Did MonaVie Pay For a Better Grade from the Better Business Bureau?

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As of September 2010, I have seen a lot of renewed interest in MonaVie’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) grade. Not a lot of people were interested in spreading the word when MonaVie’s Better Business Bureau grade was a D-. However, now that it is an A+, MonaVie proponents have been quick to call it out. In fact you can see it was added to Wikipedia on September 18th. It is important to note that it wasn’t previously added to Wikipedia with it’s D- grade.

What is interesting is the timing of this addition. As recently as August 5, 2010, MonaVie had a BBB grade of C-. What changed in a month’s time? Well, according to the BBB page they became a BBB accredited business. And according to the Los Angeles Times, accredited business seem to receive favorable grades. The author states:

But in my unscientific searches of companies in a variety of service-oriented industries, I found that accredited companies almost always got A-pluses. Those that didn’t often received an A or A-minus.

Their unaccredited kin, meanwhile, often made do with a B or B-minus.

What does it take to get accredited with the BBB? According to the LA Times article it is money:

Aside from paying annual fees, accredited companies are required to fill out a questionnaire detailing their business practices. [Steve Cox, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau] said the bureau might approve accreditation without actually visiting a company or experiencing its service firsthand.

“A visit to the organization could happen,” he said. “But it could be a telephonic process.”

So essentially we have a history of MonaVie with receiving poor BBB grades. Then we have MonaVie paying the BBB some annual fee as well as filling out a questionnaire and possibly having a phone call with someone from the BBB. Suddenly the company gets accredited and their C- minus grade of a month ago becomes an A+ grade.

It seems like if you earn yourself a bad grade with the BBB, you can pay your way out of it.

Update:

It looks like other news organizations are following suit. The Consumerist reports that the BBB gave an A- to a fictional company:

It turns out that ABC News ran the article first. This debacle for the BBB, lead to the Connecticut Attorney General saying, “Right now, this rating system is really unworthy of consumer trust or confidence,” said Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal in an interview that will be shown tonight on 20/20.

“Blumenthal has send an official demand letter asking the BBB to discontinue the ratings system because it is “potentially harmful and misleading.”

Update 2:
Criticize The Better Business Bureau… And They’ll Pull Your Accreditation – This is just further evidence that the BBB looks to be somewhat shady.

I like what personal finance expert Clark Howard says about the BBB:

“Here’s what you need to know: I want you to use the BBB as a veto, not as a green light. If an organization has a bad rating, that alerts you to potential danger. But just because they don’t have a bad record, that’s not the seal of approval.

It’s the same thing with a CARFAX report. A bad CARFAX is a veto, not a green light to buy, that’s why you need a mechanic to inspect any used car purchase.”

Originally posted 2010-09-23 05:56:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The above article is intended to be accurate at the time of its original posting. MonaVie may change its pricing, product, or other policies at any time without notice.

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Posted by MonaVie Scam on April 21, 2017 in monavie. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

14 Responses to “Did MonaVie Pay For a Better Grade from the Better Business Bureau?”
  1. Mackwiz Says:

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but I believe the way BBB handles ratings is through how customer complaints are resolved. Here are MonaVie complaint stats in the last 36 months:

    http://utah.app.bbb.org/complaint_details/21000953?clean

    Basically this is saying 53 out of 54 complaints were resloved. Since the “customer” base for MonaVie are distributors, they have a stake in the good image of MonaVie and thus would likely be easier to satisfy. Also, all they have to do is resolve the complaint to satisfy BBB criteria. The real problems with MonaVie are not with them refunding people, as we all know.

    Here is a quote from the BBB page on why MonaVie gets an A+ (with accrediation as well):

    “Complaints allege that shipments were made after the consumer’s autoship program was cancelled or other billing issues. The company has promptly refunded all charges upon learning of the complaints.”

    Here is BBB’s ratings explanation:
    http://www.bbb.org/business-reviews/ratings/

    I looked up the BBB rating before they became accredited and they were an A-. They obviously paid their way to an A+, and as we can see this is one of the criteria for a better rating.

    According to what I am reading on the BBB page, all they have to do is resolve autoship disputes and stay out of the FDA’s bullseye to be A+.

  2. MonaVie Scam Says:

    Perhaps MonaVie is legitimately cleaning up their act with the BBB. However, you bring up a good point that this may be more a reflection of how MonaVie treats it distributors more than its end customers.

  3. Mackwiz Says:

    The end customers would deal with a distributor vice MonaVie corporate, and in all honesty I doubt there are many actual end customers when MonaVie is priced in such a way that becoming a distributor is the financially viable option.

    From the way I am reading the BBB, it seems like the scam is perfectly fine for them as long as people willingly buy into it and they resolve any financial disputes. Also, they can’t get any government flack (FDA), for which MonaVie has found a great loophole through distributor statements. FDA points at MonaVie and all they have to say is “herding cats, impossible!”

  4. Strangely Says:

    This is EXACTLY the same as Pacific WebWorks (PWW), at the centre of a dodgy money-making scam and sued by Google to shut up.

    Not BBB accredited, but “Microsoft Certified Partner” is the key phrase this time. The fact that one’s software is rubbish and designed to fleece people matters not a jot as long as a few hundred dollars are paid out.
    This is what happened with PWW and it allowed them to prominently display the Microsoft Certified Partner logo all over their website, especially with regards to their key software, “Visual Web Tools”.

    It’s not there now, so either they didn’t pay up, or Microsoft actually did something about it following the Google court case and settlement. I don’t know which it is, but the point about paying for “certification” holds true..

  5. Jason Says:

    If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards which include a *commitment* to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB accredited businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for *support of BBB services to the public*.

    BBB Code of Business Practices represents standards for business accreditation by BBB. Businesses based in the United States and Canada that meet these standards and complete all application procedures will be accredited by BBB. The Code is built on the BBB Standards for Trust, eight principles that summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business.

    If a company tries to join/apply for accreditation with the BBB then BBB’s check the companies customer references, vendor references. They also check the history of the prinicipals and complaint activity to ensure it is relative to the number of customers in which it services as well as all have been resolved. The BBB has revoked/suspended and denied hundreds if not thousands of businesses last year all over the country.

    Also keep in mind all the things the BBB does to educate consumers on a continues bases to report scams and deceptive advertisers as well as just bad businesses out there. That is a free service… Also what about the complaint handling to help consumers and businesses come to a resolution through mediation or even arbitration…

    Would you rather do business with a company that is being held acountable for their ethical behavior in handling their customers and running their advertising by a third party or none at all?

    The accreditation only accounts for less than 4.5% of the rating!!!

    Overview of ratings system elements
    Businesses are rated on 17 elements.

    This chart shows the maximum number of points that can be awarded or deducted for each element. Please note there are some elements where businesses can only lose points, and for those elements “0” is indicated as the maximum number of points that can be awarded.

    Element
    Range of points that can be awarded or deducted (maximum to minimum)

    1. Type of Business
    0 to -41

    2. Time in Business
    8 to -10

    3. Competency Licensing
    0 to -41

    4. Complaint Volume
    20 to 2

    5. Unanswered Complaints
    20 to -21

    6. Unresolved Complaints
    10 to 1

    7. Serious Complaints
    15 to 0

    8. Complaint Analysis
    8 to -12

    9. Complaint Resolution Delayed
    0 to -5

    10. Failure to Address Complaint Pattern
    0 to -5

    11. Government Action
    0 to -30

    12. Advertising Review
    0 to -41

    13. Background Information
    5 to 0

    14. Clear understanding of business
    0 to -5

    15. Mediation/arbitration
    0 to -41

    16. Accredited Business status
    4 to 0

    17. Revocation
    0 to -10

    Maximum Available Points
    90

    I hope this info helps clear up any missunderstanding of the BBB ratings and even shed some like on what an accredited business has to go through to even qualify to pay annual dues.

  6. MonaVie Scam Says:

    I don’t think there was much misunderstanding. You didn’t really go anywhere to refute the information that article presents, nor the one the LA Times pointed out. You also didn’t go into the years and years where MonaVie had Unsatisfactory and D- ratings.

  7. Vogel Says:

    It was an F-rating for quite a while; within the past year or so as I recall. It can be referenced in the Lazyman archives.

  8. Mackwiz Says:

    BBB looks at resolving customer complaints. It won’t be until the bottom falls out on this operation when they will get their F rating back. Their customer base is nearly all distributors, which makes the customers themselves clamor for an A rating. Just look at how they jam in the A+ rating discription in the MonaVie Wikipedia article, whilst never adding it the many months it was D- and below.

    If this company was selling retail or doing TV infomerical selling I can guarantee you the rating would still be very low.

  9. Dr. Philip W. Loh Says:

    What I can say about MonaVie is that the management team is a group of people that you can not trust, I was a distributor for MonaVie and I was trying to help them to open the market for China, after negotiating with Dallin Larsen and Randy Larsen, the assigned other VP to negotiate with the company I was trying to pull together with MonaVie, and when things don’t turn out to favor MonaVie, the sued the company and they also also took legal action against me.

    Refer to : https://ecf.utd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2011cv0265-15

    and http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_140125652724916

    The management team of MonaVie are so arrogant, so proud and always think they are the top gun of the MLM industry, unfortunately they are not, now MonaVie is facing tremendous problems with other countries, that includes Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and now Malaysia.

    There are also several thousands of distributors being suspended and bonuses not being paid to them, and that total amount more than million of dollars.

  10. Vogel Says:

    Welcome Dr. Loh! Thanks for the links. You have a receptive audience here. Feel free to tell us more.

  11. Vogel Says:

    Holy crap! I just started looking over the comments on Facebook and noticed this one from a distributor who goes by the name of “Asia Move” (make allowances for the distirbutor’s broken English):

    “Beware -malaysia monavie distributors who running business as stocky system , make sure monavie product expired date are hot press at the bottom of bottle .some product was re imprint a new date at other part of bottle.”

    Sounds like he’s saying that Monavie is forging expiry dates on old bottle stock! Monavie has enough benzoate in it to last a year unrefrigerated, so I hate to think what kind of mildewed sludge one might end up with if bottle expiry dates are being relabeled.

  12. MonaVie Scam Says:

    I guess I don’t have much to say on the whole moving to China thing. It stinks that they tried to cut you out of the work you did. At the same time, I think it is pretty typical for them to negotiate sweetheart deals with certain people to bring it in. These people will be at the top of the pyramid and hence make money from the start.

  13. Anonymous Aussie Says:

    Dr Loh, I’m sorry to hear they cut you out of the work you did.

    But I’d be fascinated to know how you convinced anyone to agree to distribute Monavie products – a processed, chemically preserved, fruit punch which offers very little nutrition to places such as hospitals and pharmacies??

    How were YOU promoting the products – were any consumers potentially going to be misled as to the value of the products on one’s health and potentially harmed as a result, both in terms of receiving misleading advice concerning the expected health benefits and financially after having been duped into investing in the products?

    Why as doctor would you support Monavie being sold at anything but at the local convenience store – alongside every other fruit juice?

  14. Scott Says:

    Dr. Loh – Do you have any proof of this “business arrangement” you made with Dallin and Randy? According to the lawsuit you took it upon yourself to speak with government officals in China. The suit also alleges you were importing product into China which is against the Policies & Procedures you agreed to when you became a distributor. If such an arragement did exist why did you not bring evidence of it up in court?

    Scott Gleason
    Independent Distributor
    2358622

 
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