I am beyond furious! I just received an email from Xlibris, which as you know is part of Author Solutions. The message looked so professional, offering a holiday weekend sale, etc. They went on to present a beautiful sales pitch that would have fooled even the savviest of businessmen.
What really threw me through the roof was how they were able to brag/boast that they have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, which is true. I checked it!!! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Years ago, when they took me for a ride, it was my first experience in the industry and they got me good, I had filed a complaint with the Indiana BBB and back then it was an A rating. After all of these years and all of the complaints, how is it they still have the A rating?
Author Solutions, which owns Xlibris, has 51 customer reviews on the BBB website with an average rating of only 1.5 stars. There are also 199 complaints. So, how can they possibly have an A+ rating?
Here’s how the Better Business Bureau reviews/complaints system works:
1. If a company responds to every complaint, their rating stays high regardless if the customer is happy with the outcome or not.
2. When a company is purchased by another firm, their BBB rating is wiped clean and they get to start over. All of the old complaints and reviews are deleted, negative and positive. Remember, Author Solutions was sold a few years ago.
3. When a company moves to a different state, they are then in a different BBB district and, just like with #2 above, their slate is wiped clean and they get to start over. When we moved from Maine to Florida, all of our positive reviews on the Better Business Bureau website were deleted. We were furious!
4. All you have to do to be “accredited” by the BBB is to pay their outrageous accreditation fee, which I call an extortion fee.
How much does that coveted “accreditation” cost? According to BBB.org, if your company is in, for example, Boston:
Number of Employees / Annual BBB Accreditation Fee:
1-3 / $480
4-7 / $555
8-10 / $625
11-49 / $760
50-99 / $975
100-200 / $1,155
200+ / $2/employee
And, what does BBB accreditation mean? Only that the company has PAID the BBB for that logo to appear on their page on the BBB site!
According to their website:
“BBB accreditation does not mean that the business’s products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business’ product quality or competency in performing services.”
In my opinion, the BBB is a huge racket. There are lots of complaints about the Better Business Bureau on line but you won’t find any of those on the Better Business Bureau website itself.
Oh, and a noticed that the most recent complaint about Xlibris on the BBB website states they have “refund specialists.” Even Xlibis confirmed that in their response. If a company needs to employ “refund specialists,” they must be processing a LOT of refunds!
- Employees (Allegedly) Reveal Behind-the-Scenes Info. about CreateSpace, Xlibris, Author Solutions, Infinity Publishing, Lulu, and Outskirts Press
- “Should I pay Xlibris $6,000-$17,000 to promote my book?”
- Uh Oh! What are the Employees of Author Solutions Saying Since the Firm was Sold?! (a.k.a. AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, Trafford, etc.)
- Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc. – Angela Hoy
- WHO’S FOR SALE?! AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, and WordClay are! Let’s Dissect the Numbers, Shall We? By Angela Hoy
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COMMENT RECEIVED VIA EMAIL:
Thanks again for that explanation of the BBB I will definitely be sharing that with our writer’s guild this weekend. I am just beside myself to learn that it is all about the money. At one time the BBB meant something but not anymore!
Thank so much and Write On!
I applied for a sales job at local BBB office several years ago and was told during the interview that the ratings system was based on how much the client was willing to pay. Incredible how they’re still allowed to operate.
The BBB accreditation thing sounds a lot like the AARP licensing thing. To me, either is the equivalent of buying a designer handbag: paying more money than the product is worth just to boost your own ego.
That was a very informative article. When I was younger, many decades ago, BBB was a big thing. Now, I don’t seem to hear about them as much. They might still have some weight, but hopefully their tactics are causing them to become less significant.
Or the company does not want to make refunds at all so has specialists who specialize in delaying, diverting, dissing, and ignoring people.