BBB of Southern Florida and the Caribbean

In 2001 Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown alerted Congress and the General Public about the BBB’s wrong doing.
Click here for the Original Congressional Record E1550

E1550 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD – Extensions of Remarks August 3, 2001

Thursday, August 2, 2001

Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker and fellow Members of Congress, I want to alert you to a matter of concern that I have regarding business owners and their employees, particularly small business owners, within our country.
This problem has been told to me by some of my constituents and is a problem about which business owners throughout the country have written to you.
We are a nation that is built upon the rule of law.
This has assured a system of accountability for our conduct as individuals, businesses and institutions.
Congress, as elected representatives, meets and acts to improve and refine the system in order to protect the people and their property.
The foundation as framed by our nation’s founders in the Constitution is the concept of due process and the right thereof. We each have the assurance that the law protects our person and property from libelous, slanderous, and otherwise tortuous interference with our reputation or business.
Unfortunately, I have learned that we have within our country a private organization that with the appearance of being quasi-governmental and without any legal or regulatory oversight and control can libel and slander and tortuously interfere with a small business.
They can do so with virtual immunity.
This organization is the National Better Business Bureau and their franchise local Better Business Bureaus.
At times, some of these bureaus classify small business owners as unsatisfactory, libel and slander them with opinion and innuendo, and provide them no due process to correct the problem.
If sued in court, they argue qualified immunity under the guise of the public good.
No one disputes the right of a Better Business Bureau to print facts. It is when they print falsehoods, opinion, or negative innuendo that a mechanism for redress or correction must be assured.
When closely examined, however, one finds that there are Better Business Bureaus that arbitrarily and capriciously exclude and negatively classify those they don’t like.
They also frequently rate companies with terrible records as being satisfactory.
No written guidelines or rules are available that require the Better Business Bureau to adhere to any legal standard in their dealings with business. (With the internet, the conduct of one local Better Business Bureau is then taken as true and disseminated everywhere.)
The Better Business Bureaus also charge money for these reports.
They make money without responsibility for how they make it.
Why are they above the law and other businesses?
On a first-hand basis, I recently inquired of the National Better Business Bureau regarding the process and I was met with hostility and rebuke.
Prominent members of my community who tried to ascertain information about how to redress a concern with a local Better Business Bureau were hung up on by senior ranking National Better Business Bureau employees.
The process I have described is not in the public’s best interest.
It is not appropriate for us to allow our business owners and their employees, the men and women who make our country strong, to be exposed to this arbitrary and capricious process.
A right to redress the actions of the Better Business Bureau when libelous, slanderous, arbitrary, or capricious action is apparent is a fundamental right we must insure.

Thank you.

2 Responses to BBB of Southern Florida and the Caribbean

  1. Reporter says:

    What The Better Business Bureau of Southern Florida and the Caribbean really does?
    Robert (Bob) Colmerauer is running the operation for William P. White (Brodie) and this is how it works:

    Stage 1:
    A well crafted website asks consumers to place their grievance with a business on line
    When a complaint is entered by a consumer the “game” begins

    Stage 2:
    The complaint is supposedly sent to the business by email
    Hopefully William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer web site has the business email and it is the correct email
    No verification that the business received the email and is aware about the complaint
    William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer don’t assume responsibility to verify that the business received the complaint
    The business has 14 days to respond to the complaint
    If the business doesn’t respond in the allocated time, its BBB Business Review is drastically shattered causing great damages to the business, especially to small businesses which do not posses a strong brand name recognition. This damage will be inflicted by William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer even if the business did not receive the complaint
    At this stage, Robert (Bob) Colmerauer doesn’t care if the company and the consumer already came to a satisfactory agreement and settled the complaint
    All that Robert (Bob) Colmerauer cares for at this stage is that their web site will receive a response from the business.

    Stage 3:
    The business entered its initial response, this response will be sent to the consumer for rebuttal.
    Robert (Bob) Colmerauer doesn’t care if the business and the consumer already came to a satisfactory agreement and settled the issue
    Robert (Bob) Colmerauer only cares at this stage that their web site will receive a second data entry from the consumer, such entry to be made within 14 days
    If for any reason such entry is not made , Robert (Bob) Colmerauer judges the complaint as “RESOLVED” and advertises such judgment on the business BBB Business Review
    Robert (Bob) Colmerauer doesn’t care if the consumer’s issue is far from being resolved. Robert (Bob) Colmerauer has is own terminology of what RESOLVED means

    Stage 4:
    If the second data entry is made by the consumer, William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer website will email it to the business for final response.
    The business must respond within 14 days
    It doesn’t matter if the issue is already settled, if the consumer is completely satisfied, and has advised Robert (Bob) Colmerauer that he is satisfied and doesn’t have any further issue with the business. If the business does not respond, its BBB Business Review will be shattered and the complaint will be noted as NOT RESOLVED.
    If the business responds using the jargon accepted by Robert (Bob) Colmerauer, the complaint will be closed as RESOLVED
    A business has to use a specific jargon and can get the complaint to be judged as administratively resolved
    For William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer, RESOLVED has nothing to do with the conflict between the consumer and the company being resolved or not

    What wrong with this product / service ?
    The process is practically automated via William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer’s website and does nothing to resolve any issue the consumer or the company has and therefore has no merit at all.

    It is a bad service for businesses
    Consumer complaints can be totally invalid, the company can provide documentation to prove it, it will make no difference, and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer will still force the “rules” of playing their game
    The business can use the law of the land, take legal actions against a defaulting, complaining consumer, win the case in the court of law, and still it will make no difference to Robert (Bob) Colmerauer and to what will be advertised in the BBB Business Report.
    William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer’s website provides faulty BBB Business Reports and by doing so they are causing injustice and damages to businesses.

    It is a bad service for consumers
    The business can be completely wrong and the consumer has a valid complaint, it will make no difference, as long as the business does its data entries on time, and uses the jargon acceptable to Robert (Bob) Colmerauer, the complaint will be closed as “administratively Judged Resolved”.
    William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer are a big disappointment and aggravation to consumers they pretend to serve

    William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer’s website is using “bombastic”, deceiving jargon, presenting themselves as the guardian of consumers interest and the ”savior of business ethics”
    In all actuality, William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer managed to “corner the market” in a monopolistic business, abusing the public trust in the brand name “The Better Business Bureau”

    Why William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer do it?
    Simple answer, Because They Can

    Until now, there is no one to stop them; Florida congress women Corrine Brown call of 2001 was not followed by constructive actions, such actions are now long overdue
    Consumers should know the truth about the “ BBB of Southern Florida and the Caribbean”
    Ten of thousands of small business owners, each of them is also a consumer, are well familiar with the flaws and injustices of this operation, millions of other consumers must be made aware of the same.

    We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the malpractice of the BBB franchisee holders is now exposed by more and more media channels, Attorney Generals, prominent politician and business owners that had enough of being mistreated.

  2. Reporter says:

    What is The Better Business Bureau of Southern Florida and the Caribbean ?

    It is one of more than 100 privately owned and independently managed franchises related to the BBB
    Each franchise owner acquires a “territory” and the businesses in this territory become the owner’s “subjects” under his jurisdiction
    The investor that acquires the franchise is expected to raise revenue by charging the businesses under his jurisdiction annual fees, this is the main source of the franchise’s revenue, collecting annual fees determined the franchise owner’s return on his investment

    The company that holds the franchise for Southern Florida and the Caribbean is a Florida corporation; Better Business Bureau of Palm Beach County, INC
    It is owned by William P White (Brodie), an absentee investor / owner
    In 2010, William P. White (Brodie) declared a “remuneration” of about $180,000 which is the declared return on William P. White (Brodie) investment in his franchise
    Mr. William P. White’s (Brodie) “front man” is Mr. Robert (Bob) Colmerauer with the title Vice president of operations
    William P. White (Brodie) and Robert (Bob) Colmerauer are benefiting from a lucrative business, a monopolistic business, currently free of any legal responsibilities for libel and defamation
    The most important activity for this franchise is via its Telemarketing Department.
    The Telemarketing Department is managed by Stacy Horgan.
    Stacy Horgan described the requirement and the Telemarketing job offered on 2/15/2012 as follows:

    The BBB is looking for individuals who are:
    - great conversationalists
    - highly motivated
    - self-disciplined
    - eager to learn
    - good listeners
    - strong closers
    - productive

    The BBB of SE FL has inside sales positions available. We don’t want you to “read a script”; we want you to educate the business owners. This is not your typical sales-job! We offer a service every business needs! Plus, we have no competition.

    The telemarketing campaign is not something one will find mentioned in any of the BBB material.
    It will not go well with the false illusion William P. White (Brodie) and other franchisees need to create in the consumer’s mind.