BBB’s Parsons has advice for Chamber


The North Channel Chamber heard from Dan Parsons of the Houston Better Business Bureau at their last luncheon.

Parsons has been with the Better Business Bureau since 1983, and president since 2002.

In that time, he had seen every type of bad business practice, and dishonest scams. Parsons worked his way up in the BBB, serving as Director of Investigations, and various management positions. But no one in Houston knows business practices and problems better than Parsons.

Parsons spoke about the history of the Better Business Bureau nationally, which was founded in 1912. The first case they undertook to solve involved Coca-Cola and its cocaine-related ingredient.

The Houston office of the BBB now had 58 employees, he said, and its membership is over 500 local businesses. The Houston office serves 11 counties in south Texas, including Harris County. The first companies to join the Houston BBB were Exxon, the Houston Chronicle, and Foley’s department store.

The Better Business Bureau offers 5 services to its members:

One, information of existing businesses, and a rating system on their dealings with customers. Businesses can get rated from A to F.

Second, the BBB handles complaints from customers. This activity numbers 30,000 disputes per year, which are resolved.

Third, the BBB monitors advertisers for truthfulness and other criteria in advertising.

Fourth, it monitors NonProfit organizations, making sure their finances are transparent and the percentage of administrative costs versus benefits is within acceptable guidelines.

Fifth, the BBB has an outreach to the public, brings talks and information about good business practices to the public.

Parsons noted the types of complaints that they get against businesses: Bad Businesses, Cell phone or Cable companies, Businesses that fold, Businesses that obviously don’t care about their customers, and Businesses operating with fraudulent practices.