Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced today that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has agreed to his demands that it stop awarding rating points for dues and make other changes to its rating system.
Blumenthal expressed continued concern that the BBB lacks sufficient resources to verify information used for its ratings.
“I am pleased that the BBB is heeding my call to sever ratings from dues -- but more needs to be done,” Blumenthal said. “Pay-to-play -- or its perception -- is unacceptable and unconscionable, as the BBB has rightly recognized. Cash can no longer inflate BBB ratings, as happened under the old system.
“While I applaud this significant step, I remain troubled by the BBB’s rating system. The BBB lacks the resources to verify much information used to rate, rendering its ratings unreliable and suspect. The BBB cannot rely on the word of businesses about licenses, state laws or other information; objective and independent confirmation is vital to accurate ratings. At the very least, the BBB has an ethical -- and perhaps legal -- obligation to clearly and prominently inform consumers of the severe and significant limitations of its rating system.
“I will continue working with the BBB to help assure its rating system is consistent, factual and fair.
“The BBB has a long and laudable history of consumer advocacy, and has partnered with my office on many occasions to fight scams. I look forward to continuing our work together in fighting for consumer and business interests.”