Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Think inDifferent

My opinion of the Better Business Bureau has never been very high.

I am not alone in this assessment:

Some people swear by the BBB, though, and having never used it, I decided to give it a shot … just this once. After all, it’s important to always act in good-faith. To exhaust all reasonable options before resorting to a lawsuit.

And so, I did. I tried to resolve my outstanding issue with America’s wealthiest company amicably.

I looked up Apple, Inc. on the San Jose BBB page, and I found that, even though Apple was not a member of the BBB, they nevertheless had been awarded an A+ rating.

Apple Computer on BBB

Apple Computer Customer Complaints Summary on BBB

Apple Computer Complaint Breakdown by Resolution on BBB

How did they get an A+ rating?

Well, out of 2,103 complaints, Apple resolved 1,296 of them with the BBB’s assistance. Why, that’s 62%.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Is 62% an “A+”, though?

If it is, I should have gotten way better grades in school.

According to the BBB, on 804 occasions, Apple made a “good faith attempt” to resolve the complaint, but gosh darn-it, customers are just unreasonable sometimes. 38% of the time to be exact. Were these 804 customers not unreasonable in each of these cases, Apple could not possibly have an “A+” rating, so we’ll just have to take the BBB’s word for it.

In 7 cases, Apple just told the customer to go screw him/herself.

Er, make that 8 times.

On the BBB website, I typed out a fairly long and detailed complaint, and after 3 days, Apple responded with a somewhat lengthy rebuttal. Their response stated that my computer was dead due to a “power issue”.

I scratched my head.

Before dying, my computer’s graphics were distorted, and became moreso as the computer heated up. A classic case of a failing GPU. Nobody, not even the Apple Store, had made any determination of a power failure. As a matter of fact, since the machine does turn on, albeit briefly, a power issue is unlikely.

On the BBB website, however, a dead power supply was Apple’s position and they were sticking to it. They also noted that my Apple Care had expired, although how this was relevant is anyone’s guess.

I did, however, appreciate Apple’s personal touch of addressing me as “Mr. NLN” instead of Mr. Rex, or simply Rex. I mean, always show the customer respect, right? I’m sure they call Prince “Mr. No Last Name” as well, so it’s all good.

In any event, the BBB requested my rebuttal to Apple’s position, and of course, I gave them one. I once again typed out a fairly long, detailed, point-counterpoint rebuttal.

When I went back the next day to look at my response, I noticed that the BBB had cut it off ¼ way through. When I tried to find out why, I learned that my rebuttal had been limited to 1,200 characters, while Apple’s rebuttal was limited to whatever the hell they wanted.

Being the wealthiest company in America has its privileges. Such as A+ ratings for form-letter responses to customer issues.

Apple declined to respond to my rebuttal, and yesterday, the BBB summarily closed the issue. Apple’s A+ rating remains intact.

Take that, corporate behemoth!

In the end, my initial opinion of the BBB has only been reinforced. Now, however, I have some personal experience to back that opinion up.

Next stop, the King County Courthouse.

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