Better Business Bureau worth it?

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
Occasionally I get contacted from the BBB with them wanting me to become accredited. Does anybody think this is worth it? Do people just go on Google, or Home Adviser, or Angie's list, and look for reviews? I am wondering if the BBB is going the way of yellow pages?


Well-Known Member
It is not that much money. I don't know if it is worth it or not. I've gotten more jobs from BBB than Angie's List, but fewer than from Home Adviser (I have my leads turned off all the time on HA...that was a waste of time and money). Annual fees for all 3 are similar ($300ish). All better investments than yellow pages in my opinion.

Part of the reason I keep it is that some clients think that rating is important. You can still be rated without paying... There is an App that makes it easy for customers to add a review/rating - maybe I should use that more, but I almost never do.

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Have them prove their value. How do they qualify themselves? There must be some way for them to show that people use their services to find contractors. Do this...ask everyone you know for a couple of days if they've ever called the BBB...for anything...anytime in their lives. I'll bet none.

Reminds me of an advertising scheme I used...that wasn't of any value.

A guy would make up plastic bags to hang on door knobs full of ads for local businesses. I was skeptical and he was confident. I asked him to qualify his confidence. He couldn't.

I offered him a deal. I told him that I would track every dollar of sales that I would get from his handbills...I offered the phony 10% discount. I would pay him for the ad...something like $300...out of the first jobs I sold. After paying him back I would keep the rest. His confidence left. He blathered about how he couldn't do that. My reply was that I was an honest and trustworthy arborist who could give him plenty of referrals. I never got paid until the work was completed. I was toying with him, I wasn't going to buy in anyway. I'd used another service like his the year before and only sold one small job, it was winter so not much treework being sold anyway. Not a good use of my advertising budget.

To me, the BBB went the way of the yellow pages many years ago.

Ask the BBB to back up their confidence with a trial membership. I bet they'll balk too.


Well-Known Member
Does anyone know where the 'Gonna call the Better Business Bureau' meme got started? From time to time you'll see an older person berating the waitstaff at a restaurant with, " I will call the Better Business Bureau on you!!!" Totally naive, I used to think it was like a government agency--something that had teeth. Nowadays they are just hustlers trying to get you into their online gated community for the low, low price of ____. When they call now I tell them I'm going to call the Better Business Bureau on them. Can they report themselves?


New Member
Haha, definitely not. The BBB is a joke, and fundamentally dishonest. They pose as a quasi government agency, and people who don't know any better believe them. The use of the term "bureau" is entirely misleading. They're a completely for-profit operation running a credibility scam as far as I'm concerned. "Pay us to become credible!".

Its not too unlike those ridiculous companies that offer contractors "best of the industry awards" for the low low price of 1000 dollars.

No one that I'd like to give any money too. I would be embarrassed to have their logo on my website or business card.

Home Advisor is similar. So many atrocious companies like them that act as lead generation services, mostly ripping off unsuspecting young business owners who believe the lies they tell you about how many leads you'll get through the service. Meanwhile they position themselves perfectly with SEO so Home Advisor, Yelp, etc. are ranked first in Google and other engines, funneling leads through their pay-to-play business model and beating out real company websites in organic searches.