Kodak Moments: Kodak Quits Council of Better Business Bureaus Rather Than Face Expulsion

Kodak resigned from the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB,) rather than face expulsion for their refusal to respond to complaints lodged by spurned customers.

Kodak was advised it could contest the termination but chose instead to resign its national membership in early March. The photography company allowed its membership in the Buffalo-based branch to lapse about five years ago.

“The presence of a third-party organization between Kodak and our customers is bureaucratic and unproductive,” it added. “In fact, Kodak’s customer service and customer privacy teams concluded that 99 percent of all complaints forwarded by the BBB had already been handled directly with the customer.

That is how it’s supposed to work. Customers contact Kodak, get an unsatisfactory response, and then contact the BBB. Just because you “handled” a situation does not mean you handled it well.

To Kodak’s credit, the upstate New York BBB only received 183 complaints over the past three years, which is notable for a company of Kodak’s size. It also makes Kodak’s refusal to respond to those complaints more puzzling.

We might agree with Kodak’s actions if they made their customer interactions public and transparent. Because Kodak, like most companies, refuses to do so, we rely on the BBB to independently evaluate their customer service. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Kodak Leaves Better Business Bureau [Forbes] (Thanks to Sheila!)
(Photo: LiveU4)


Edit Your Comment

  1. asherchang says:

    how the hell was that picture made?

  2. ptkdude says:

    @asherchang: Let’s hope it wasn’t with a Kodak camera!

    Seriously, though, with Kodak doing things like this, it’s amazing they can’t figure out why they are outsold by so many other companies (in both stock film and camera equipment).

  3. arkisman says:

    I don’t care much about this article… but that is one of the greatest and funniest pictures I’ve seen in a while.

    Anyone have some information on this pic?

  4. Bourque77 says:

    So Kodak was getting kicked out of the council of bbb. What of the 183 complaints? I assume the bbb did nothing like usual? I mean so kodak left, what does it really mean for their customers?

  5. snowpuff says:

    Actually, the BBB is far less effective than most people believe – a company simply needs to reply to a complaint to receive a satisfactory rating. The company can respond with the most ludicrous explanation or simply, well, lie and the BBB is happy.

    For example, PayPal, one of the worst companies for customer service known to mankind, has a satisfactory rating with the BBB. Once a company meets with the BBB and whispers sweet nothings in their ear (and becomes a member) the BBB is very happy with explanations like “customer is not aware of our terms of service.” The BBB will not actually take the time to determine if a company response is credible. They actually don’t even have the resources to do that. They have also created enough “categories” of responses that almost anything is considered satisfactory.

    About the only way to get a unsatisfactory rating from the BBB is to ignore them… getting the big picture now?

  6. triple says:

    so what the hell do people complain about to kodak anyways?

    “dear kodak, i was stupid and wasted your film because my subject was backlit. if you dont refund me for my own stupidity ill report you..”

  7. ErikinPA says:

    The BBB really is for consumers who aren’t sure concerning a company’s reliability, etc.
    I don’t expect to see many consumers checking the BBB for KODAK.
    Only time I’ve looked at the BBB was before I made a purchase from a small company with which I had no experience dealing.

  8. valthun says:

    The BBB is probably the biggest scam to companies ever. I work for a company that is deciding on whether or not to ignore all complaints or not. At the moment we have a number of unanswered complaints and an F rating. We were told that if we simply answer all the the complaints, then rebut the customers rebuttal we should have a B rating. That score is based on a computer algorithm and not based on what the actual answer is. In order to get an A rating we must pay 1500 dollars a year so that the BBB can tell the customer exactly what we would already say.

    I applaud Kodak for not wasting any more money on the BBB. They can still respond to the questions if they want, but they shouldn’t have to pay a useless fee to get an A.

  9. Dustbunny says:


    I don’t know about this particular pic, but do a Google Image search for “squirrel with camera” and see what pops up…some really funny photos : )

  10. szepherd says:

    Aside from selling disposable cameras and film, Kodak also does film processing for a number of retail companies. Most any retail pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, etc…) has Kodak process at least some of their send-out film (as opposed to the film those stores process in their own photo labs).

    Having worked as a store manager for said retail pharmacies, I can say that Kodak’s customer service does indeed suck. I wouldn’t say that it’s LIKELY a roll of film will get lost if Kodak processes it, but if it does get lost then good luck getting someone at Kodak to do anything about it. This is because:

    1) If you look at the fine print on any of the Kodak envelopes you drop off film in, there’s usually something to the effect that by dropping it off you absolve them of liability if it gets lost.

    2) They know it’s not them the customer will be getting pissed off at – it’s the company they dropped the film off with that will have to deal with the customer. This is made even worse by their terrible CSRs. First-level CSRs are rarely able to help you with any issue more complicated then checking the status of an order, and only rarely are you able to actually speak to a second-level CSR (a ‘supervisor’). Usually you wind up leaving a voicemail and crossing your fingers that they actually call you back.

    My advice is to always use the in-store film processing. It’s faster, it’s cheaper (At least at my chain), and if they lose your film there’s an actual person who’s accountable that you can yell at.

    Or just buy a digital camera and avoid film processing altogether.

    (First time commenter, sorry if this is double-posted)

  11. OnoSideboard says:

    The picture would be better if we could assess the size of the subjects balls.

  12. OnoSideboard says:

    Here’s the (apparent) source of the picture: http://photographingsquirrels.com

    I don’t know what to make of the website, but I’m bookmarking it.

  13. mathew says:

    Scott Alan Johnson also posts his photos to Flickr.


    Gray squirrels in urban parks are very curious and fearless animals, you pretty much set up the camera, sit there with another camera, and wait for them to come over and see what the strange object is.

  14. @mathew, @OnoSideboard: As a fan of squirrels, I saved that amazing photo a long time ago when I saw it on a different site with no copyright notice. Since it is listed on both Flickr and Scott Alan Johnson’s website as “all rights reserved,” it has been removed from the post and replaced with a different photo.

  15. Havok154 says:

    Noooooooo! Squirrely!

  16. grouse says:

    I can’t believe y’all have started again with the copyright violations. If it was produced after 1 March 1989, there is no need for a copyright notice in the U.S. It is still under copyright protection.

  17. acambras says:

    Bummer — I really liked the squirrel photo.

  18. axiomatic says:

    Face Expulsion – What is about to happen to the photographer in this picture when he gets “expulsed” in the face with that tennis racket. ;-)

  19. randyfeldman says:

    I need to send an EECB to Kodak management and I need the email addresses of their executives (I can also use phone numbers). I have not been able to track down any information on them online.