ARLINGTON, Va. – July 8, 2008 – In order to serve the specialized consumer needs of U.S. Coast Guard personnel and their families, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Coast Guard to formally establish BBB Coast Guard Line – part of the greater BBB Military Line® program – as a Coast Guard Qualified Organization.
With more than 40,000 active duty members and nearly 10,000 reservists, the Coast Guard plays a key role in supporting our nation’s efforts in homeland security, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental pollution response and the maintenance of river, intra-coastal and offshore aids to navigation. Coast Guardsmen and their families are also consumers and valued members of local communities at more than 50 U.S. Coast Guard installations, bases and air stations across the country.
“BBB Coast Guard Line is designed to help members of the Coast Guard and their families become more savvy consumers, giving them the knowledge and skills to contend with the downturn in today’s economy and manage the process of navigating new local markets as they move from station to station every few years,” said Steven J. Cole, president and CEO of the CBBB.
BBB Coast Guard Line will bring the full resources of BBB to the Coast Guard consumer. With 112 BBBs serving every single community across the United States, no matter where that member and their family may be stationed, there will always be a BBB dedicated to serving their needs both in-person and through the unique BBB Coast Guard Line Web site.
BBB Coast Guard Line will:
• Provide BBB Reliability ReportsTM to support pre-purchase decision-making and objective, trustworthy advice on businesses across the nation;
• Assist Coast Guard 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 Coast Guardsmen and their families through BBB data tracking.
“BBB Military Line is here to serve all members of the U.S. uniformed services, and that certainly includes Coast Guard personnel and their families. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to provide them with the information they need to excel in today’s challenging economy,” said Holly Petraeus, BBB Military Line® director. “Whether the topic is buying a car, avoiding identity theft or getting out of debt, BBB Military Line has advice that members of the military and their families can trust.”
In addition to this relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard, BBB Military Line® has 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.
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.