Protecting the BBB flame

By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller

Because the BBB offices in the Statesman building are quite small, and the teams work in cubicles, we often can overhear conversations.

On Tuesday afternoon, a young business owner stepped into the offices to talk about a complaint filed against his business. He spoke with a thick accent, and talked very quickly.

Joanne Miller, vice president of operations/administration, welcomed the business owner and took him into a closed meeting room to talk about his concerns.

During the course of the interview, it was discovered that this business owner had been an accredited business, but had allowed his accreditation to lapse.

When Joanne asked for his business card, he promptly produced a card and emblazoned on it was the BBB flame.

“His response to me was that he’d printed so many business cards, he didn’t want to throw them away,” Joanne said.

There are many occasions when it is brought to BBB attention that symbols, logos, wording, colors, etc. come under scrutiny by the Better Business Bureau.

“If you are an accredited business, you can proudly show the BBB logo, otherwise, you haven’t earned the rights to say so,” she said.

BBB wants accredited businesses to use the logo in media such as Yellow Pages, brochures, business cards, proposals, direct mail, periodicals, advertising, pamphlets, estimates and letterhead. Both, display, print and electronic versions.

But, BBB is stingy. If your not an accredited business, you lose any and all privileges to use the flame.

“People trust the flame, and what it represents,” Joanne said.

She promptly told the small business owner he needed to remove the logo and stop distributing those business cards.


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