Friday, June 7, 2013

BBB provides protection for Home services consumers.

Would you continue to spend thousands of dollars with a company that has numerous consumer complaints, cannot be a member of the BBB in the market where it conducts most of its business and shops for membership in unsuspecting cities?

You will have the opportunity to judge one such company after reading the next few paragraphs.
I have published several articles related to consumers verifying especially home service companies with the BBB and or Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations. There are many companies that claim to provide company references however they derive financing from these companies and depend on them for their operations.
This is not the case with the BBB and TDLR. Companies especially large ones have a hard time dealing with customer complaints and many choose to resign from the BBB instead of addressing these complaints. Other companies continue to operate in the market but register an office in another City where they perform no work. These companies are aware the financial benefits of accreditation but with such bad service and extensive complaints and the need to maximize profits makes membership and accreditation unattractive.
Below is a study of one such company and its relationship with the BBB.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.
Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.

BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

John Moore Services, once an Accredited Business in the Houston and South Texas region, elected to resign its BBB Membership in that region in December 2010. This occurred at the same time as the BBB was voting to revoke John Moore's membership due to continuing violations of BBB Code of Business Standards.

John Moore Services subsequently notified the BBB Houston and South Texas that they had moved their headquarters to Bryan College Station BBB where they still held Accreditation status. The staff of BBB Houston and South Texas visited the new John Moore headquarters and found that it was an executive suite in an office building with no John Moore signage, and no sign of business activity. In addition, there was no listing of this headquarters address in print, online or media advertising.

The only time this address was used was in the Bryan College Station BBB Business review of John Moore Services. John Moore Services, however, continued to use the address and phone number of the large facility located on Sam Houston Tollway in Northwest Harris County in all its advertising.

On April 16, 2012, the staff of the Council of Better Business Bureaus determined that the headquarters move to Bryan College Station BBB service area was inaccurate and mandated that all BBB customer complaints and the BBB reporting on John Moore Services be returned to the BBB Houston and South Texas. The Bryan College Station BBB complied with this request.

On March 9, 2012 the Dallas, Texas Better Business Bureau allowed John Moore Services to become an Accredited Business even though the BBB Houston and South Texas provided information that would prevent John Moore Services from being eligible for accreditation. On May 22, 2012 the Dallas,

Texas Better Business Bureau advised the BBB Houston and South Texas that they had been notified that John Moore Services was now headquartered in Dallas. The rating for John Moore Services is an F rating currently at the BBB Houston and South Texas, however that rating would no longer be made public if John Moore Services was considered headquartered at another Bureau.

On May 24, 2012, the Bureau conducted an undercover telephone shop of John Moore Services to further investigate this latest claim of a new headquarters location. In that phone conversation, in which a BBB staff investigator called the Dallas phone number for John Moore Services, our shopper was advised that they were calling the Houston office and that John Moore did not offer any services to consumers in the Dallas Area.

It was further stated that the only location John Moore Services had was the Sam Houston Tollway location located in Houston, Texas. When asked if the company was moving into the Dallas area the John Moore Services employee stated, "no".

The BBB Houston and South Texas has filed suit in US District Court in Houston, concerning John Moore Services ongoing and fraudulent use of its "Awards For Excellence" service marks. This use by John Moore Services has occurred from the time of its resignation from the BBB Houston and South Texas to the present.

These BBB trademarks appear on the firm's' website, on company trucks, uniforms of employees and written invoices used by the company. Until recently, local television commercials also featured this infringement, and currently, the company’s website includes a separate page highlighting the BBB Award For Excellence logo and claiming to be an “active member” of the Better Business Bureau.

An additional web page displays a video that features the awards logo along with a consumer testimonial focusing on John Moore Services’ supposed affiliation with the BBB. The Bureau and its legal counsel are monitoring these uses and potential damages to the Bureau, its brand, its reputation and to customers who have used John Moore Services on the assumption that they are CURRENTLY Accredited by the Houston and South Texas Better Business Bureau. The case is before US District Judge Kenneth Hoyt and is pending.

John Moore Services DID in fact participate, enter and win the local awards that they display. However, this use of the marks for those awards are clearly laid out and may ONLY be used by CURRENT Accredited Businesses in the BBB service area in which the awards were won. John Moore Services has continuously violated the stated rules for this logo use.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that lowered the rating for John Moore Services include:
  • 379 complaints filed against business
  • Advertising issue(s) found by BBB
  • Business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints

Additional Complaint Information

According to BBB records, John Moore Services has shown a pattern of complaints in which consumers allege relatively minor repair issues are often diagnosed by John Moore technicians as major repairs or replacements which consumers later deem to be unnecessary. In numerous complaints related to AC system repair calls, BBB noted John Moore representatives were alleged to quote a relatively inexpensive repair fee initially and prior to a visit; however, upon arrival and inspection consumers state they are often told they need an entirely new AC system amounting to several thousand dollars, in most cases. Numerous consumers state that upon getting a second opinion from another company, they often find that their AC system does not need to be replaced, rather it can be repaired or have a minor component replaced.