U.S. Marine Corps Joins BBB Military Line® Program


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ARLINGTON, Va. – March 25, 2008 – The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Marine Corps at a ceremony in Washington, DC on Monday, to formally establish BBB Marine Corps Line – part of the greater BBB Military Line® program – designed to serve the specialized consumer needs of Marine Corps personnel and their families.

“Our nation’s Marines are on the front lines in support of our country, and we at BBB want to be sure that they and their families receive the best treatment from the business community here at home,” said Steven J. Cole, President and CEO of the CBBB.

BBB Marine Corps Line will bring the full resources of BBB to the Marine Corps consumer, no matter where that person is located, through a dedicated Web site and targeted education efforts.

“Locally, BBBs will provide Marine Corps installations with consumer classes, briefings, and educational products, and will work with businesses in their service areas to ensure ethical treatment of military customers,”   added Cole. “In addition, Marines and their families will find their own dedicated Web site where they can access educational tools on credit and investing, news and tips on consumer issues, and links to look up reliability reports on businesses or file a complaint with BBB.”

BBB Marine Corps Line will:
• Provide BBB Reliability ReportsTM to support pre-purchase decision-making and objective, trustworthy advice on businesses across the nation;
• Assist Marine Corps personnel with complaints against unresponsive businesses;
• Supply guidance, focused education efforts and easily accessible information on how to avoid being victimized by predatory lenders, misleading advertisements, high-pressure salespeople and other suspect business practices; and,
• Help identify trends and emerging marketplace issues impacting Marines and their families through BBB data tracking.

“This memorandum of understanding with BBB is important to the Marine Corps because it’s all about taking care of Marines and families,” said Major General, USMC (Ret.) Timothy R. Larsen, Director of the USMC Personal and Family Readiness Division. “BBB represents a center of excellence, and will be a great resource for all of our people with information and services tailored to the needs of the Marine Corps.”

“Financial issues can be a very serious stressor at a time when our military is facing repeated deployments around the world,” said Holly Petraeus, BBB Military Line® Director. “Our goal with BBB Marine Corps Line is to educate Marines and their families to become smarter consumers, and to help them recognize the good deals and avoid the scams. We are here to support Marines, to be their advocate, and to share our knowledge of the marketplace.”

With the addition of the U.S. Marine Corps, BBB Military Line® has now established partnerships with all four Department of Defense military branches. Military families from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy – both at home and abroad – can benefit from the educational programs and consumer guidance provided by BBB Military Line®. 

BBB Military Line® is supported through funding from the Department of Justice and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with additional, private-sector sponsorship from Patton Boggs, LLP, and the Defense Credit Union Council.

The BBB Marine Corps Line Web site can be found at www.bbb.org/usmc or as a link from the BBB Military Line® home page at http://www.bbb.org/us/military.

Reporters and journalists may contact Alison Preszler, CBBB’s Media Relations Specialist or call 703-247-9376 to request an interview or additional information.

About BBB
BBB 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, 126 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more nearly four million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.

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