THE NAUGHTY NINE Northwest NC businesses that left the most complainants unanswered in 2017 Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Northwest North Carolina has announced its annual list of businesses with the most complaints left unanswered throughout the year. Since January, consumers have filed more than 1700 complaints against companies located within the Winston-Salem-based BBB’s 14-county territory. Of the complaints closed in 2017, 250 received no response from the businesses they were filed against. According to BBB President Brian Wright, the organization urges consumers not to penalize companies strictly based on number of complaints, but to be critical of those companies that left complaints unanswered. “While nearly one thousand businesses in our service area received consumer complaints through BBB in 2017, many companies view this as an opportunity for a second chance with a customer, a chance to prove their trustworthiness,” Wright said. “Unfortunately, we also encounter businesses who, even after multiple attempts to convey the customers concerns to them, choose not to work with BBB to resolve those complaints. These are the companies that we feel a responsibility to name in hopes that consumers will think twice before working with them.” Several businesses are “repeat offenders” who have made the Naughty Nine list in previous years. This is the third year in a row for Antiquities Vending. Advantage Wholesale Transmissions and Bassett Gutters both appeared on 2016’s list and T-N-T Carports appeared on 2015’s list. The 2016 Naughty Nine in Business: 1. Mount Pilot Waste Disposal, Pilot MountainUnanswered Complaints: 52. Pro Edge Outfitters, LexingtonUnanswered Complaints: 5 3. Box Alarm Apparel, Winston SalemUnanswered Complaints: 54. Advantage Wholesale Transmission Services[i], SalisburyUnanswered Complaints: 4 5. T-N-T Carports, Mount AiryUnanswered Complaints: 46. Diamond Outdoor of the Carolinas, DentonUnanswered Complaints: 3 7. Bassett Gutters and More, Winston-SalemUnanswered Complaints: 3 8. Antiquities Vending Company[ii], Granite FallsUnanswered Complaints: 3 9. Grace and Mercy Bail Bonds, Winston SalemUnanswered Complaints: 3 Historically, BBB has received the most unanswered complaints against businesses in the Carport and Garage Building industries – three of which made the 2015 Naughty Nine list. This failure to address complaints prompted a Pattern of Complaints Investigation against T-N-T Carports in December of 2015. Further investigation into the industry in 2016 resulted in greater communication and transparency between many of the companies and BBB, thus reducing the number of unanswered complaints across the industry. However, T-N-T Carports has continued to be unresponsive to our communications. The Naughty Nine list is based solely on unanswered complaints that were closed within the last 12 months. This list does not represent the total number of complaints a company may have against them. The region represented by this list includes the following counties: Alleghany, Alexander, Ashe, Caldwell, Davie, Forsyth, Wilkes, Watauga, Surry, Stokes and Yadkin. Davidson, Rowan and Iredell counties are also partially represented.[i] Better Business Bureau has cited Advantage Wholesale Transmission Services for a Pattern of Complaint (POC). To resolve the POC against each business, they must provide BBB with a detailed plan of action regarding how they will eliminate the existing pattern. In addition, the business must work to answer and resolve all unanswered complaints currently filed against them. As of December 15, the business has not cooperated with the investigation.[ii] In 2016, at the NC Attorney General's request, Wake Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens entered a preliminary injunction barring Antiquities Vending Company and its owner, Alan Huffman, from advertising or entering agreements with consumers for accepting advance payment for antique restoration work. That preliminary injunction concluded in November 2017 as a consent judgement, meaning among other things that the company and Huffman are prohibited from taking upfront payments for any machine restoration work in North Carolina, and must report any consumer or business proceedings to the Attorney General for no less than five years.