Report: #1026561

Complaint Review: monica russo houston - Internet

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: ebhouston4 — houston Texas USA
  • monica russo houston
    1333 W Loop S Fwy Houston (713) 868-9500
    United States of America

monica russo houston, monica russo houston bbb is a scam and they make up lies about business without reporting the truth! monica russo is a scam reporter! scam artist alert bbb 20-20 investigation, Internet

*Author of original report: Monica Russo BBB scam Fraud Alert!

*Consumer Comment: Ebhouston4,

*Author of original report: Monica Russo BBB scam Fraud Alert!

*Consumer Comment: Ebhouston4,

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Monica Russo, scam artist scam reporter make up lies to get stories!! BBB is a scam!!
Manager, Investigations & Media Relations

The Better Business Bureau:

it's not what you think!

Living a dream, I recently filed a "Fictitious Business Name" with Riverside County in California. This is public information,
much like getting a mortgage and transfer of property title.  In one sense, this simply means that you get a lot of telemarketing calls. This is all fine and dandy in fact, the fact that there is a wealth of public information out there is somewhat comforting.

Enter The Better Business Bureau. Until last week, I thought that the BBB was a government-run organization, funded by my
tax dollars. I thought that it was a neutral observer of business standards and practices, a place where one could get
information on a legitimate business or where one could lodge a formal complaint against a shady one. [continued below]....
..... Just about none of
this is true.

The BBB is not run by the government, but they do a lot of business with the FTC at least that's what I hear.
They are a non-profit, charity organization known as a 501(c)(3). This means that whatever money you donate to their cause is tax-deductible. The money that you donate is supposed to go into programs and charitable causes. The organization is
supposed to report their income, report their board of directors,report about their programs, and so on. This information appears on IRS form 990.

990s are public information. So, with my wife's help, I got hold of the 990 for our local BBB. Turns out, they report no
income, no board of directors, no contractors who earn over $50,000 per year, and they have no programs. All they appear
to have is -$849 in assets. This is, to say the least, shady.

You might ask, "Why is he so interested in the BBB?"

They cold called me. Mind you, this was back when (last week) I thought that they were a legitimate organization. It went
something like this:

The "Guy" called and said that he was from the Better Business Bureau. My ears perked up: I thought either I have already done something wrong (!), or that they are a really conscientious organization interested in how I conduct my affairs.
He said that he wanted to set up an appointment to visit my business. When I balked, he said that he could just ask
me some questions over the phone. So I assented.

He asked questions that were already answered on the county DBA filing, so I answered diligently, thinking that he was probably checking up on me to verify if I had been honest on the DBA application. He finished his simple questions (e.g., do you have employees? How long have you been in business? What is the nature of the business?), and told me:

It costs $465 a year and that will carry you through June 2006.
We take credit cards or check by phone.

I was floored. The "Guy" cold-called me and thought that I'd start doling out credit card numbers? Insane. I asked him,
"Excuse me, you can't bill?" He answered, "We do credit cards or check by phone." Wary of phishing schemes, I told him that
I had no way to know that he was who he claimed to be and that he would have to give me his information and I would call back if I was interested.

He gave me the information, and there started the investigation.

There are a lot of problems, right from the start even before you start reading the complaints against the BBB.

Most importantly, there is the obvious conflict-of-interest problem.
They take "subscription" or "membership" donations from businesses. This means that businesses are the BBB's source of income (even though they don't report income). But businesses are their object of complaint. So, if I as a consumer complain to the BBB, I'm complaining about one of their sources of income. Obviously, this is a problem.

The problems run deeper. An hour or so after they talked to me, my business appeared on their web site (if you're interested,
find the Southern California BBB site and look for "Bluewood Designs"; I resist linking to them). The information on the site
is the information that I told them over the phone.

They never confirmed that information. Furthermore, they assigned me a "BB" rating. This means, paraphrased, that they
have no reason to believe that anyone would have trouble doing business with me. This is true, to some extent they have
no reason to think much of anything about me because, well, they know virtually nothing about me.

What's curious is that many other local businesses, who are members of the BBB, have "A" or higher ratings. Hmmm. I wonder what my rating would be if I paid for a "membership".

More curious, and again I encourage anyone to look this stuff up, I checked out the local Wal-Mart: they are a "member" of the BBB. They have had one complaint against them, but it apparently was resolved. So, they have an "AA" rating. I checked out the local Lowe's.They have 14 unresolved complaints against them and have an "F" rating. They are not members of the BBB.

What makes this case curious, in my estimation, is the number of lodged complaints. These stores are no more than a couple of miles from each other and so have basically the same customer base. I find it impossible to believe that the BBB has only received one complaint against Wal-Mart and 14 against Lowe's. This makes me suspect that a) the BBB is not recording complaints against their members; b) the BBB is not recording responses from non-members; c) the BBB might be "creating" complaints against non-members. Or some combination of these or others.

That last point is one that I've now read about (check out badbusinessbureau.com for more). Somehow this doesn't seem
unreasonable I consider how much due diligence the BBB did to get my business information. I imagine that they do
similar diligence on complaints that they receive.

Speaking of how complaints go, a friend of mine, let's call him "Scott", lodged a complaint with the BBB against a local car dealership.The dealership had tried to make him replace a $500 part on his car when it was really just a fuse that had blown. That complaint,on the BBB web site, is listed as resolved. This is probably because "Scott" grew tired of the paperwork and didn't pursue the complaint further. The BBB let it end. The car dealership is a member of the BBB. They have a "B" rating and 14 complaints.

But Scott felt that he had lodged a complaint with a reputable organization and that something might be done about their
business practices. This is not the case, for the BBB has no authority over businesses and no significant legal influence
with state or county authorities. Yet arguably, they market themselves as having that kind of authority.

This succeeds to dupe consumers into thinking that their complaints will actually be heard by someone who can or will do something about it. In the case of my friend, this stopped him from taking the complaint to an authority, such as the state Attorney General.

There are numerous other resources and anecdotes about the BBB out there on the web. This article aims only to raise a healthy suspicion about the organization and to encourage business owners and consumers to proceed with caution when doing business with the Better Business Bureau.

One final irony: if you have a complaint against the Better Business Bureau, you can't file it with the Better Business Bureau.
And just as Groucho Marx once quipped that he would never join a club that would have him as a member, the Better Business Bureau is not a member of its own organization.

Maybe it's all a big joke?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/10/2013 02:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/monica-russo-houston/internet/monica-russo-houston-monica-russo-houston-bbb-is-a-scam-and-they-make-up-lies-about-busi-1026561. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Monica Russo BBB scam Fraud Alert!

AUTHOR: ebhouston4 - ()

POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Here is more proff the bbb is a scam... Monica Russo in Houston is a Fraud!! Fraud Alert!! This company has pages and pages of fraud rip off all over the internet but yet the bbb gives them an A+rating so they can continue to rip folks off!!Look up BBB scam... 20-20 just shut down one chapter more illegal bbb to go...

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Respond to this report!

#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Karl - ()

POSTED: Monday, March 18, 2013
Did you get a chance to watch the nine videos and documentaries that are listed in Consumer Comment #1? Have a great day, and make sure to spread your Ripoff Report all over the web at sites like Twitter and Facebook!
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#3 Author of original report

Monica Russo BBB scam Fraud Alert!

AUTHOR: ebhouston4 - (USA)

POSTED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Monica Russo BBB involved in Fraud!! Monica Russo is a Scam Artist... BBB is a scam: Here is an example of how the bbb operates but its all coming to an end..

Better Business Bureau Of Southern California Expelled After Apparent Pay-To-Play Scandal


03/12/13 03:46 PM ET EDT

Better Business Bureau Scam, Bbb Southland, Better Business Bureau Expelled, Better Business Bureau Southern California, Better Business Bureau Southland, Better Business Bureau Wolfgang Puck,

Los Angeles News
LOS ANGELES -- The Better Business Bureau said Tuesday that it expelled a Southern California chapter after an investigation into an apparent pay-to-play scandal.

BBB of the Southland, the nation's largest bureau, lost its right to use the name, logo and trademarks of the famous consumer protection group, according to a statement from the governing Council of Better Business Bureaus, based in Arlington, Va.

Many consumers use BBB rankings as guides to the trustworthiness of thousands of businesses. They also file complaints to
the bureaus.

"We hold businesses to high standards for honesty, transparency, fairness and integrity, and we hold ourselves to those same standards," said a statement from Carrie A. Hurt, the national group's president and chief executive officer. "Over a period of more than two years, BBB of the Southland failed to resolve concerns about compliance with several standards required of BBBs, including standards relating to accreditation, reporting on businesses, and handling complaints."

The BBB will continue to serve the Los Angeles-are market online and the estimated 18,000 local businesses can maintain their local accreditation while the council attempts to rebuild the bureau, council officials said.

The governing body investigated after an ABC-TV report in 2010 found that the Los Angeles-based group had granted an A-minus standard to a business named Hamas the same name as the Islamic militant group and an A-plus to a white supremacy group.

Both names were for fictional businesses. They were submitted by a blogger who paid hundreds of dollars in memberships, ABC-TV reported.

The same report also cited other business owners, including celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, as saying they were told they must become members to receive high marks. One of Puck's non-BBB restaurants received an F grade, the report said.

In several cases, small businesses with C grades were bumped up to A grades a day after enrolling, the report said.

In a letter to the governing body dated last Friday, Southland bureau Chairman Jerry Dominguez denied there were any widespread problems and said the chapter had resigned from the organization.

"Our board has endured repeated, unjustified criticism that we haven't been exercising our governance responsibilities as the auditors believe we should," he wrote.

The Los Angeles-area group issued a statement Tuesday that said it simply followed a BBB policy of "only awarding A-plus grades to accredited businesses."

"It is ironic that the BBB accuses us of failing to follow organizational policy on the one hand, and then labels us a `bad apple'
when we do," the statement said. "The reality is very simple: the pay-for-play policy was the BBB's, not ours."

"That's simply not true," BBB council spokeswoman Katherine Hutt said. "The service place where I take my car is A-plus and it's not a BBB member."

It is absolutely based on merit...There absolutely is no pay-for-play policy in place," she said.
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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

POSTED: Sunday, March 10, 2013
It appears that the Better Business Bureau, Wall Street, and even the U.S. Government are all nationwide scams, according to information that is available on the web. Simply 'Google' the following nine videos and documentaries and watch them on the web for proof-


Good luck to you, and make sure to spread your Ripoff Report all over the web at sites like Twitter and Facebook!

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