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Something's rotten in the BBB...

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Something's rotten in the BBB...

Postby LoneWolf on Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:08 am

I'm going to start this thread by quoting Ian's blurb on the BBB and 321 Studios...

Everyone seems to be after 321 Studios these days. If its not the MPAA or the courts, its the Better Business Bureau. Due to the number of complaints they've received, the BBB has issued a report about 321 Studios.
The Better Business Bureau warned consumers Tuesday about the maker of DVD-copying software that is being challenged by Hollywood on copyright grounds.

The bureau urged consumers "to use caution" when buying DVD backup, repair and recovery software from 321 Studios Inc.

A consumer advisory from the bureau cited more than 70 complaints about the company sinc
e 2002, reporting problems getting promised rebates, poor customer service or software that did not work properly.

The agency said the company had responded that the number of gripes was a small percentage of its client pool and that "every effort is made to track and answer every case, usually with 100 percent satisfaction."
In all honesty, there are always going to be complaints. Going through the BBB website I noticed that software companies like Roxio and Ahead Software also had an "unsatisfactory record." Needless to say, this seems to be nothing more than a slander campaign being put on the MPAA.


This reminded me of my past dealings with the Better Business Bureau, which started out as a useful organization, but has not been for some time. Many organizations rated well by the BBB are ones that have paid to be on their list. It is harder to get rated poorly if you are paying them cash each year. When I worked for a small computer biz nearly a decade ago, they used to call us once a year, and when we told them we weren't interested, they'd actually have the nerve to tell us "Well, we've been receiving calls about you..." without saying whether they were good or bad. Kind of like one of Santa's elves telling a hooker "I can get you off the naughty list..."
Complaining to the BBB about an organization does very little. You first need proof that a transaction occurred (so a receipt is required) and you need to fill out a form. If you're lucky, perhaps they contact the company you had a problem with, and said company can pretty much tell them to shove off. At worst, this eventually results in a poor rating on the BBB's list. There are much better ways to deal with fraud, such as contacting your state's Attorney General, who actually has the legal teeth to investigate and deal with a fraudulent company.
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Postby Ian on Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:44 pm

Well, I was more disturbed the way the author of that article twisted the facts. 321 Studios isn't the only company with poor feedback at the BBB. It makes me think the author got paid by the MPAA to write that garbage.
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Postby TheWizard on Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:24 pm

I'm waiting for a firm to stand up and sue the MPAA for slander. I imagine it would have to be a firm that has the balls and money, as top-notch lawyers would have to be hired to combat the MPAA's top-notch lawyers.
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Postby LoneWolf on Wed Apr 21, 2004 1:38 pm

Ian wrote:Well, I was more disturbed the way the author of that article twisted the facts. 321 Studios isn't the only company with poor feedback at the BBB. It makes me think the author got paid by the MPAA to write that garbage.


It makes me think further that the BBB cheerfully handed the author all the "damning information" needed to make such an article. That, and 70 complaints within 2 years is pretty small for a global company. I'd like to know how many complaints Microsoft, IBM, and HP/Compaq have.
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Postby UALOneKPlus on Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:56 am

This is not the first time I have heard of "BBB's" extortion attempts on small business.

It's very sad for an organization that supposedly had the interests of the public at heart...
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