a ballet dancer sent me this article about the BBB which I found fascinating..have you ever tried in vain to rat on a business that sucked, like the News-Press, for example? The natural inclination would be to call the Better Business Bureau, right? not so fast...remember America? mom, baseball and apple pie...well, mom's a whore, the apple pie has worms, and now the non-profit BBB we learn..is corrupt!!
Is the Better Business Bureau a protection racket?
By Timothy Noah
If you want to check up on the bona fides of your plumber or your electrician, you contact your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau. Lately, though, news organizations have been questioning the BBB's own bona fides. The BBB's rating system, they say, is at best uninformed and at worst corrupt.
Until recently, the BBB had a reputation on par with motherhood and apple pie. The Better Business Bureau is a national network of local nonprofit groups that evolved during the early years of the 20th century to expose fraud—initially mainly patent medicines and stock swindles—in America's burgeoning advertising industry. From the start businesses were encouraged to join, but the imperative was that honest businesses had an interest in cracking down on dishonest practices that gave unscrupulous competitors an unfair advantage.
Until the 1950s member businesses weren't permitted to publicize their BBB membership; BBB ratings ("satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" and then, starting in 2009, letter grades) came later still. The BBBs recognized that such publicity might corrupt businesses into using their membership fees to bribe local BBBs. Worse still, it might corrupt local BBBs into using membership fees to shake down businesses, effectively turning the BBB into a protection racket.
That's not far from what has happened, according to a January 2009 article by David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times and a November 2010 story by Brian Ross of ABC News' 20/20.
Most hilariously, Ross reported (as The Big Money's Mitchell had earlier) that a man who goes by the pseudonym "Jimmie Rivers," says he's a former CBS affiliate news director, and runs a blog devoted to lacerating the BBB teamed up with some buddies to pay $425 to register Hamas with the Southern California chapter of the BBB. The terrorist group got an A-minus. For the same price, "Johnnie" scored an A-plus for the white supremacist Web site Stormfront, registering it under the name "Aryan Whitney." Cox replied, "We made mistakes."
mistakes?? is nothing sacred anymore??