• Report: #162667
Complaint Review:

BBB Better Business Bureau, Colton California

  • Submitted: Sun, October 30, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, June 25, 2009

  • Reported By:Vista California
BBB Better Business Bureau, Colton California
315 N. La Cadena Dr. Colton, California U.S.A.

BBB Better Business Bureau, Colton CBBB Better Business Bureau, Colton California Cover-up Complains, Deceiving the Public, Unanswered inquires, Suspicious and Awkward Arbitration Demanding, Misinformation, Untrustworthy company. Colton California

*Consumer Comment: Harper vs Ultimo case

*Consumer Comment: Going around the BBB arbitration clause?

*Consumer Suggestion: I hope this can help.. google "Harper V. Ultimo"

*Author of original report: A-Capistrano, you were right BBB harasses me again

*Consumer Comment: LABBB evidence of corruption, BBB of southland, BBB colton

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Cover-up of Complaints, Deceiving the Public, Unanswered inquires, Suspicious and Awkward Arbitration Demanding, Misinformation, Untrustworthy company.

I filed 2 complaints against a roofing company for 2 separates contracts (roofing jobs) on January 19, 2005 on the BBB website. The roofing company was not responding and BBB never posted that there was a complaint pending against it. After several of my inquires on March 7, 2005 I was told that my complaint was forwarded to the trade practice department. BBB never answered my questions in what time frame the company is supposed to respond. Finally at the end of March I found out that the roofing company rebuttals were posted with date of March 15 and both complaints were closed. I was not given a chance to provide a consumer rebuttal. I was supposed to be informed about any response by email and I was not. I believe that the March 15 postings of the roofing company's rebuttals were backdated. This shows an unequal handling. The roofing company was given almost 2 months to respond and I had no opportunity to submit a Consumer Rebuttal. Of course the roofing company Complaint statistics still show zero complaints. There are no rules posted on the BBB website stating what the time frame allotted for a response is before the case is closed. I made several email and phone call inquires after I found both cases were closed and received no answer. The phone calls ended up on answering machines and were never returned. Finally I gave up.

Late August 2005, I received a first class letter from BBB dated August 23, 2005. The letter states: The agreement around which your dispute centers provides some type of payment, whether attorney fees, costs, or something else, to prevailing party by the opposing party. Because recently enacted law prohibits us from arbitrating a dispute that contains this type of provision, we must have a waiver of the provision in order to proceed with the arbitration. Will you please sign the waiver enclosed and return it to me? If we do not receive the waiver by 9/2/05, we will close our file

I decided not to sign the letter, I did not want to arbitrate. I did not pay the roofing company so why should I initiate arbitration? Furthermore, I was given only a few days for the waiver to be mailed in. What if I had wanted to mail it and was not at home those days? The case would be closed if it suited BBB. Please, read what happened next

On October 24, 2005 I received letters dated October 21, from BBB requesting me to fill and mail form Demand for Arbitration. If the form is not received by October 31, 2005 the BBB would proceed to the next step. I was given hardly 3 days to fill out the form and request arbitration that I do not want! I feel that I need at least 30 days to gather all the information I need and get estimates to correct the roofing job. The letter included Uniform Rules for Binding Arbitration, which do not include the time frame allotted to respond to various inquires. How can BBB demand responses in such a short period of time. It's harassment! I am often away from home for several weeks. Do they consider such events? Will I loose the case if I do not respond? I emailed and called, and BBB gracefully extended my time for 1 week or until 11/07/05. Threatening again that if my response is not received by then, they will proceed to the next step. This means that they will proceed with arbitration without Demand! Yes, they are pushing me to write the Demand for arbitration, not the response. In the documentation they sent I am listed as the Initiator, the respondent is the roofing company and it's unsigned response to my nonexistent Demand is already included. How awkward!

I also inquired about the waiver BBB requested in order to be able to proceed with the arbitration which I refused to provide in August. The answer was: In reality, the Waiver is REQUIRED by the company only. Can you trust them?? I do not!!!

Any advice will be sincerely appreciated.

Orange County, California

STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2005 08:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/bbb-better-business-bureau-colton-california/colton-california-92324/bbb-better-business-bureau-colton-cbbb-better-business-bureau-colton-california-cover-up-162667. 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 Comment

Harper vs Ultimo case

AUTHOR: Outlier - (U.S.A.)

A from Capistrano, I looked up Harper v. Ultimo and it appears that case is a great legal precedent to override the BBB arbitration clause. I will bring it up to my lawyer. All the points in that case apply to my case. Do any of you know if that case has helped other people by-pass their BBB arbitration clauses? My fear is that you bring up this case to a judge, but he doesn't take you seriously (particularly if this is small claims without a lawyer), ignores the Harper vs Ultimo case and he still remands it back to the BBB arbitration. I wonder if that's ever happened, anyone know?
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#2 Consumer Comment

Going around the BBB arbitration clause?

AUTHOR: Outlier - (U.S.A.)

I am amazed and horrified at all the comments about the BBB arbitration coming from this site. Before reading them I was going in with a completely open mind that the BBB arbitration process and arbitrators would be fair, impartial, and carefully listen to all the evidence of both parties. However, after reading your stories & other people's stories as well, this is really scaring me because I may have to go to BBB arbitration for a crooked & incompetent contractor who left that BBB arbitration clause in our contract. And what's worse is that the jurisdiction is with the LABBB, exactly what you have been complaining about and making strong accusations about.

Jose, can you let us know what happened to your case? Your lawyer makes an interesting point that the BBB clause in the contract means only that it needs to be arbitrated by the BBB rules but not necessarily by LABBB itself. Did you take this to court and if so, did that argument work? After reading your stories I would much rather go directly to court instead of going through the BBB.

It has been around 3 years since the last post. I hope one of you responds and if there's any new light on the BBB, please post it. A from Capistrano, what other evidence/experiences do you have against the LABBB? Although you may not realize it, you are helping many consumers with your experiences and insight.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

I hope this can help.. google "Harper V. Ultimo"

AUTHOR: A. - (U.S.A.)

I am so sorry to hear that the LABBB is putting you through the same experience. I have done some research. Lewis & Sons has 3 arbitration hearings out of prox 130 arbitration cases. Improbable stats! This one sounds way too similar. Lookup up "Harper V. Ultimo" This was about a fraudulent contractor using the labbb arbitration clause in their contract. Hope this helps.

Also noticed the company report shows Lewis & Sons DBA as "Sunset roofing", as I had guessed, just based on your story. Check out fully the cslb, it appears something is already going on as it states the license may be suspended at a future date for failure to comply with one or more provisions of the law.

CSLB is in poor shape for getting anything done. They are way too backlogged and contractors are getting away with many illegalities.

I think you will need to file in court a motion to stop the arbitration and sue the contractor. Once labbb has you involved in the arbitration, it is nearly impossible to have it vacated. most attorneys will not attempt to vacate an arbitration award for less than 10-15 thousand. You did not initiate arbitration, nor agree to that waiver so don't arbitrate with them. I think they will have to go to court to compel arbitration and you can prove you never agreed.

I have proof of their corruption, but this is all too time consuming and draining, (as you know). I hope I hear from you soon as to result of your arbitration fiasco. I hope I can help. If there is any way I can hear from you, I can help further.
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#4 Author of original report

A-Capistrano, you were right BBB harasses me again

AUTHOR: Jose - (U.S.A.)

I just received few days ago from BBB of Colton, CA 92324 agreement to arbitrate. They are requesting that I sign it as the initiator. Respondent, the construction company, who is Lewis & Sons Construction Inc. has already entered the response. I am not sure if I should just ignore it or state on it that I do not initiate and do not agree with arbitration by BBB. Because the contract states :?Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Uniform rule for Better Business Bureau Arbitration ?......?? A lawyer, I consulted, told me that this statement means only that it needs to be arbitrated by the BBB rules but not necessarily by LABBB itself. .
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#5 Consumer Comment

LABBB evidence of corruption, BBB of southland, BBB colton

AUTHOR: A. - (U.S.A.)

I am so sorry this has happened to you as well. Unfortunately, you will not prevail at the arbitration hearing, no matter how much evidence you bring. I believe you are a victim of an unscrupulous contractor that may well involve payoffs or collusion within the LABBB.

My reasons that you will not prevail at the bias arbitration hearing is:
Your roofing contractor is a member of the LABBB!!!

He also is most likely incorporated. These two factors are common in most of the arbitration hearings. Somehow, the word is out to the unscrupulous contractor that the way to go is incorporate and hide behind the LABBB arbitration clause.

If a contractor is using the LABBB arbitration clause in their contract,this alone should tell you they are most likely fraudulent or incompetent!
Arbitration hearings have been available at their own California State Contractors Board. It is mandatory to contractor if customer requests it, (pursuant to dollar amount) and costs neither party a penny. It is not available if your contract includes the LABBB arbitration clause. If you went through the CSLB, and the ruling went against the contractor, they would most likely lose their license or be fined.

If a disreputable contractor uses the BBB for arbitration, it is confidential and never reported to the CSLB. If however, you went to court and prevailed, the contractor must report this within 90 days to their contractor's board. Again, the contractor would face losing their license.

I did a search for you and I would guess that the contractor you are referring to has been listed at least twice for arbitration hearings, does "sunshine" sound like a match?

The arbitration hearings can be found on the LABBB website. Go to arbitration and download the reports. Of course, they are not current, because there is no penalty to them if they don't report accurately! LABBB website contains numerous errors in their reports. The reported arbitration hearing info dated July, 2004,(5 quarters behind) wasn't updated again until Oct 5, 2005. Now they are behind a full quarter again. You were deprived of your civil rights because the LABBB doesn't inform you how many times their member is a repeat player. If you happen to know to do a complete search of their site, they obfuscate the truth by listing their members # of cases dishonestly or update the total cases after your hearing takes place.
You state your complaints were not posted on their site. This happened to me as well. I tried posting numerous times, yet site shows no complaints.

Your letter is so similar to my experience. I too, tried to ascertain if some in the LABBB were crooked, corrupt or inept. I have found some to be all of the above. I too was given the stupid request to sign the waiver. I too refused and for months stated they should rule that they cannot arbitrate the case, (numerous reasons), so I could pursue a different avenue that would not be a BIASED forum for the hearing. They ignored my requests, ignored laws and statutes that I cited and still set up a hearing anyway. I too only had a couple of days, as they weren't responding to my questions, they just set up the hearing. They will set it up at the most inconvenient time and hope you won't show up. This way they can rule against you in a default award.

The BBB lied regarding the answer they provided you regarding the waiver. According to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1284.3(a)(c). It basically states that No private arbitration agency can administer a consumer arbitration under any agreement or rule requiring.the consumer to pay attorney fees if they do not prevail.

I believe you are telling the truth as that and worse has happened with us. I however know so much information that will prove that the Colton branch of the BBB has evidenced corruption. They show such disregard for the law, I am actually concerned for my personal safety. The LABBB will know who this is when they read it. My protection is enhanced through discussion in a public forum as well as the fact that I have made others completely aware of the situation. I believe this will all come to light shortly, so hang in there.

You should contact an attorney and sue the roofing company in court if the arbitration hearing has not taken place yet. This action will likely be met by the roofing company filing a motion to compel arbitration. Please lookup Harper V. Ultimo. This was a case regarding the egregious use of the BBB arbitration clause involving Mr. Ultimo, a LABBB member. Check out Ultimo Construction on their site. Mr. Ultimo has 9 arbitration hearings and none have resulted in him paying a dollar to the consumer. The odds alone tell you the LABBB is involved in something corrupt. 20,000 members for the LABBB, supposedly 200,000 complaints processed in 33 months, yet only 127 cases set for arbitration. Hmmm. How interesting to have the same companies show up more than once for a hearing! If you have been ruled against in the arbitration hearing, you can motion to have the award vacated. I wish that consumer names were made available on the hearing site, so I could have more people to enjoin me in a class action.

As I know that all BBB franchise are run independent of each other, the preceding statements are not meant to impugn or malign any of the other branches. Nor do I wish to infer that all employees that work at the LABBB are dishonest, corrupt or inept. I am stating that I have evidence that supports that some of them are.

Please contact me if I can help further.
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