Netbrands feuds with Better Business Bureau over rating

Posted Monday, Jun. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Netbrands, aka 24hourwristbands.com and Texas’ newly crowned “small business of the year,” shot back at the Better Business Bureau over its “F” rating, saying the private, franchised rating agency itself deserves such a low grade.

Mueen Akhtar, its chief financial officer and a co-founder of the Houston-area venture, sent us an email with links to several news stories excoriating the BBB.

Included was a 2010 report by ABC-TV that said the consumer watchdog’s Los Angeles franchise was accused of running a “pay for play” scheme in which A-plus ratings are awarded to those paying a $425 membership fee, and F ratings are used to punish those who don’t.

Akhtar also told us that the BBB had asked Netbrands to join but that he won’t sign up because of its big fees, about $1,500. We contacted him after the U.S.Small Business Administration chose the rapidly growing, online seller of silicone wristbands and promotional goods as its top small business for 2013.

Needless to say, the Houston BBB doesn’t see it Akhtar’s way. As recently as last week, it said Netbrands has asked to join BBB.

“They contacted us no less than four times about becoming accredited,” said Leah Napoliello, a BBB investigator. “In each instance, we have told them they do not currently qualify due to the continual outstanding complaint issues and the F rating.”

“In regards to their supposed [F] rating of the BBB, why has Netbrands asked us multiple times how they can become BBB accredited if they question our reporting methods and do not want to be part of our organization?” Napoliello asked.

“In addition, the articles cited by the company focus on the Los Angeles chapter of the Better Business Bureau, not the BBB of Houston and South Texas. That chapter has since been expelled from the Council of the Better."

Stay tuned.

Tornado aid

The tornadoes that raked Hood and Johnson counties last month left devastation in their wake, and the area’s new car dealerships lent their hands to boost recovery efforts.

Officials of the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association on Friday handed a check for $57,500 to Granbury Mayor Pro Tem Nin Hulett. The presentation was made at the Granbury New Car Dealers Association charity golf tournament at Harbor Lakes Golf Club.

“The DFW NCDA is very pleased to have raised this much money in just a couple of weeks. The folks in Granbury and Cleburne were hit hard by these devastating tornadoes, so it is our hope that this money will help them in their effort to rebuild their communities,” association President Tom Durant said in a prepared release. Association members are in 11 North Texas counties.

Next Steps grant

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and TCU have partnered to develop and implement a program to improve “the ability of physicians to work in teams among healthcare disciplines,” they said last week.

The parties said a four-year, $1 million grant will fund the new Next Steps program under Janice Knebl, a UNTHSC professor of internal medicine. The aim is to expand and develop geriatrics education for medical professionals.

Collaborating on the project are the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Health Professions and College of Pharmacy at UNTHSC, and the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at TCU.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 sabaker@star-telegram.com Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 jfuquay@star-telegram.com Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718 barry@star-telegram.com

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