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Author Topic: Start by Asking Their Local BBB  (Read 2403 times)

Posts: 3018

« on: August 12, 2009, 07:50:38 AM »

Hard for me to understand the glowing reviews a few hams give to terrible businesses.

At least one touted company has an "F" Better Business Bureau rating. BBB is, by no means, perfect. But from my long experience, a company has to be truly dreadful, and often out of business already, to get the lowest rating.

Several ham suppliers are rated "A" including R&L and Gigaparts. "B" rated firms are often superb but haven't supplied the BBB with recent info. "B" is a sort of default rating I think. I'd be leery of any "C" company or below.

You'll see a few A+ ratings but mostly that means the firm has a good record and is a BBB member which in many fields is a waste of business funds. ($300 to $1,000 per year for small members!) There is an element of extortion in factoring membership payment into the rating system.

Posts: 21764

« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 02:24:56 PM »

Businesses that thrive and grow are usually the ones that bend over backwards to delight customers, no matter what.

MFJ goes the extra mile with their "no questions asked, no matter what" warranty.  If you buy a product and simply don't like it, you can return it for a refund.

It's a very good policy.  I doubt one in a hundred actually returns anything.


Posts: 21764

« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 04:56:02 PM »

>RE: Start by Asking Their Local BBB  Reply  
by WA8MEA on August 12, 2009  Mail this to a friend!  
***MFJ goes the extra mile with their "no questions asked, no matter what" warranty.***
How long is that warranty good for? (It's one year.)<

::I'd make it a hell of a lot shorter than one year (the "no questions asked" part, anyway) -- if someone has "buyer's remorse" and decides they did not want the item just because, or they couldn't afford it, or they don't like the way it looks, a decision like that can be made within a few days.  But it's a great policy as it allows customers a potential, brief, test drive of a product without obligation.

>So what do you do with the hams/swl's who want to return stuff FOUR YEARS LATER...for a full refund? (It does happen and more often than you think....)<

::That's unreasonable.  Although there are retail stores that succeed well with a "no sale is ever final" policy, where a customer can return anything, any time.  Such stores include Nordstrom's, Saks Fifth Avenue and several other high end retail outlets.  I wouldn't include "ham equipment" in such a liberal policy, there isn't enough margin.  

>Or what about the guy who buys a new Sangean receiver, leaves it in the sun to melt and then sends it back for a full refund?<

::I doubt he gets a full refund.  That's a warranty return which should require an RMA, proof of purchase, etc.  And since Sangean is a manufacturer, I'd leave it up to them if they want to accept such a return or not: Not the distributor.

>What about the person who returns an antenna in a manila envelope WITHOUT any padding and it arrives totally crushed and unusable? (Of course, they didn't insure it....)<

::I'd take a photograph of its received condition and offer to send it back to them as it was received.

>And by the way....MFJ gets its money back by re-packaging the stuff as new and then re-distributes it. Is that right?<

::Could be, I don't know.  I don't work for MFJ.  But it is a nice policy.  Ten Tec allows users a "test drive" as well, where you can buy the gear and use it; if you don't like it, return it for full credit (within a short time period -- 30 days?  I forgot, but it's still a good policy).

My point was that users buying stuff "sight unseen" really have no idea what they're buying and might be very surprised to find the merchandise isn't anything close to what they pictured.  They should be entitled to return it in merchantable condition, within a reasonable time period (maybe 10 to 30 days) for a refund minus shipping costs, simply because they made a mistake.

We sell $100,000 systems and have a policy like that.  It's what makes or breaks a company in our particular trade, because not everyone in the world can fly into Hollywood for a demo.


Posts: 3018

« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2009, 05:53:15 PM »

Enter the name of a business to check out its BBB rating. A money back guarantee (except for defective goods) isn't required to get a good report.

The worst reports are mainly the result of firms ignoring customer complaints and the BBB inquiries about those complaints.

Posts: 5

« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 09:11:54 AM »

bbb rating means nothing. They can't do anything to a business except in your eye and any business that joins them is wasting time and money. It doesn't give you any better customer service. Honestly I have felt for many years that it's all a scam to collect money from these businesses. Anyone can say anything they want either online or on their stuff about a business.

Posts: 3018

« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 10:12:15 AM »

You are ALMOST totally correct.

Thru the 90s BBB were a dying remnant of small town America. Membership was falling. Local BBBs are franchises. Quality varies and most were in a survivor mode with most dues going to pay employees. BBBs were too small to tackle large, tough corporate scams. Furthermore they were giving A ratings to some of the sleaziest businesses who used their good rating to aid their scams.

Things have improved with the BBB Online Reliability Program (which is quite costly to buy into).

While high ratings can mean little, most firms with C's or less have serious problems, in my opinion. Like I said, you mainly get a bad rating by not responding to complaints from customers or the BBB.

Posts: 106

« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2010, 09:01:42 PM »

not having worked for the better business bureau let me say that my experience with them is a bad joke and a waste of time. the only reason they are still in business is because they take their sponsors money , just like  their clients take your money.  My bad opinion is reflected in many business owners opinion of them also .
The only time I got any action out of them was for a Comcast modem that Comcast turned around and billed me for 6 months after discontinuing service. Someone finally sent me a return label to send to THEM at BBB for an rma credit to my card. I have complained about movers and other people I have dealt with as a company myself .
Don't waste your time and don't use them for a recommendation.
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