Business and Industry

LA Better Business Bureau Ejected from Organization

Accused of pushing businesses to pay for membership in order to get good ratings

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For generations, Americans turned to the Better Business Bureau to find out if the local grocer was cheating customers or if the neighborhood dry cleaner was mishandling clothes.

But this week the 101-year-old consumer watchdog turned its sights on one of its own — ousting the Los Angeles chapter that grades local businesses. BBB of the Southland was expelled after years of internal strife and a slew of audits by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The chapter, which was the organization's largest and covered Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties, was accused of demanding that businesses pay membership fees in exchange for good ratings. It even reportedly issued an A-minus rating for a fake business named after Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the U.S. government.