Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The New Online Better Business Bureau

Am I the only one who noticed that the BBB, the Better Business Bureau, has just made a dramatic shift in online policy?

Previously, the BBB has a BBBOnline logo that looked good and helped us look credible. 

I recently got a call from the BBB that they were obsoleting the old logo and I had to switch to a new one.  Oddly, although it's an important trademark and logo, it comes with no guidance on its usage such as whether  we can change the size or color to make it work better on the page. 

More interesting, I just clicked on it and it turns out that there is an entire review program built into the system. A sort of Angie's-list-or-Ebay-rating&review-the-site program with all sorts of opportunities for competitors to do damage and for people on my side to generate positive reviews.  So they are a late-comer to the user-generated content party.

Is this well done? Anybody have experience with it? Do they have any idea what they're doing? I  wasn't told anything about this new review system that I was putting a link up to from my website by them but in terms of truth in advertising, it's a pathetic effort. I've noticed that the BBB has cycled through several online programs in the five years that I've been in business. They had a kid safe program and logo and a privacy seal and logo both of which were obsoleted two years ago. When I joined, I had to first join a local group which cost a few hundred dollars just so I could then join the online group which cost another few hundred dollars. Now, that program is being obsoleted for this new one called Trustlink.

The BBB  told me it was a different logo, they didn't say that it was a different program with reviews that anyone could post which were now linked to from my site!  I'd like to see them off the web since they just don't seem to have any idea how to behave or what to do.

Anyone know a good alternative for online use with decent credibility?Maybe I'll drop them.

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