THE NAUGHTY NINE: Northwest NC businesses that left the most complainants hanging in 2016 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 2,600 complaints against companies located within the Winston-Salem-based BBB’s 14-county territory. Of the complaints closed in 2016, 311 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 who left complaints unanswered. “While nearly one thousand businesses in our service area received complaints against them in 2016, many companies view this as an opportunity to right a wrong and gain loyalty from a patron,” Wright said. “On the flip side, we encounter professionals who, even after multiple attempts to contact them, choose not to work with BBB to answer or resolve complaints. These are the companies we feel responsible for calling out in hopes that consumers will think twice before working with them.” Two businesses are “repeat offenders” who made the Naughty Nine list for the second year in a row: Antiquities Vending and Industrial Electronic Repair. Both appear one spot lower on BBB’s list compared to 2015. The 2016 Naughty Nine in Business: Lolly Wolly Doodle1, Lexington Unanswered Complaints: 27 Better Built Garages2, Mount Airy Unanswered Complaints: 20 Memories Landscaping, LLC, Winston-Salem Unanswered Complaints: 6 Antiquities Vending3, Granite Falls Unanswered Complaints: 5 Industrial Electronic Repair1, Rural Hall Unanswered Complaints: 4 Wood Stove Parts of NC, Denton Unanswered Complaints: 4 Bassett Gutters and More, Winston-Salem Unanswered Complaints: 4 AD Signs & Graphics, Granite Falls Unanswered Complaints: 3 Advantage Wholesale Transmission Services, Salisbury Unanswered 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. Further investigation into the industry earlier this year resulted in greater communication and transparency between many of the companies and BBB, thus reducing the number of unanswered complaints. 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. 1: Better Business Bureau has cited both Lolly Wolly Doodle and Industrial Electronic Repair 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, each business must work to answer and resolve all unanswered complaints currently filed against them. As of December 13, both businesses are communicating with BBB to resolve these issues. 2: In June 2016, BBB contacted Better Built Garages regarding an Advertising Review to request the company modify or discontinue its online advertising claims of “Nobody Beats Our Prices”. No such action has been taken by the company. In August 2016, BBB launched an investigation into the company after receiving 14 complaints filed against Better Built Garages within a two-month timeframe. Despite multiple attempts, BBB was unable to get in contact with the business. BBB now believes Better Built Garages may be out of business. 3: On July 18, 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, meaning the company and Huffman are prohibited from taking upfront payments for any machine restoration work in North Carolina. If the defendants deliver a machine to a consumer, they cannot accept final payment until the consumer is completely satisfied. About BBB of Northwest NC: BBB®, the leader in advancing marketplace trust, is an unbiased, nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, complaint/dispute resolution services, BBB Business Reviews and charity BBB Wise Giving Reports™. BBB of Northwest NC proudly serves a 14-county region. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.