Interview with Eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau
The BBB Seal has symbolized trust for over a century.The rising number of scams makes it even more crucial to ally yourself with reputable organizations like the Better Business Bureau, an organization dedicated to pinpointing reputable businesses around the area. We caught up with Lisa of the Eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau to ask her some questions about the BBB’s success, avoiding scams, and the Senior Scene program.
Why is it important to be listed with the BBB?
Due to the deception consumers often face in the marketplace, many are hesitant to conduct business with a new company and it’s up to the company to show that they are a reputable business. Consumers want to work with someone they can trust and that’s why millions of people each year visit the BBB website before making their buying decisions.
Consumers prefer to work with BBB Accredited Businesses because they can trust that the company has met and agreed to uphold BBB’s high standards for ethical business practices. In a competitive marketplace, BBB Accreditation assures consumers that they are choosing a business with a proven track record for being honest, reliable and responsive. Since consumers often compare multiple companies, being accredited also gives you a competitive edge. In addition, BBB provides a variety of benefits including discounted advertising, our 'Request a Quote’ program, discounts on office supplies and more.
Better Business Bureau plays a pivotal role in the health of our marketplace. Thanks to the support of our Accredited Businesses we’re able to: provide a forum where businesses and customers can resolve their differences amicably; monitor advertising in Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula and challenge questionable claims by advertisers; offer free Business Reviews on companies (both accredited and non-accredited); and provide the public with timely fraud alerts and updates regarding unethical business practices. Our presence helps minimize the need for more restrictive government regulations.
Finally, through the generous support of our BBB Accredited Businesses, the BBB Educational Foundation supports a variety of programs for consumers of all ages, from middle and high school students to senior citizens, programs for veterans groups, auto workers, retirees, families of active-duty military personnel and members of the business community.
What are 4 tips for seniors to remember to avoid scams?
For all scams, there are four steps seniors can use to fight back:
Ignore: Use caller ID to screen calls. Ignore strange numbers. Do not answer your door if you do not know the person
Resist: Never be pressured into giving someone money or personal info or signing any contracts – especially on the first contact. No legitimate organization works that way.
Verify – look into any claims that might concern you. Find a legitimate source to look up the company and do your due diligence to determine if the person is who they say they are. When in doubt, call BBB at 248.223.9400 for assistance.
Notify – Share your stories about scammers with others. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker the damage can be mitigated. Also, when you warn others, it protects them from falling for the same scams.
What are 3 tips for verifying a company's legitimacy?
- Look up the company on BBB’s website bbb.org/Detroit or call BBB at 248.223.9400 to determine if we have a record on the company and if we have contact information for the company – while there, look at their ratings and complaints
- If business that should have a license through the State of Michigan, such as a contractor, medical professional or therapist, verify their license at https://www.lara.michigan.gov/colaLicVerify/
- Use a search engine to look up the company to see if there are any review sites that show concerns about the company’s legitimacy.
How can consumers help better the BBB?
Consumers can help BBB by coming to us first, before they sign contracts or buy merchandise – checking out a company, their rating and their complaints can save the consumer time and money and will lead to less complaints. They can also help by letting us know of bad businesses and scams so we can warn others. Finally, millions of consumers rely on us to find trusted businesses – consumers can help us and our Accredited Businesses by letting the businesses know they found them on BBB and by writing a review on the company’s Business Review page after services are rendered.
What's the secret behind the BBB's success?
For more than 100 years, BBB has helped people make smarter decisions we continue to evolve to meet fast changing marketplace needs. Over these 100 years, BBB has built a stellar reputation for trust that consumers recognize immediately and that businesses leverage to show they can be trusted. We are national non-profit organization, but we are locally based in more than 112 communities in Northern American. Locally we have “boots on the ground” in Michigan and our focus is on helping our community – we help consumers and businesses find each other and work together, we help to protect consumers from bad businesses and fraud, and we help businesses showcase their trustworthiness.
How did Medical Care Alert become a sponsor of the BBB Senior Scene program?
When BBB started the BBB Senior Scene program, we reached out to some of our Accredited Businesses who have excellent reputations for providing products and services for seniors. Medical Care Alert (with an A+ rating from the BBB) was one that we identified and the company immediately jumped in to offer its support for a brand new, untested program. Through their help, along with our other sponsors, in the past year, we have reached more than 2,000 seniors with in-person scam prevention training and have provide written information to countless numbers of seniors in our area. Medical Care Alert is now in their second year of support of the program.
As a Michigan Based Medical Alert Company, Medical Care Alert is proud of our sponsorship and participation with the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan, and we look forward to continuing to serve the community. Ask about expert installation and set up in the metro Detroit area. Please contact us to learn more about how a med alert system for seniors can help them maintain their independence and age gracefully at home.