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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/05/2010

A Place for Mom Inc (Headquarters)

Phone: (866) 333-7161

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Customer Complaints Summary

12 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues5
Billing / Collection Issues3
Problems with Product / Service4
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints12

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (12)BBB Closure Definitions
03/28/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I do not have a referral agreement with the company. The sent me a referral and are now demanding a fee of $275 that I feel I should not pay.

Initial Business Response
A Place for Mom ("APFM") is a senior living and care referral information service providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior care and housing options. APFM helps consumers find options based on a loved one's stated needs and preferences. Based on those stated needs and preferences, APFM provides the consumer with information about contracted companies ("Contracted Partner") and forwards the consumer's information to those Contracted Partners. The service is offered at no charge to consumers, as the Contracted Partners pay a fee to APFM if a consumer who has been referred by APFM obtains the Contracted Partner's services.

************ was a Contracted Partner with APFM. At some point in time, ************ had a change of ownership. APFM was not alerted to this change in ownership until February 26, 2014. Until that time, APFM had been referring consumers to ************ during the normal course of business, and ************ neither advised APFM of the change of ownership nor rejected the consumer referrals from APFM.
In this particular situation, APFM referred a consumer to ************ on February 12, 2014. The consumer obtained services from ************. Therefore, APFM sent ************ an invoice for the referral services. On February 26, 2014, ************ contacted APFM and advised it that they had a change in ownership, and that there was no valid contract between the "new" ************ and APFM.

APFM has sent ************ a letter on March 3, 2014, confirming formal termination of the agreement between ************ and APFM. The agreement provides that all consumers referred to ************ before the termination are still deemed APFM consumers, subject to a referral fee being invoiced if the consumer obtained services from ************. However, in this situation, APFM seeks to resolve this business dispute by cancelling the invoice at issue.

Accordingly, we request that the BBB close this matter as resolved-satisfied.


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
APFM was in fact notified of the change or ownership in the summer 2103 when a telemarketing person from their firm called ************ seeking a business relationship. APFM claims no knowledge of that phone call and ************ has no record of that phone call and that was also verbally also communicated to APFM in April of 2014.

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

01/06/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: It's criminal that referral services, including this one, charge small, family- owned adult care homes require 100% of the first months rent for their "referrals". I used this referral service. They gave my family and I the name of an adult care home with openings provided under contract by adult care homes in Vancouver, WA. This company is not local. They do no visit or become personally familiar with the care homes they recommend. The families do ALL the leg work. If anyone deserves a 100% referral fee it's the families not this service. Because this service has such an extreme referral "fee" extreme, my family was almost denied residency because we used this company. A referral fee of this magnitude is criminal.

Initial Business Response
A Place for Mom ("APFM") is a senior housing information referral service. We provide resources about senior housing options to consumers. We provide the family with information about our
participating providers based upon the family's stated needs and preferences, such as location and financial limitations/resources. Our advice and consultation is provided at no cost to the consumer, and the providers pay us for our services.

APFM expressly and repeatedly discloses that it is paid by the senior living communities. On the APFM website and in communications to its consumers, APFM discloses that it is paid by the senior living communities. Every consumer seeking senior living options in Washington State must read and acknowledge a disclosure from APFM which states clearly: "How We Are Paid. APFM does not charge any fee to you - we are paid by the Participating Communities. Some Participating Communities pay us a percentage of the first and second months' standard rate for the rent and care services you select. The total amount of such fees may be up to, but will not exceed, one full month's rent and care charges. We invoice these fees after the senior moves in." As required by applicable law, APFM does not assist consumers until the disclosure is read and acknowledged by the consumer. In this situation, the consumer's family read and acknowledged the disclosure on November 10, 2013.

*** ***** mentions that her grandfather was "almost denied residency" because she used a referral agency. APFM's written contracts with its communities/providers prohibit any of its senior living communities from passing through any fees to the consumer, charging the consumer any additional amounts because the consumer used our services, or withholding any discounts for which the consumer may qualify.

No misrepresentation concerning extent of APFM's services. APFM's mandated disclosure also states clearly: "How We Work. Based on your stated needs and preferences, we provide you with information about one or more of our 18,000 contracted senior living and care providers ("Participating Communities") and provide your Senior Living Care Information to Participating Communities whom we identify as options for your consideration. The Participating Communities then may contact you directly regarding their facility or services."

APFM discloses to consumers that it is a reference and information source only. We provide the consumer with information about one or more senior living communities. While APFM independently visits certain senior living communities as part of its service model, APFM does not represent that all senior living communities are visited, nor does it tour with consumers. APFM refers families, but does not endorse or recommend any particular senior living community. We communicate to our consumers that it is their sole responsibility to select the appropriate care for a loved one or for themselves. We encourage families to tour independently and ask questions of each senior living community to ensure that the family selects the one that best meets their specific needs. When a family conducts its own independent tour, the family can then see firsthand the environment their loved one might experience.

We hope *** ***** has located a senior living community for her grandfather.



Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

05/27/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Invalid or false contract

Complaint: Company has not had a valid contract with this home since it's opening in July 2011. Yet Company would send spam faxes and emails with "referrals".

Recently had a family member look up my facility that had been talking to this company along with other sources for elder care. Family member elected to place their loved one in our home.

On the DATE OF MOVE-IN (April 1, 2013) - This company's representative, ****** ****** contacted me and demanded instant payment up front for a "placement", even though there is NO CONTRACT agreement with this company and mine.

When I enlightened their Representative, ****** ******* about the lack of a contract, he proceeded to threaten legal action against myself and my company if I did not immediately sign and PRE-DATE their contract with a date approximately 30 days previous (FRAUD) so as to make me liable for a placement fee.

When I refused to do this, this rep was very rude, unprofessional and threatening to myself. This rep and several others that have spoken to me since, have all convinced themselves that I have a valid placement contract with their company. Upon request, they faxed to me their contract.

The contract they have on file is an old, expired contract for a long-closed home in Tigard, OR, from 2007. That home was permanently closed in September, 2008.

As per their own contract and by the company's own admission, they need to have a signed contract for each facility location they serve. They do NOT have a signed, valid contract with my home here in Bend, OR, nor have they ever.

Business' Initial Response
We look forward to this opportunity to explain and clarify our business practices.

A Place for Mom is a senior living referral information service providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior living and care. A Place for Mom helps consumers find options based on a loved one's stated needs and preferences and empowers them to make informed decisions. Based on the consumer's stated needs and preferences, we provide the consumer with information about one or more contracted communities ("Participating Communities"); at the same time, APFM forwards the consumer's inquiry to those Participating Communities. The service is offered at no charge to consumers as the Participating Communities pay a fee to APFM. A Participating Community pays us a fee if the A Place for Mom consumer moves into the Participating Community. At A Place for Mom, we only send an invoice when one of our consumers moves into the Participating Community.

In this case, APFM had a contract with * **** *** *** *** ***. * **** *** *** *** *** allegedly mailed APFM a letter seeking to terminate the contract in June 2011. However, APFM never received the letter, and the letter was not addressed to the APFM corporate address. APFM continued to forward consumer inquiries to * **** *** *** *** ***, totaling at least eight consumer inquiries since June 2011. * **** *** *** *** *** never contacted APFM to inquire why APFM kept sending consumer inquiries. Even in their complaint, * **** *** *** *** *** acknowledges receiving consumer inquiries from APFM after June 2011.

A consumer forwarded from APFM to * **** *** *** *** *** moved-into * **** *** *** *** *** on March 28, 2013. Pursuant to the terms between APFM and * **** *** *** *** ***, APFM billed * **** *** *** *** *** for the consumer move-in. Pursuant to the terms between APFM and * **** *** *** *** ***, * **** *** *** *** *** owes APFM $2,350 on the first invoice and an additional $2,350 on a second invoice that has not been issued yet.

APFM is not and has never participated in harassing or defamatory actions. * **** *** *** *** *** is obligated to honor the terms and submit payment on the first and to-be-issued second invoices.

Thank you for this opportunity to explain and clarify our business practices.

Consumer's Final Response
Just attended a Providers networking group meeting and discovered through conversation with a variety of other providers in the area, that it appears to be a pattern with this company to routinely do "Placements" with non-contracted properties and then demand payment from them when a family does choose that property, utilizing "Strong Arm Tactics" such as I have experienced.

Looked up complaints on the web and discovered a plethora of complaints against this company, from providers and employees of the company alike.

One complaint actually resulted in a lawsuit from former employees that the company finally settled on.

Does not speak too well of this company and I certainly don't feel it deserves BBB accreditation by any stretch of the imagination.

Good information to know. It only solidifies my resolve to not do business with them ever.

Business' Final Response
APFM had a valid contract with * **** *** *** *** *** for the Bend, OR facility, which * **** *** *** *** *** now alleges that they attempted to cancel in June 2011. APFM never received any notice of termination and continued to forward consumer inquiries to * **** *** *** *** ***, totaling at least eight consumer inquiries since June 2011. * **** *** *** *** *** never contacted APFM again to terminate the contract. Even in its own complaint, * **** *** *** *** *** acknowledges receiving consumer inquiries from APFM after June 2011. Pursuant to the terms between APFM and * **** *** *** *** ***, * **** *** *** *** *** owes APFM $2,350 on the first invoice and an additional $2,350 on a second invoice that has not been issued yet. APFM is not and has never participated in harassing or defamatory actions. * **** *** *** *** *** should honor the terms and submit payment on the first and to-be-issued second invoices.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

08/15/2014Advertising / Sales Issues
03/11/2013Problems with Product / Service
Page 1 of 2
07/02/2013Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Sales presentation misrepresented the service

Complaint: While searching on the Internet for a listing of senior living facilities in a specific locale, I came across a site that offered to provide just that. Of course, I had to provide contact information in order to see the list, but that didn't seem out of the ordinary. I received a phone call within 30 seconds of entering my phone number - really, that should have been a clue.
After an error in the identification of the locale was detected, I was told I would receive a call from someone familiar with the area about which I was inquiring. When I recieved that call from Tammy Singer of "A Place for Mom," she described her role as a "matchmaker" and stated that there was no cost to "the family" because the companies services were paid by "communities throughout the country." I even asked her to repeat and clarify that information, and she replied that "communities" appreciated the services they provided to families in need of this information. I take responsibility for interpreting "communities" as municipalities, as in "community college," as I believe was intended; certainly, "communities" was not intended to suggest to me that the company would be payed a "finder's fee" by a senior living facility (or home care provider) for any senior who took up residence (or contracted services)after being referred (on the basis of this call) to the senior living facilty or home care company.
I admit freely, to being duped by the friendly, caring "advisor" into giving too much information including my mother's name.
I discovered later that night how the company is reimbursed, and how the "settling in" fee at a facility is coincidentally the same amount (equal to one month's fees) that the facility will be paying A Place for Mom.
Furthermore, I found out that because A Place for Mom has my mother's name, and can now refer her to any facility or home care service as a potential customer, they are entitled to this finder's fee at any time in the future.
I have no problem with anyone providing a service being compensated for that service, but if this company believes their practices to be above board, why employ deceptive practices about their compensation when gathering information from the unwitting "client"? This deception certainly makes me wary of anything they recommend, especially the advisor's statements about "not usually recommending the less lucrative home care."
At no time during our conversation was I aware that I would be represented by A Place for Mom, and certainly, at no time did I authorize them to represent my mother who doesn't even know about the call yet.
I have tried contacting the "advisor," and have left e-mail and voice mail messages telling her she does not have my permission to represent me or my mother to facilities or companies. I have spoken with a call-center operator (before west coast business hours) who assured me she would send the "advisor" an e-mail message telling her that I wanted her not to make any contacts on my behalf. I requested that I be copied that message, but I have not received it yet. I have called corporate headquarters and left a message detailing my complaint and order to not represent me, but I have not had a reply to that message yet either. (I can't help draw a comparison between yesterday's lightning fast response and today's lack of responses.)

Business' Initial Response
A Place for Mom ("APFM") would like to take this opportunity to explain and clarify its business practices.

Our Services. APFM provides resources and assistance in finding senior living options. Using its nationwide network of more than 18,000 senior living communities, APFM helps consumers find options based on a loved one's stated needs and preferences and empowers them to make informed decisions. Consumers contact APFM through one of two primary methods: (a) calling APFM's toll free number directly; or (b) requesting APFM contact them by submitting an internet lead form. An APFM Senior Living Advisor consults with the consumer to determine his or her needs and financial resources so that the Advisor can identify a list of the senior living options that will meet the consumer's needs and budget. Consumers receive detailed information about senior living communities, and APFM forwards the information provided by the consumer to those communities simultaneously. In this case, Ms. ***** filled out a lead form on www.assistedliving.com, which is a website owned and operated by APFM. APFM's ownership is clearly disclosed throughout the website on the footer and in the Terms of Use. After Ms. ***** filled out the lead form, an APFM representative contacted her promptly.

How APFM Is Paid. On its website and in its communications to consumers, APFM discloses clearly that the service is offered at no charge to consumers because participating communities pay a fee to APFM. The community only pays APFM a fee if the consumer moves into the community.

Regarding Complaint Case #XXXXXXXX:
Ms. ***** admits that she misinterpreted "community" to be a city or community college. This is not a common misconception. Assisted living housing units are usually referred to as "communities" in industry parlance.

APFM has researched Ms. *****'s claim that the "settling fee" charged by the community is the same amount of APFM's fee. APFM has found no facts to support that claim. Some communities do charge its residents an entrance fee, which is a fee charged to all residents, regardless of how the resident found the community. However, APFM prohibits the community from passing ******* the APFM referral fees to the consumer by charging the consumer any additional amounts because the consumer used our services, or withholding any discounts for which the consumer may qualify.

Full Disclosure/No Misrepresentation. APFM has never alleged that it is a representative for or has authority from Ms. *****.

APFM respects all consumer requests to receive no further contact. APFM has already taken appropriate measures to ensure that it will not contact Ms. ***** again. APFM wrote to Ms. ***** on May 1, ****, and expressed that when she contacted APFM through its website, assistingliving.com, APFM then communicated senior living options for her mother. APFM explained to Ms. ***** that APFM did not represent her as a client. APFM also sent a communication to the senior living communities, advising them that Ms. ***** did not wish to be further contacted by them. APFM advised Ms. ***** that she should contact the senior living communities directly to advise them that she did not wish to communicate further with the senior living communities.

APFM believes that Ms. ***** does not understand its services. Hopefully this response has given her additional clarification, in line with the disclaimers and representations on the APFM website.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Why would "A Place For Mom" think my complaint should be marked "resolved - assumed satisfied" when I have made it very clear that I am not satisfied with their response to my complaint. I agree that the case should be closed, but it should be marked "unresolved." Consumers who check with the Better Business Bureau before contacting the company should not be misled by a statement that suggests I am satisfied with the response from "A Place For Mom."

Business' Final Response
A Place for Mom, Inc. has provided complete, timely, and responsive answers to the Complainant. We ask that the BBB close this case as it earlier did on May 22, ****, as " resolved - assumed satisfied."

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company provided proper verification that indicated there was no obligation to resolve the issues of the complaint.

11/17/2011Advertising / Sales Issues

Industry Comparison| Chart

Senior Citizens Service Organization, Senior Care Information and Resources, Senior Housing/Living, Senior Home Care, Assisted Living & Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living Centers & Adult Family Homes, Alzheimer Care, Information & Treatment, Nursing Homes, Nursing Home Information & Referral, Referral Agency

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