Kodak leaves Better Business behind

Council of Better Business Bureau says Kodak resigned because it was about to be expelled for not adhering to its standards.
Written by Candace Lombardi, Contributor
Eastman Kodak has formally resigned from the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the company has confirmed.

The CBBB is an umbrella of the Better Business Bureau nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, joined by companies who want to foster fair-business practices between consumers and companies. It counts more than 300 national corporations as members.

The CBBB says Kodak left because it was about to be expelled for not adhering to its standards.

"We notified Kodak in February that we felt like we had no choice but to initiate expulsion based on their refusal to participate in the complaint process. Rather than go through expulsion, Kodak decided to resign," said Steve Cox, vice president of communications at the CBBB.

Kodak said it left the organization because it did not like the way the BBB was handling consumer complaints concerning its digital cameras.

"After years of unproductive discussions with the local office regarding their Web site postings about Kodak, which in our view were consistently inaccurate, we came to the conclusion that their process added no value to our own," Brian O'Connor, the chief privacy officer at Eastman Kodak, said in a statement.

"Better than spending time attempting to get the BBB to update their Web site, we would prefer to use that time meeting the needs of our customers," O'Connor said.

Kodak had left the local New York chapter of the CBBB a few years ago. Its formal resignation from the national CBBB, which was effective in February, is significant in that Kodak was one of its founding members in 1971.

Cox said Kodak refused to answer complaints forwarded to it by the BBB, one of the organization's 13 required standards for CBBB members. Whether Kodak responded to its customers to their satisfaction, as the company claims it did, is simply unknown to the CBBB because it did not go through BBB channels, Cox said.

Kodak cited its positive ranking in J.D. Power and Associates' Digital Camera Satisfaction Study as proof that the company is accomplished in customer satisfaction.

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