I had the pleasure recently of meeting Erin Dufner, Senior Vice President of Communication & Operations from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and she put me in contact with Erin Rodriguez who is their public relations and media coordinator in Austin, Texas (lots of Erins at the BBB)! Erin Rodriguez shared a little bit about the company, their resources and how military spouses can utilize some of their services.
What are some of the most common issues you are contacted about by military spouses?
Some of the more common issues BBB hears about from military spouses are:
Issues with property management. Many spouses are left to deal with the home front while their partner is away. Due to the frequency of being relocated and having to find a new home, BBB often hears about spouses having issues getting out of their lease and getting their security deposits back.
Auto dealers are another common concern for military spouses, as with the general public as well. BBB frequently hears spouses have issues with dishonest or misleading sales practices, fees or interest rates that are much higher than the negotiated price, contract issues and warranties not being upheld.
Work-at-home job scams are other concern for military spouses. Taking care of the home and children can be quite a big job in itself, which makes it easy for spouses to find working from home appealing. Most work-at-home job scams involve online job postings which appear to come with great perks and great pay, but end up being a front for scammers to scam spouses out of money.
What resources can military spouses leverage at BBB to alleviate some of the aforementioned problems?
As we advise all consumers, the first step to take before deciding to work with any company is do your research. BBB provides easily accessible resources such as Member Pages, which lists all Accredited Business by category and allows consumers to see whether a company is accredited and what their rating is; Request a Quote, which allows consumers to get multiple price quotes from different companies to assure they are receiving the fairest price; and BBB Military Line, which provides education and support services to help families and spouses improve their financial literacy and protect them from scams.
According to the BBB's website, they exist so that "...consumers and businesses alike have an unbiased source to guide them on matters of trust. We provide educational information and expert advice that is free of charge and easily accessible." Can you provide links to some of the information and resources you find are most valuable to military spouses?
BBB offers numerous resources for consumers and businesses alike, such as:
Military Line Website: This website provides valuable information and resources for military members and their families. http://www.bbb.org/us/military
BBB Military Line e-newsletter: BBB MILITARY LINE's free monthly e-newsletter "The Trusted Scout" helps readers be better consumers and avoid scams designed to part military members from their hard-earned money. http://austin.bbb.org/Military/Newsletter/
BBB News Center: In the BBB News Center current press releases and news stories are published, which provide information for consumers on scams, industries receiving a lot of activity and companies not upholding BBB standards. http://centraltx.bbb.org/bbb-news/
To learn more about the BBB and access their current information and up to date happenigs, check out their social Media sites below!
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