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Better Business Bureau ®
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In San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties
BBB Military Line - San Diego

The Program:

Since 2004, the BBB Military Line literacy and consumer protection through the efforts of 116 BBBs across the United States. This program makes your BBB’s resources accessible to military personnel and their families, who have often been the target of unscrupulous and predatory business practices. With so many military based operations in the county, your San Diego BBB brings this program to our local communities.

The Core Program Activities:

Smart Consumer Workshops:

Since the program’s formal national rollout in December 2004, over 3,500 teens and adults at military locations across the United States have attended our Military Smart Consumer workshops.

The adult “Military Smart Consumer” curriculum focuses on topics such as: how to avoid being victimized by ID theft, tips on buying a car, safe online shopping, basic budgeting concepts and sound purchasing, and credit practices. This also includes how to use credit wisely and cell phone basics. These potentially dry topics are enlivened by using a highly interactive format built around a short competitive quiz and a drawing for an exciting prize (Apple iPod, for example) which is often donated. The training is carried out by San Diego BBB staff that travel to the military installations and present these workshop on-base.

The “Teen Smart Consumer” curriculum was developed using many of the same techniques as the adult curriculum, since the subjects covered and the innovative way they are presented works just as well with teens and young service members and their families.

Other Program Services:

BBB Military Line maintains six Web sites (www.military.bbb.org, www.army.bbb.org, www.navy.bbb.org, www.airforce.bbb.org, www.marinecorps.bbb.org, and www.coastguard.bbb.org ). On these Web sites service members, retirees, DoD civilians, and their families find custom educational materials, breaking news on consumer issues affecting the military, access to BBB reliability reports on hundreds of thousands of local businesses, BBB complaint systems, and subscriber information for the free monthly BBB Military Line e-newsletter. In addition, all 116 local BBBs, and their branches, stand ready to assist military personnel and their families.

Accomplishments:

The Military Line Program fills a critical gap for military personnel. When they move to a new community and are looking for businesses they can trust, BBB Military Line can assist them with free business reliability reports. If they have consumer complaints, the BBBs can mediate for them anywhere in the United States. As military consumers they can receive educational programs tailored to their particular needs. The reality for military consumers is that they can easily become the targets of unscrupulous operators. Recently, the BBB system helped to uncover a scam to sell Iraqi Dinars to military personnel and others. The BBB alerted the public to ensure the scam received the exposure required to help prevent future consumers from being victimized. Other scams include work-at-home offers, dubious insurance plans, and the like. By teaching military personnel and their families that valuable information and assistance is available through the BBB system, we are helping to preserve the financial resources of our soldiers and their families.

Sample Locations:

32nd Naval Base • Fleet and Family Services Center • Miramar • Camp Pendleton • Pt Loma

Learn More about BBB Military Line Program:

Visit http://sandiego.bbb.org/Military/

BBB Contact:

Shelley Bradley • sbradley@sandiego.bbb.org • (858) 637-6199 x320