripped off by DataDepot.biz.  Follow this link to read Gina’s complaint.

January 8, 2010

Made in the USA – Again

Filed under: General Information — Clark @ 4:46 am
Tags: ,

One grasshoper on the railroad tracks won’t slow a train very much but a billion of them would.  With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American .

One light bulb at a time . . [this was copied from an e-mail I received from a lady]…

[Add-on from another e-mail recipient]…I was in Lowes the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there . They were made in USA . Start looking.  In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else – even their job . So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track . Let’s get behind her!

“My grandson likes Hershey’s candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now . I do not buy it any more . My favorite toothpaste, Colgate, is made in Mexico now.   I have switched to Crest . You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets . I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats – they were the same except for the price . The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in – get ready for this – the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio .

So, throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here.

So on to another aisle – Bounce Dryer Sheets . . … yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA – the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!”

[If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others via e-mail, sharing bookmarks or telling them about this post so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies!]

“(We should have awakened a decade ago).
 
Let’s get with the program . . . . help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the U . S . A.”

Our textile industry, steel industry and now our auto industry are dying in our country as we continue to send our dollars to China, Mexico and Canada (among others).  This lady is correct, American made goods can be found at competitive prices and, generally, at comparable or better quality.  Saving a few pennies because something can be made overseas at low-paying sweat shops is costing our economy and, therefore, each of us, much more in the long run.  We are seeing our wages drop, increases in unemployment and solid manufacturing jobs being lost by the hundreds or thousands.  Entire cities are hurting because we have lost our pride in “Made in America.”  Yes, many of our businesses need to also re-think the way they manage and get to a point where they realize and/or remember that it is the American consumer and worker that makes them prosper.

January 4, 2010

Stop Giving Them Your Money…Throw Them Out!

Filed under: Congress,General Information — Clark @ 5:08 pm
Tags: ,

Even if you aren’t a sports fan this is very interesting!

                                                                                                          

  • 36 have been accused of spousal abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 … repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21currently are defendants in lawsuits, And
  • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving
    In the last year

Can you guess which organization this is?

NBA Or NFL?

Give up yet?

Scroll down…

Neither, it’s the 535 members of the United States Congress! 

The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.  The same group that wants to give us healthcare reform that they themselves won’t have to live with. 

You gotta pass this one on!

November 16, 2009

Consumer Action is Now Here for You

Welcome to the Consumer Action Blog.  The purpose of this site is to provide a place for consumers to voice their legitimate, factual complaints about businesses (including government) that just don’t act right.  Please read the terms and conditions before getting involved.  This is a call to action, not just a gripe site!!  Together, we can make a positive difference in our country so, please join me in our push to return sanity and decency to our business world.

To post your problem/conflict and seek Consumer Action help, first read the terms and conditions then post a comment with your complaint/issue.  The administrator will review your post and either approve it, return it with modifications or questions or deny/delete it.

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