DAYTON, OH – August 11, 2009 - Local businesses commonly get phone calls about advertising opportunities. But, your Better Business Bureau warns some of them are not on the up and up as many members of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce are finding out.
Universal Adcom dba Premier Maps has been contacting Dayton Chamber members. The callers ask chamber members if they would like to renew their ads for the 2010 chamber map. The fee quoted is usually about $300. However, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce reports it isn’t involved with the company in any capacity. The chamber has tried to contact the company, but has gotten no response.
Phil Parker, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President, says, "We at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce are concerned our members are being solicited fraudulently by the Premier Map Company. The Dayton Chamber has never partnered with the Premier Map Company to offer our members any services. The Dayton Chamber partners with Spotlight Publications, Inc. to provide maps."
Your Better Business Bureau reports that Universal Adcom, which is located in Arlington, TX, has an F rating with your BBB. An F rating is your BBB’s lowest rating. The company has had more than 245 complaints filed against it at your BBB in the last three-year reporting period. Complaints allege the company billed for orders not placed; misrepresented its affiliation with a school, chamber of commerce or other civic organizations; harassing and deceptive sales calls; non-receipt of product and poor quality product; and refusal to remove from calling lists. It should be mentioned the majority of complaints to your BBB report mutiple complaint issues.
Your BBB is not the sole source of complaints against the company. In addition to complaints to your BBB, many people have made complaints to Attorney General’s offices in their respective states. As a result, several Attorney General offices have investigated the business’ practices, deemed the practices to be unfair and deceptive, and have issued Cease and Desist Orders. Moreover, a lawsuit has been brought against the business for its deceptive business practices.
John North, BBB president and CEO, says, "Your BBB often hears of companies misrepresenting themselves to consumers and businesses. Many Better Business Bureaus, chambers and trade associations offer members the opportunity to promote their organizations. To avoid falling victim to shady opportunities, check with the organization allegedly offering the opportunity to see if the soliciting company is legitimate and endorsed by the organization."
This example of a company taking advantage of local businesses demonstrates why it’s important to always Start With Trust when your doing business. Always check companies out by contacting your Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org or calling (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301. In instances like this, your company can benefit by having effective internal controls. For instance, get everything in writing, check your records to confirm previous dealings with solicitating companies, channel all bills through one department, clear and verify invoices with the people who gave authorization and appropriate financial staff.
BBB, the leader in advancing marketplace trust, is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than four million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.
About Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce brings together nearly 3,000 businesses and organizations in southwestern Ohio. The Chamber strives to improve the region’s business climate and overall standard of living through public policy advocacy, economic development initiatives, and a variety of information, and original service and training resources for its members. Recognized as the U.S. "Chamber of the Year" in 1998 and nationally awarded with "5-Star Accreditation" from the United States Chamber of Commerce in 2005, the Dayton Chamber is widely recognized for its effective organizational procedures, innovative programs, and outstanding contribution to positive change in the region. Information about the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is available at www.daytonchamber.org or 937-226-1444.