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We’ve got great news to share today, particularly if you’re a consumer or business in Southern California.

This is huge.

"Start with?"

The Council of Better Business Bureaus, the national organization that regulates and supports regional chapters of the BBB nationwide, has this week expelled their Los Angeles chapter for being run by horrible, incompetent thieves who were bullied mercilessly in their childhood and who then continued to perpetrate a cycle of abuse and unfairness throughout their adult lives against unsuspecting business owners throughout the region. I’m paraphrasing.

“Over a period of more than two years, BBB of the Southland failed to resolve concerns about compliance with several standards required of BBBs, including standards relating to accreditation, reporting on businesses, and handling complaints.”

I am grinning so hard right now it actually hurts.

This makes all of us at DreamHost so, so happy because it confirms everything that we’ve already known and experienced first-hand over the years in our dealings with the Los Angeles BBB.  The Los Angeles chapter is/was the largest chapter of the BBB in America.

Officially, you don’t have to be a paying member of the Better Business Bureau to respond to customer complaints.

But it helps!

We were frequently asked to become paying members. We declined.

Fake businesses bearing names similar to terrorist organizations have received A- ratings just for signing up with the southern California BBB in the past.

We were able to raise our own rating slowly – very slowly, over a matter of years – before topping out at a “B” rating.  And, by god, we fought like hell to get it that high without writing a check.

A “B” rating may not sound too shabby, but it’s actually middle-of-the-road.  There are five letter grades above and below it!

BBB Rating Scale

See, a while back we began a very concerted and aggressive effort to deal with any customer complaints sent to us via the BBB, many times responding within the very same day to complaints and often going much, much farther than any reasonable company would to make things right, even when we were clearly in the right.

We did sign up for a single year as a paying member (many years ago,) and during that twelve month period we experienced a BBB that was much more responsive and quicker to make changes to our rating as a result of our actions.  When the money dried up, it felt like we were trying to push a boulder up a mountain.

All companies that had been included in the BBB of the Southland’s jurisdiction, members of the BBB or not, are now listed as having “no rating” while the national organization seeks out a different, less-opportunistic bunch of people to run the show here in Southern California.

Here’s our current non-rating.

The old LA branch of the BBB is still around, having renamed themselves the “Business Consumer Alliance.”

Business Consumer Alliance

They’re still clutching on to their database of ratings, though – the ones they were able to ascribe using a combination of pay-for-play preferential treatment and willful neglect, all while under the auspices of flying the BBB banner.

You can see the B rating that we fought so hard for on their website now.

The bad news is that the BCA and BBB will both be fighting to provide what is effectively the same service to local businesses and consumers.

The good news is that no disgruntled customer will ever think of contacting the BCA because they’re not the BBB.

ABC News broke the story this week and every time I read it I just get a warm feeling deep in my heart.  And goosebumps!  Goosebumps, too.

Southern California just got a little sunnier.


About the author

Brett D.

Brett's the VP of Corporate Communications at DreamHost and definitely not a robot.

He tweets as @DreamHostBrett and it's not great.