What was going to be a warning about a local business has turned into a story about what’s working.
The Better Business Bureau sent out a press release with the headline “Septic Tank Company Leaves Jobs Incomplete… No Refunds In Site.”
It’s something the BBB says it will only do if it can’t get a resolution. And it worked.
This story highlights how your feedback on companies is essential to keeping businesses in-line.
Susan Mann in Greenville thought she’d never see her $350 dollars back after she paid Carolina Septic to empty her tank and later found out from a different company the solid waste was still there.
“It was completely full, and it had only been a few weeks prior that Carolina Septic came out. So he said there’s no way that it had been properly done.”
Mann says she called, and the owner told her he would follow-up, but he never did.
So she filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. She wasn’t alone. The BBB says when there’s 3 or more grievances of a similar nature that remain unresolved, that red flag can trigger a warning.
“I hate that it has to come to us sending out a press release or calling them out, but if that’s what it takes for them to make good with consumers then that’s all we really are concerned about,” said Jennifer Gilewski with the BBB.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINTS:
BBB writes “Everything you submit will be forwarded to the business within two business days. The business will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the business’s response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.” Click here to file a complaint
SC Department of Consumer Affairs writes: “Have a consumer complaint? File it with the Department of Consumer Affairs. The Department takes consumer complaints against businesses regulated by the DCA, refers complaints that fall within another agency’s jurisdiction, and handles those complaints against businesses that are unregulated. Your complaint also helps us find out about illegal business practices, enforce consumer protection laws and identify trends.” Click here to file a complaint
Over the last 3 months, the BBB has reached out to Carolina Septic both by phone several times and by mail twice, but it wasn’t until after 7 On Your Side called, that the company contacted the BBB.
And making good, is just what Carolina Septic wanted to do today.
Over the phone, Owner Dan Fowler told us and Mann:
“To make it right, I’ll refund her money, no problem, no questions asked.”
And he later came to express in person the delay in answering complaints.
“It is an extremely busy time of year for us which is no excuse. We do between 900 and 1000 pumps a year. Weather is a big factor in how we expedite these calls, and these complaints will be handled in a timely manner,” said Fowler.
The complaint that Mann and other homeowners filed got results, which proves to her, that making a “stink”… Really can lead to resolution.
The Better Business Bureau is a neutral party. It can act as a mediator and can help to negotiate resolutions.
Only if a business fails to answer patterns of complaints within a few weeks will it take other steps like contacting the press.
Carolina Septic has an “F” rating with the BBB, but the owner says he plans to meet with the non-profit this week and once those issues are resolved that rating could change.