I wanted to take a minute to talk about review websites and specifically the Better Business Bureau. First of all I would like to state that I believe there should be a forum for customers to voice their true experience regardless whether that experience had been good or bad. Companies must be held accountable for their actions. As one of the leading consumer complaint sites the BBB plays a huge part in this.
Because of how the company markets itself many people assume incorrectly that the BBB is a government organization. Which it is not. The company is actually set up as a non-profit but rakes in millions of dollars in annual revenue, most of which comes from the businesses in which they oversee. In 2013 alone the company had earnings of over $200 million. The BBB is a self-proclaimed source of mediation an unbiased ratings of millions of businesses across the country. Much of this revenue is earned through the BBB accreditation program. Essentially companies such as ours must pay the BBB an annual fee in order to receive an A+ rating. Companies that have a great record and choose not to pay this fee can only receive an A rating at best. Which in my opinion creates a serious conflict of interest and which is why I refuse to pay it.
It certainly seems as if the BBB is still perceived as an iconic brand in consumer protections. In addition, as I mentioned earlier many people believe that the BBB is a kind of quasi- (or even official) governmental agency, another myth no doubt perpetuated by the fact that BBB affiliates around the country are often listed in local Yellow Pages under the category of “Government Offices.” And how can it serve as an unbiased source of information for business and consumers when it apparently provides clear and documentable bias in favor of those businesses that are members, at the expense of those who are not?
Potential Grow operators are sometimes concerned at the 9 BBB complaints that my company has had over the past 8 years of business, however after I explain the numbers and situation of each complaint I am typically able to paint a different picture. If you combine the total number of both operators that have purchased machines as well as the number of machines placed into locations we are close to 4900 instances where we could have had a potential issue. Taking into account 9 complaints out of 4900 we at a approximate 99.986% success rate. Not perfect but close.
At Grow we take every complaint or review seriously. When mistakes happen we are quick to do what we can to fix them in as timely manner as possible. Quite honestly sometimes those mistakes are our fault and at other times they are the operators fault. That is correct, not every operator is perfect either.
Another thing that our company has refused to do is pay or offer incentives to Grow operators to place “positive” reviews. This is something we have been told other companies within our industry do on a regular basis. I believe one in particular offers an opportunity to win a free vending machine through a lottery system but in order to qualify you must agree to place a positive review on their company! During our process you will be given the opportunity to speak to several successful Grow Healthy Vending operators from around the country.