Blumenthal reaches agreement with Better Business Bureau

Keith Loria Nov. 22, 2010, 3:28am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Thursday that he has reached an agreement with the Better Business Bureau regarding its ratings policies.

Blumenthal was concerned that the BBB was awarding rating points based on dues and that it didn't have the resources to verify information that led to the ratings it used. As a result, the organization will no longer award ratings for cash.

"I am pleased that the BBB is heeding my call to sever ratings from dues-but more needs to be done," Blumenthal said. "Pay-to-play-or its perception-is unacceptable and unconscionable, as the BBB has rightly recognized.

"Cash can no longer inflate BBB ratings, as happened under the old system."

While Blumenthal is pleased with the BBB's initial step, he has said that he hopes more will be done, saying he was "troubled by the BBB's current rating system."

"The BBB lacks the resources to verify much information used to rate, rendering its ratings unreliable and suspect," Blumenthal said.

"The BBB cannot rely on the word of businesses about licenses, state laws or other information; objective and independent confirmation is vital to accurate ratings.

"At the very least, the BBB has an ethical-and perhaps legal-obligation to clearly and prominently inform consumers of the severe and significant limitations of its rating system."

Blumenthal said that he will continue working with the organization to ensure a fair, factual and consistent ratings system.

"The BBB has a long and laudable history of consumer advocacy, and has partnered with my office on many occasions to fight scams," Blumenthal said. "I look forward to continuing our work together in fighting for consumer and business interests."

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