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Google Slapped With a C-Minus by the Better Business Bureau

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It's the gold standard in search, email, and navigation, but Google can't seem to win the hearts of the folks at the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Blogger and local search analyst Mike Blumenthal reported yesterday that Google currently has a C- rating with the BBB for a particularly high number of unanswered complaints. According to the Bureau:

"Our complaint history for this company shows that the company responded to and gave proper consideration to most complaints. However, more than one complaint is unresolved meaning the company failed to properly address the complaint allegations or their response was inadequate."

Blumenthal elaborated that the issue was not if the complaint was necessarily solved or unfixable, but if the problem was even addressed. In Google's case, the company had left 47 complaints unanswered -- out of a total of 637 in the past 36 months. Regarding a company's paramount need to respond to customer issues, Blumenthal asked, "How friggin' hard is that?" He added, "The bar has been set very low here, and yet they can't get over it. It is hard to find too many companies, rated in the BBB, that rank at this level with Google."

Blumenthal also noted that in February 2009, Google had a D rating.

But considering the litany of competitors and partners Google has, Blumenthal compared a few high-profile tech companies and their BBB ratings. Yahoo and Hewlett Packard scored top honors with A-pluses. Apple fared slightly worse with a B-plus. And Verizon scored a respectable B.

But here's where things get weird: AT&T and Microsoft -- two of the most maligned corporations in this modern era -- both scored A-pluses.

AT&T -- whose CEO blamed its customers for poor service, whose reps said New York City isn't ready for the iPhone, and whose infrastructure was never able to handle its flagship product -- scored an A-plus.

Microsoft -- whose previous operating system was such an unmitigated disaster that it refused to own up to the complaints and, like AT&T, blamed the customer for unfairly maligning it -- scored an A-plus.

So, take these ratings with a grain of salt. I'm not sure anyone should heed a group who believes your average AT&T customer service rep or Microsoft help line call deserves an A-plus rating.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.