Starting a new business seems to attract many sales calls. It seems that there are companies that scan the various States records for new business and incorporation applicants just to get leads with addresses, names and telephone numbers in order to find new unsuspecting entities to sell their wares. Dunn & Bradstreet Credibility is/was an unscrupulous telephone solicitor.
Unfortunately, when I heard Dunn and Bradstreet I mistakenly assumed I was dealing with an agent that represented integrity and high moral values. Boy, was that assumption wrong. When Arik of Dunn & Bradstreet told me we had to pay $448 in order for our newly formed non-profit to be able to do business for grant funds, I questioned his claim. We had already registered with the US Federal Government and had been accepted as an approved entity. Arik informed me that the US Government had their own investigation, but that a Dunn & Bradstreet verification was still needed. [continued below]....
..... Reluctantly, I paid the $448. In checking my emails, a receipt for that $448 was waiting. It stated that I had just signed up for an annual membership of $299 plus a $149 fee totaling the $448. That was not anything that was discussed. I was outraged and immediately contacted the telephone number on the receipt.
My follow through telephone call placed me in communication with Chris. I explained to Chris how I felt violated, and the discussion that ensued between me and Arik to get the $448. Chris informed me that the telephone solicitation may be helpful to companies applying for credit, which was not our situation. He informed me that I would need to speak with customer service for a refund, but that line was busy and wait times to get through were very long. He suggested I try again tomorrow morning to talk to customer service. I requested that Chris call me back first thing the next morning. I took his direct line number and extension and would call him as soon as his day started if I had not heard from him first.
The next morning, on 02/06/2013, Chris did call. He placed me through to another Chris who required that I explain all over again my conversation with Arik resulting in my paying the $448. Chris did apologize "for the lack of training" resulting from Arik's department. Chris also told me that a refund would occur, but that it may take 3 - 5 business days for the refund to post to my account. I accepted.
Later, toward the end of the day, while checking my email, no mail from Chris was sent to my inbox. I telephoned the number and extension I had gotten from this 2nd Chris an received a voice recording which stated his name. I left a message that Dunn & Bradstreet was prompt in emailing me that they were in receipt of my money, but there was no communication indicating that a refund would be forthcoming. I requested that Chris email me that a refund would be made.
I informed our board of directors of the situation with Dunn & Bradstreet and they were livid. I was informed that from this point forward no money would be spent without director involvement and consent. Thank goodness for Directors. I was also told to put a stop payment on the funds, even though that would generate a fee, it was less than paying $448 for a service not needed or desired.
Later that evening, into the wee hours of the morning, again I checked my email. Still no email from Chris, Dunn & Bradstreet, or any respective department indicating that a refund would follow. I got online to the bank from which the funds would be drawn and posted a stop payment. I was outraged. Stop payments are used only in dire situations. When business hours arrived, I contacted Chris to inform him that I placed a stop payment on the $448 since I had no evidence that a refund would be forthcoming. Then finally, in my email inbox, was the correspondence that I would receive a refund.
I am very disgusted that an organization like Dunn & Bradstreet, the company that tracks and rates other company's integrity and business worthiness would behave so unethically. I feel they should be held to a higher standard than a "lack of training" implies. They got the check through my bank avoiding the stop payment, to which I had to pay an additional $31. How they did that I do not know. My bank claims that as long as it was submitted for payment prior to my stop payment order the funds would go through and I would still be charged the stop payment fee. Any credible company would have their customer service stop processing a payment which was obtained by fraudulent acts of one of their employees. Not this group. They should do a Dunn & Bradstreet rating of themselves. F-