I became aware that the BBB had removed my A+ rating on Saturday September 21, 2013 I don’t known when they actually initiated the action. This was about one week after Yahoo Finance published an article on the potential for abuse by scammers playing off the federal health insurance exchange launch scheduled for October 1. I had been working on projects surrounding this event for about three years (and health care reform generally for about three decades) and considered the October 2013 event it to be a career-defining moment. I gave an interview to writer Rick Newman and he seemed to tip that someone had “fingered” me as one of the bad guys. He did not tell me that is was the BBB but I figured that out later.
I called the BBB office in Pennsylvania three times during the following week. Each time I was told that the only person who could respond – Andrew Good – was out of the office. I left messages with the receptionist and on Mr. Good’s voicemail but they were not returned. I also submitted a response form on their Web site and sent an e-mail but received no response.
I reviewed my online profile at the BBB and made minor updates. I saw nothing that would trigger concern or prevent them from being able to reach me easily. I noted that both my business phone and my personal cell phone number were listed as well as my personal email address.
On Monday September 30, I received a voicemail message from Andrew Good, explaining that the BBB would respond in writing. He addressed my concern that I had been “targeted” by specifically saying that their action was not in response to a complaint but rather was the result of an internal process of reviewing members’ online advertising.
I responded October 3; a copy of the letter is posted here (see tonynovak.com).
I received the BBB’s inquiry letter October 4; a copy is posted here (see tonynovak.com). They requested a written response. I responded on the same day with this letter by fax and email.
As of this point I still do not have a response and my BBB membership listing still says “not rated” and “under review”.(
(More on the eventual resolution is posted at https://novaktony.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/unfair-actions-by-bbb-to-be-published-soon/)