• Report: #1040202

Complaint Review: Dun and Bradstreet

  • Submitted: Tue, April 02, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, April 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Luluinlulu — Honolulu Hawaii
Dun and Bradstreet
103 JFK Parkway Short Hills, New Jersey 07078 Internet United States of America

Dun and Bradstreet d&b, Dnb "We are the company that maintains a business' credit.There has been activity that you need to be made aware of" Internet

*Consumer Suggestion: THE DNB/D&B SOLUTION

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I got a message from 888-881-9222 from someone named Heather Smith? And left me a message. I did not call back because I think it's a scam. I've been scammed before from D&B scatting me into signing up for done "monitoring service" and it was very expensive. I think D&B should be investigated by the government.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/02/2013 09:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Dun-and-Bradstreet/internet/Dun-and-Bradstreet-db-Dnb-We-are-the-company-that-maintains-a-business-creditThere-ha-1040202. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

THE DNB/D&B SOLUTION

AUTHOR: CompanyMan - (USA)

How to best handle DNB (D&B, The Dun and Bradstreet Site, The Dun and Bradstreet Corporation)?  How to avoid DNB from mischaracterizing or selling false or misleading information about my business?

 

CONSIDER CHOOSING ONE:

IF I DON'T AGREE to the DNB's terms of use, DNB can't run roughshod over my business.  DNB can't label my business "high risk" without the possibility of legal or other consequences.

 

IF I AGREE to the DNB terms of use or BUY ANYTHING FROM DNB ACCORDING TO DNB'S TERMS OF SERVICE,  DNB can pretty much say anything they want about my business, or write anything they want, and I have little to no recourse except pay for a lawyer.  They can classify my business as "high risk" if I agreed to allow them to label my  company anything they want (as possibly high risk).  By agreeing to their terms of use, I agree to anything they say according to their own policies and procedures.

 

DNB terms of use ,

  • "D&B does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of any of the Services." 

  • In caps, they clearly state, "D&B DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, CURRENTNESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE."

  •  Dun & Bradstreet WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR INJURY ARISING OUT OF, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, Dun & Bradstreet'S CONDUCT IN PROCURING, COMPILING, COLLECTING, INTERPRETING, REPORTING OR DELIVERING SERVICES.

 

In short, it appears that DNB believes it can collect and share the information it deems to be important, according to the perspective of DNB and I have no real means to stop them from doing so--if i agree to their terms of use(service).

 

THE BAIT:

 

If you apply for a DUNS with DNB, expect a sales call from a representative.  The sales rep may tell me that my business file is "incomplete" and they seek to update their records.  They want me to pay for a DNB service.  Doing so will bring me and my business into the fold of DNB and their terms of use. 

 

-OR-

 

By not paying DNB for anything, DNB must be careful not to libel or disparage the reputation of my company, and follow the same rules of the road as anyone else, or any other company. 

 

But if I agree to their terms of use, then I am subject to any arbitrary or inaccurate mischaracterization by DNB.

 

DNB wants me to apply for a DUNS Number (Data Universal Numbering System).  Then they ask me to update my company file because it is "incomplete."  It is "incomplete" in their pressure campaign to sell me services.  It is a sales technique.   If I agree to purchase their services (I must agree to their terms of use...which they wrote and is all in their favor), they are in control.   They are persistent and can be intimidating.  They tell you in clear language that they can say anything they want, accurate or inaccurate and if I agree to this, I have no recourse.  I feel they minimize me and my company in order to make a sale.  They say my file is incomplete and I owe them this information. They are attempting to place the responsibility on me to reveal information about my business because "it's my responsibility to do so."  


 
They are attempting to turn the table on myself and my business.  Instead of you thinking, "Why do I need to pay you money for this service?", I could be manipulated to thinking, "If you don't do this, my file is incomplete.  They could keep me from getting business credit or opening an account.  Sheesh, I don't want that to happen.  I better comply and give them what they want."  

 
I should be reviewing their services and see if they fit my needs and if their terms of service is fair and equitable.  I feel their sales technique is to meet an arbitrary standard that they set.  If I agree to their terms of service, I cannot contest their "high risk" label of my business.  Their sales representative seemed deceptive, in my opinion, by manipulating me with his "taking away sales technique."  He tries to "take away" the opportunity of my own business if you don't "complete the information in the file."  Then DNB wants to sell the information you provided them with their own labeling system, that they want me to agreed to.  

 
Most people start a business to be in control of their future, DNB terms of use takes away that very control to the benefit of DNB.  It seems they use marketing, labeling and the nervousness of new business owner to sell a one-sided agreement that takes away my control of my own business

I THINK THAT DNB WANTS TO BE THE REGISTRATION AUTHORITY FOR MY BUSINESS AND OTHER BUSINESSES.  They seek to be the approval stamp of whether my business is good enough to be out there.  They seek to turn my right (to freely participate in business) into a privilege according to their own terms and conditions they set out for me.  And it is my right to start a business.  I think the best way to deal with DNB is to agree to nothing they have to say, and agree to nothing they offer you.  Then I preserve my rights.  And you don't need their permission or approval for anything at all.

Bully parlance in la-la land, "I agree to the bully's terms and conditions. I agree that you can beat me up and I can't say a word, and I can't fight back.  And I must pay you to beat me up.  And I must tell you everything you ask or my corner lemonade stand business is incomplete.  And if I fight you the bully, it must be according to the bully's terms and conditions of what I can and can't do.  And if I don't answer all the questions, no one will lend me lemons or sugar or get a water line-- unless I meet the approval of the bully, according to bully's terms and conditions."  Isn't it common for perpetrators (those who impose unreasonable terms and conditions) to demand silence from their victims?

 

KEY POINT:  But if I don't buy anything from them, and I don't agree to their terms of use, they will issue a DUNS anyway; in about 30 days.  Why?  They get paid by selling information about my business.  As long as I don't agree to their terms of use, I can hold them accountable for what they write.  And if I agree to their terms of use, I have no recourse because I gave them permission to do so.  If I don't agree, they must be careful of what they say or face possible action.

 

THE BEST WAY TO GET A DUNS WITHOUT INTERACTING WITH DNB. 

 

I found that the best way to get a DUNS is not to contact DNB at all.  If my business applies for a line of credit with a company (Home Depot, Grainger, Costco etc.), they will request a DNB report .  Then DNB will notice there's no file for my company and issue a DUNS number.  It is in the interest of DNB to issue my company a DUNS so they can sell information about my company to anyone it asks.  It will then send a report to the merchant who asked for the information.  I receive a notice of my DUNS number, and there I have it within 30 days.  I obtained a DUNS without contacting DNB and it was free.  DNB may still call me to "complete the file" and try to bait me into providing information.   I don't give them anything.  I have my DUNS and I'm able to keep DNB accountable as long as I don't agree to their terms of use.

 

DNB also shares information with the IRS.  The IRS subscribes to DNB to compare information listed on the tax return; to audit cash intensive businesses( see . The IRS uses DNB Full Service Restaurants Database(DB FSRDB) to address compliance issues by identifying establishments that fail to file forms 8027(Employers Annual Information Return) or form 941(Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return) to identify non-filers.  This is important to me because I should review my business tax return before I report anything to DNB.  And since I choose to report nothing to DNB, it's better for me, and I feel more protected from DNB's potentially arbitrary decisions.

 

HOW TO MAKE DNB ACCOUNTABLE

  • As I wrote above, I don't order DNB reports.  I don't buy anything from DNB. 

  • As I wrote above, I don't complete the DNB file.  I prefer to wait the 30 days and I'll get my DUNS number anyway.

  • Knowing how DNB treats small business, and mischaracterize small businesses, such as my own, as "high risk" means that their reports are high risk in my opinion, and I believe the DNB reports are subject to inaccuracies.  Why turn down business and rely on a high risk report from DNB?  The DNB report costs me money and the loss of business costs money because of the inaccuracies, and lack of accountability to their own inaccuracies.

  • Since DNB doesn't take responsibility for their inaccuracies, I don't buy from DNB, and I don't pay for their reports.

  • Once I successfully avoided agreeing to their terms of use, and I didn't buy anything from DNB on their terms, I consider asking a lawyer on suing them in small claims court in the state where my business is located.  If they label my business "high risk," I teach them what high risk means by suing them locally after consulting an attorney.  I consider suing them for the maximum amount allowable by law in my state (not in NJ where DNB is located).  I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice since I am talking about myself and my business.  But it pays to make DNB spend money in states outside their normal operating area.  If enough small businesses sue them on the local level, those reports aren't profitable anymore.  I don't think class action lawsuit.  I think smaller lawsuits that make them hire many lawyers in many jurisdictions. 

  • As a business owner, I might tell others about DNB and their business practices.  I might encourage other business owners not to buy a DNB report until DNB accepts responsibility for the accuracy of their reporting.

  • I might talk about DNB's practices at business luncheons, at the Chamber of Commerce, and with those who you do business.  Ask them if their business was flagged as "high risk."

  • I'd consider going to the DNB website and entering their chat room.  Ask them questions to verify the above.  Why not?  If they are willing to chat for free--why not find out?  Test what I've said.  See if it applies to you and your business.

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