Relief Solutions International LLC and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
We are grateful for the work that the BBB does to protect consumers from malicious and fraudulent firms and organizations. We have historically had an A Rating with the BBB. We were proud of that rating after successfully terminating nearly 57,000+ timeshare contracts over 10 years as of 2019.
Changes at the BBB Starting in Mid 2017
There has recently been major changes in the local BBB office that operates in the region where Relief Solutions International LLC is registered as a business. We operate out of Missouri and therefore are subject to review by the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau in our area.
However, in 2017, control of business reviews for our area was changed from Southwest Missouri to St. Louis, Missouri. Since that change, all businesses having any relation to travel and timeshare services have been marked as ‘NR’ (Not Rated) or ‘F’ – for no apparent reason.
We strongly disagree with the BBB on this matter. When reaching out to the BBB multiple times we were met passing responsibility off to different individuals who were not available to speak and would call back. After a week of calling and leaving messages finally a advertisement review manager who was looking into the whole timeshare industry called back. Quickly upon speaking with her , it was clear that they had no knowledge of the timeshare industry and was starting from scratch. We offered to give our experience and resources to help in the process. We completed a series of questions and answers. After answering all questions the advertising review manager lead us to believe this was going to help restore our “A” rating and get through the “REVIEW” of the Timeshare Industry they were doing.
Once completed we waited 2-weeks and began to ask what was taking so long in the review and when we could see the restore of letter grades to the industry ? We continue to receive a standard answer of “After the full review of the industry was completed.” and that “Your company is good and answered everything.” When asked what the timeframe on something like this would be completed , they responded with , “We will not put a timeframe on this.” We felt at this time , months later in to the process of review, after answering every question asked with nothing further requested from us , it does not seem that after 9 years of maintaining a “A” rating should a company like our selves have to remain in a “NR” status and felt our compliance in any review should of shown good faith efforts that our company had conducted the entire time and at minimum should have our letter restored. We felt that the BBB was acting in poor ethics and was not living up to their own code of conduct. We then started to push for prompt resolutions , and feel the actions of the BBB was in part this persistence from us , but also is for not agreeing to pay their yearly dues.
We also took the approach of having our clients call up the BBB and put Reviews up , along with the clients expressing their gratitude for our Company, The BBB response has been to BLOCK the public from our Positive Reviews , and the BBB refuses to post reviews from actual clients.
The ownership and management of Relief Solutions International LLC has made helping frustrated timeshare owners our passion. Over 10 years, we have strived to build a company we can be proud to own. One built on honesty, integrity, and compassion. We truly believe we have done so and we do not take the BBB’s assessment of our company lightly. It is an insult to our character and the character we have instilled into our business.
Unfortunately, we are not alone is this frustration with the Better Business Bureau…
Nearly 50 Missouri Attorney General Complaints Against the St. Louis Better Business Bureau
Through a public records request from the Missouri Attorney General’s office, one can see that the St. Louis branch of the BBB has had nearly 50 complaints filed against it with the Missouri AG’s Office.
Complaints came from both businesses and consumers. One of particular interest is in regards to the misleading term of ‘Accredited’ that the Better Business Bureau uses to describe its paying members. The email questions the use of this term and references the actual definition of the term “accredited”. Here is the definition:
accredited [uh-kred-i-tid] – adjective
- officially recognized as meeting the essential requirements, as of academic excellence: accredited schools.
- provided with official credentials, as by a government: an accredited diplomatic representative.
- accepted as authoritative: an accredited theory.
The complaint goes on to suggest that instead of using the term ‘accredited’ to describe its paying members, that the BBB should consider calling these businesses what they are: paying customers. This more accurate description describes their customers and little if nothing to do with the objective review of those businesses.
More About the Better Business Bureau
Below are excerpts from a damning report from CNNMoney Investigates on the shady practices of the BBB…
ABC News Investigation of the BBB
Los Angeles Better Business Bureau Expelled
BBB Is A Pay-to-Play Scheme
In 2010, the Connecticut Attorney General likened its membership program to a “pay to play” scheme after a local bureau gave an annual award for business ethics to a company that was under investigation by his office. When the organization vowed to address the issues, which included eliminating a policy that barred non-members from earning A+ ratings, he backed down. – Source: CNN
Horrible Companies Who Got A Ratings
These are examples of companies that the BBB listed as A-Rated. Companies that sold flaming ovens, defrauded former service members, cheated the government, were sued by the Justice Department, preyed on minorities, and cheated Medicare out of millions of dollars are just some of the digressions of these businesses. The Better Business Bureau still gave them an A:
Electrolux | A+ Rating : knowingly sold flaming ovens to consumers. Paid $750,000 to the DOJ in fines.
I Works, Inc. | A+ Rating : tricked consumers out of $275m. Assets seized by feds. Management indicted.
Millitary Credit Services LLC | A- Rating : utilized predatory lending practices againsts military customers.
Boggs Paving | A+ Rating : CEO and four other executives pled guilty to money laundering.
Adventist Health System | A+ Rating : provided ‘reckless cancer treatment to consumers.
All Financial Services | A+ Rating : posed a government agency. Sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Fiskars Brands | A+ Rating : sold defective axes to consumers and failed to notify regulators.
QLasers PMA | A+ Rating : made false claims about unapproved medical lasers. DOJ is seeking permanent injuction.
Provident Funding Associates | A+ Rating : preyed on minority borrowers. Sued by DOJ and CFPB.
Rapid Tax 1 | A- Rating : indicted on Tax Fraud by the U.S. Government.
NourishLife LLC | A+ Rating : severely mislead parents of autistic children.
DriveTime | A- Rating : agreed to pay civil penalty of $8m for abusive debt collection practices.
See all of these in more detail over on CNN Money Investigates.
The BBB ‘could care less about consumers
In this video from CNN, a Michican resident says the BBB continues to back a poor performing company with an A+ Rating.
The BBB Rakes in Millions
The BBB is registered as a non-profit business, yet rakes in millions from the businesses it is supposed to objectively rate and review. Many bureaus even pay high-commissions to salespeople or third parties to build membership dues:
And the pressure to bring in even more paying members is so high that some bureaus pay top salespeople commissions of more than a third of what they bring in, according to interviews with several current and former employees. Others hire outside sales firms to aggressively pitch BBB membership.
See more from this article about how the BBB makes money.
Inconsistencies in the BBB’s Rating System
One example is all it takes to show that the BBB’s rating system is flawed. Take, for example, Walmart’s listing on the Better Business Bureau’s website. This global corporation has over 3000 complaints lodged against it. Approximately 92% of it’s ratings are negative. Whether it has paid to be ‘accredited’ or not aside, it still holds an A+ Rating:
Yet, the world renown and well-respected company Wolfgang Puck has just 6 complaints and has an ‘F’ Rating with the Better Business Bureau. Why is this the case?
Find Relief Solutions International LLC on the BBB website
To see our reviews directly on the BBB, visit Relief Solutions International LLC (RSI) on the BBB website.
Thanks for doing your homework. We hope we can be of service to you.
Note: as has been decided in court several times, the BBB is an opinion based service and is therefore protected under the First Amemdment of the U.S. Constitution. Some information on this page is fact, however, some is the opinion of Relief Solutions International, LLC and it’s ownership. Therefore, statements on this page are protected Free Speech.