The truth about Vacation Village Resorts and the BBB is that, in years past, Vacation Village Resorts reviews on the BBB have resulted in an A rating. However, the BBB rating is based on a system that leaves awarded points or penalties entirely at the discretion of the BBB. In fact, the entire accreditation process is based on membership dues that can cost as much as $10,000 per year, despite the BBB's "non-profit" status. When we enjoyed an A rating from the BBB as an "accredited" business, Vacation Village paid dearly for the privilege through those dues. However, when you recognize that the BBB had the power to move our rating from an A to an F simply based on their own dislike for a business or industry--regardless of consumer experience--we stopped paying and they refused to change our rating.
The origins of the Better Business Bureau are rooted in the desire for truth and honesty--in advertising, in business practices, in prices--to make sure that consumers are protected. The organization was born more than a century ago, at a time when consumer products, advertising claims, and business practices were not regulated or overseen by the government in the same ways that they are now. At Vacation Village Resorts, we are absolutely committed to the same basic principles. We offer our guests and owners the information they need and obey all of the regulations required of the timeshare and hospitality industry. We have been in business for nearly 40 years, and value the reputation for honesty and quality that we have developed over that time.
Vacation Village Resorts reviews should be based on our performance, not whether or not we are paying for the privilege. That's one of the reasons why the Vacation Village Resorts reviews on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, and industry standards like timeshareAdvisor are so important to us, as are our Google local reviews for each of our Vacation Village Resorts properties. We average a 4+ star review on all three sites. However, the BBB's claims that their accreditation process highlights the best businesses is flawed. Among more than 30 million businesses in North America, only 400,000 are accredited businesses that "meet" and "commit" to the BBB's "high" standard. That means that 0.01% of the businesses in North America meet the BBB's standards. Does that make sense to you? Or does that seem to indicate that only 0.01% of businesses are willing to pay the steep price for the BBB's seal of approval?
We applaud the BBB's stated mission, and absolutely believe that consumers should have recourse to review businesses in a safe, impartial way. However, the BBB is not providing a safe space for consumers or for businesses. The BBB has been the subject of a series of investigations by the media, which has found that a host of businesses that have faced government intervention enjoy an A+ rating from the BBB and new businesses have been able to immediately secure an A rating simply by paying dues. The Better Business Bureau itself states that it is NOT a consumer watchdog agency. So what, exactly, is the purpose of the BBB? If the BBB's stated mission is to encourage honesty and transparency in business practices, how can it do that if it is not a consumer watchdog agency? The reason is because the BBB's customers are businesses, not consumers. The BBB is in the business of signing up business that want to claim the BBB's accreditation, and, according to their website, driving leads to those businesses--not on providing honest advice and recourse to unhappy customers.