Google Improves From ‘Unsatisfactory’ To ‘C-’ Rating At BBB

Is Google getting better at customer service? To the degree that you rely on Better Business Bureau ratings as an indicator of customer service, the answer might be “yes.” Over the past 27 months, Google’s BBB rating has gone from “unsatisfactory” — when the BBB used a pass/fail grading system — to a “C-” in its current letter-based grading.

Back in July, 2008, we reported that Google had an “unsatisfactory” grade from the BBB.


This was in the days when the BBB only graded companies as either “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” As Valleywag pointed out at the time, two out of 331 complaints on Google’s record were unresolved.

Not long after that, the Better Business Bureau began giving companies letter-based grades from “A+” to “F,” just like in schools. In early 2009, Barry Schwartz wrote on Search Engine Roundtable about Google’s “D” grade, when the BBB said “we recommend caution in doing business with” Google.


Now, as Mike Blumenthal reported a couple days ago, Google has managed a slight improvement to a “C-” grade.


Google’s BBB profile shows fewer complaints over the past three years than Yahoo’s profile, but Yahoo rates an “A+” grade.

Why is that?

It appears the problem is that Google has not responded at all to more than four dozen of the 647 complaints on its record. Yahoo, on the other hand, has responded to all of the 806 complaints listed on its profile.

Google has a history of providing poor support for several of its products. The 2009 article on Search Engine Roundtable makes reference to complaints from AdWords users. Complaints about Google’s lack of support are also common in the Google Maps Help Forum. Last summer, on its Google Maps blog, the company even admitted that it “can’t respond to every problem individually,” and hasn’t “found the perfect way to address each problem and question that comes up.”

Until Google puts more energy into responding to complaints, that BBB grade isn’t likely to get any better.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Business Issues | Google: Critics


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • djbaxter

    You have a typo in your headline: Should be C- not C+.

  • Matt McGee

    Good catch, thanks djbaxter. Sorry about that.

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