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Posts tagged: North Idaho and Montana

Did anyone care Texas flip-meister-presenter had ‘F’ rating from the BBB?

Does anyone care if a company has a bad grade with the Better Business Bureau?

We're asking because we may want to examine how companies get a bad grade, and then what happens in the minds of consumers.

Recently, the BBB notified Spokane-area media that a Texas-based workshop presenter would be in Spokane and in Coeur d'Alene. 

This was Armando Montelongo Seminars, LLC. His spiel is called “'Flip & Grow Rich,” and he's managed to earn his position in part from a cable show called “Flip This House.”

The BBB mailing notified the media that Montelongo's business in San Antonio has an “F” grade with the local BBB. That F is based on some government action against his firm for alleged deceptive marketing and failure to address consumer issues adequately.

We get the impression the people who attended the session didn't know about the BBB rating. Or they did, but didn't care.

If anyone went to the sessions here, give us a holler. We'd like to discuss you views. Contact us at Business@spokesman.com. Include a phone number where we can reach you.

Quintrall starts new job at the city on Monday; salary: $118,494

Mayor David Condon on Monday announced he's hired local BBB CEO Jan Quintrall to be in charge of the city's Business and Developer Services office. 

That office used to have the name of Economic Development Division. Theresa Sanders, the current city manager, headed that division in the administration of previous mayor Mary Verner.

Quintrall's job starts Monday; she'll earn $118,494 if approved by the City Council. 

Filling in as interim CEO of the Spokane Regional BBB will be Elea Katzele.

The official release said the new division will include building, planning, engineering services, capital programs and workforce development. Quintrall said her focus will be in eliminating red tape and making business activities and projects less cumbersome.

The key job task is “making sure the people who work (in the department) have the right tools to do their jobs effectively,” she said.

While Verner and other mayors have vowed to simplify the permitting and business application process at the city, Quintrall said the system has a ways to go.

She added, “The bureaucracy breeds on itself. There is still a lack of clarity” in how people go through the business development process, she said.

Area businesses getting ‘BBB’ messages that contain malicious web links

Spokane-area and North Idaho businesses were sent a warning today by the local Better Business Bureau about spam messages supposedly sent from the BBB.

The email scam reportedly sends out a message with the words “BBB case # 216145442347.” The message includes the BBB's “Start With Trust” image in the header.

The mail includes a link and if clicked, can cause computer problems.

A release sent out on Wednesday said one area business clicked the link and lost a hard drive.

The offending messages include a link that appears to be www.bbb.org; Chelsea Dannen, the BBB's social media director, said this is not from the BBB and is a scam.

Those getting those messages should forward them to phishing@council.bbb.org so that the exact source of the email can be tracked.

For questions, contact the BBB through  the member line at 1-800-248-2356 or email AB@spokane.bbb.org.   
  

Area BBB lists the 10 area businesses with the most 2011 complaints

More than 3,100 consumer complaints came into the Better Business Bureau serving Spokane, Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Of those, we asked the BBB for the list of the 10 Eastern Washington and North Idaho companies with the most complaints  from Jan. 1-Dec. 1, 2011.

Here's the list, followed by the business's overall BBB rating. Companies that respond actively and promptly typically retain a high rating:

  • Global Fitness franchise, 110 W. Price, Spokane, 24 complaints, F rating.

  • 1880 Western Wear, Colville, 21 complaints, F rating.

  • Merchants Services Direct, Spokane Valley, 18 complaints, C rating.

  • Ambassador Programs, Inc., Spokane, 15 complaints, B+ rating.

  • Dave Smith Motors, Kellogg, 13 complaints, A+ rating.

  • WKA Innovations, Inc., Spokane Valley, 13 complaints, B+ rating.

  • AT&T Mobility, Spokane, 12 complaints, A- rating.

  • LLS America LLC, Spokane, 11 complaints, F rating.

  • CoiNuts, Coeur d’Alene, 10 complaints, F rating.

  • Time Warner Cable, Coeur d’Alene, 10 complaints. A rating

Area BBB starts consumer review service; plus a suggestion to make it better

Spokane’s Better Business Bureau, which covers North Idaho and Montana as well, has begun testing an online review system process for customers to describe good or bad experiences with local businesses.

The goal of the new review option is to allow consumers to give high-fives for area businesses that who do great work, said Jan Quintrall, the BBB’s president and CEO.

The full daily story is at this link. (Subscription to Spokesman.com may be required.)

This new idea makes sense. But it still has one glitch: finding those reviews at BBB.org is virtually impossible unless you're looking for comments on a specific business.

Quintrall said that since this is still a trial run, the option of adding a link to all reviews posted by consumers might be added later. 

We would like that. It would be instructive to see the recent posts or reviews listed by the past day, past week, past month or whatever.  In the digital age, that's almost so easy that it should have been built into the review option from the start.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on spokesman.com and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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