After seeing our story from yesterday about a DirecTV subscriber misled into believing he was signing an 18-month contract, the folks at the Better Business Bureau sent us their recent research on the complaints they’ve received about DirecTV, Dish Network and other satellite providers.
better business bureau
The Better Busines Bureau warns against flim-flam folks who pretend to sell cars, posing with websites with syntax close to the names of reputable dealers. These guys aim to take you for a ride all right.
The BBB put out an alert warning consumers against falling for “test & keep” iPad scams that ask suckers to give them their email addresses and passwords. While anyone dumb enough to fall for such a ruse almost deserves to be victimized, the advice is worth a look, if only to chuckle at examples of the wild scams criminals concoct.
People stood up for themselves and went to the Business Bureau 10 percent more often in 2009 than they did in 2008, according to BBB’s figures, which also say complainers focused their ire on cell phone companies and banks.
What can you do if you’re too small to have a shot in our Worst Company In America contest, but too awful to not earn some sort of notoriety? Well, you can get your BBB membership revoked and earn a big fat F ranking. It’s no golden poo, but it’s a start.
The Better Business Bureau warns job-hunters and other money-seekers that no, you can’t earn massive amounts of money through secretive Twitter tricks.
We know how it is. As soon as a big star dies, you feel the immediate urge to buy his old stage-used sweat rag on Craigslist.
See this gift card, the one that says “GIFT CARD” in big letters? Ticketmaster insists it’s really a “Discount Card,” and thus, not covered by the California law preventing gift cards from expiring.
Call your grandma: the BBB reports a big mailing of Publisher’s Clearing house scam letters went out on March 6th and March 20th, promising people big bucks in exchange for a hefty up-front fee. The fraudulent letters use the name Publisher’s Clearing House and Reader’s Digest but are sent by flim-flammers, not these organizations.The prize never materializes and the scammers dematerialize after you stop forking over bogus processing fees. One grandma, thinking she won $1 million, got taken for over $4,000. The fraudsters sent her a “downpayment” check of $6,000 and told to deposit it and send $3,700 of it elsewhere to claim her million-dollar-prize. Inside, what the scam letter and check look like so you know what to call your grandma and tell her to watch out for.
Rob bought a monitor from Dell. Not just any monitor, a defective one. Ok, he didn’t specifically request it to come defective, but that’s how it did. So did its replacement. “The backlight was flickering constantly and it made me feel nauseous just looking at it,” writes Rob. He’s returned the monitors but Dell has yet to give him back his money. Every time he calls, they tell him it will be just 7-10 days more and that he paid with two credit cards is complicating things. So far it’s been 45 days.
Robo-scammers are ringing up consumers and pretending to the Better Business Bureau, saying, “We’re from BBB – Because of bailout, we can offer you a low-rate credit card.” In this iteration, we see several three common scam characteristics combined: *Unexpected communication * Automated communication * Mention of topical event * Use of recognizable institution’s name * Money-saving opportunity. Investigators were unable to tell the exact nature of the scam. It could be been to steal your account numbers, or it might have just been a marketing affiliate’s sleazy way of generating leads for a credit card company trying to get people to transfer their balances. Complaints have been received about the scam at a BBBs serving Washington, West Oregon and Northern Idaho, as well as Midland,Texas.
Scammers love to tap into national trends to put a new face on an old scam, and the “Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Equity Prize Draw” scam spotted by the Louisville, KY BBB is no exception.
A reader sent us the contents of a Better Business Bureau complaint filed against Taco Bell. It describes how a customer tried repeatedly to find out what grade beef Taco Bell uses in its food, and how nobody at the company was able or willing to provide an answer. Not surprisingly, the BBB complaint also went unanswered. Let’s just hope they’re not sourcing their beef from forklift cattle, which is like downer cattle but has odd prong-shaped bruises on the side.
Bookmark this: MSNBC has a nice interactive map you can click to find your state Attorney General and/or Better Business Bureau. If a company is being really bad, it’s important to file an official complaint so it’s on the record. If a company gets enough complaints, it can move an AG’s office to investigate. The BBB will sometimes open a hearing in the event of a dispute, and your complaint goes into a publicly searchable database, although the anecdotal evidence supplied by our readers doesn’t paint a very encouraging picture of their dispute resolution process.
Tiny Details is a work-at-home company that pays hobbyists to make little dollhousey things. You buy the materials from Tiny Details for $55, make the assigned object(s), and Tiny Details buys them back. Unfortunately, many customers have complained about problems getting payments or refunds from the company over the years—here’s their less-than-stellar BBB entry. Yesterday Kristopher Buchan, the owner of Tiny Details, emailed one former customer/client to tell him his complaints amounted to libel. Buchan demanded the customer remove them from teh interweb, and threatened him repeatedly with a lawsuit. And now we’re posting about it on The Consumerist! See how that works, Tiny Details?