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 user 2007-03-27 at 10:34:00 am Views: 77
  • #17765

    Kodak Quits Better Business Bureau
    New York (March 07) – Eastman Kodak resigned its membership in the
    Council of Better Business Bureaus after a prolonged dispute over its
    handling of customer complaints about defective digital cameras,
    product warranties or other issues, the consumer advocacy group said

    The Better Business Bureau received complaints from
    consumers who reported problems related to repairs of Kodak digital
    cameras as well as difficulty in communicating with the company’s
    customer service department.The council, the umbrella organization for
    the Better Business Bureau system begun in 1912, counted Kodak Co.
    among its founding members in 1971. With 2.7 million registered
    business members in the United States and Canada, Better Business
    Bureau Inc. handled 1.2 million complaints about goods and services in
    2006 and helped resolve more than two-thirds of them.It said Kodak has
    long refused to accept or respond to consumer complaints submitted by
    the Upstate New York Better Business Bureau, prompting expulsion
    proceedings in December by the council’s board.”Every member of the BBB
    system is required to make a good-faith effort to resolve consumer
    complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau,” said Steve Cole, the
    council’s chief executive. “To do otherwise is to abdicate their
    commitment to helping advance trust in the consumer marketplace, the
    key focus of the BBB.Kodak was advised it could contest the termination
    but chose instead to resign its national membership in early March. The
    photography company allowed its membership in the Buffalo-based branch
    to lapse about five years ago.”We ultimately decided to resign our
    membership because we were extremely unhappy with the customer service
    we received from the local office of the BBB,” Kodak said in a
    statement, describing the branch’s Web site postings about the company
    as “consistently inaccurate.”"The presence of a third-party
    organization between Kodak and our customers is bureaucratic and
    unproductive,” it added. “In fact, Kodak’s customer service and
    customer privacy teams concluded that 99 percent of all complaints
    forwarded by the BBB had already been handled directly with the
    customer.”Our commitment to our customers is unwavering. That will not
    change. What has changed is that, for us, the BBB’s customer complaint
    process has become redundant.”The upstate New York chapter drew 183
    complaints about Kodak over the last three years, fewer than in
    previous years and a small number for a company of its size, said the
    chapter’s president, David Polino.They included complaints from
    consumers who reported problems related to repairs of Kodak digital
    cameras as well as difficulty in communicating with the company’s
    customer service department.

    Consumers reported that their
    cameras broke and they were charged for repairs even though the failure
    was not the result of any damage or abuse, the group said. Some
    consumers said their cameras failed again after the product was
    returned to them.Kodak, the world’s top maker of photographic film, is
    navigating a bumpy voyage into a new world of digital imaging. By
    year-end, its work force will slip below 30,000, less than half what it
    was just three years ago.”We’ve had companies kind of come and go,”
    said the council’s spokesman, Stephen Cox. “But in terms of those
    founding members, Kodak is the first to have expulsion proceedings