hy we’re not part of the BBB or CanSIA?
Sometimes we’re asked why we’re not part of the BBB, an international association that alerts the public about troublesome companies and also helps resolve disputes between unsatisfied customers and businesses.
The answer is simple: we choose not to.
While it is important for the public to have resources they can use to seek relief from poor, incomplete or unprofessional products or services, we think the BBB has lost much this noble intent over the years, and today focuses primarily on bringing in new members.
The same is true with CanSIA, a trade association for the Canadian solar industry, another organization that promotes education, networking, and policy development in our industry, but doesn’t necessarily have a way for the public to tell the difference between the excellent companies and the less spectacular ones.
We’re not alone in our thoughts either; other businesses tell us they also have reservations about joining groups like these, and here are some common reasons:
- “Pay to play” model: Anyone can join these groups, provided you pay basic membership fees and accept their membership conditions, such as a BBB rating, based mainly on how well you work to keep your customers satisfied. We find this type of customer service essential, regardless of what group we’re a part of or not part of.
- Unfair competition: Some businesses enjoy pointing out their BBB membership as a prime reason why they’re more reliable than those who choose not to participate. We prefer demonstrating the quality of our products, our service, and our many satisfied customers.
- Excessive costs: Members of the BBB can sometimes pay as high as $2,000 annually for the “privilege” of being able to be publicly recognized in the event a customer is ever unhappy with them. CanSIA membership fees vary from $1,000 to $25,000 yearly. Instead of including these high fees in our yearly budgets, we’d rather pass the savings onto our customers and keep our costs low.
- Our reputation: Rather than paying an organization unfamiliar with who we are and what we do to advise us on what we should or shouldn’t be doing, we’d much rather receive a “rating” from the people who really count: our hundreds of satisfied customers throughout Canada.
Feedback and referrals from happy clients are so vital in our business – if we’re truly doing our job, we don’t need to pay for outside help!