Entrepreneurs suspect they've been hoodwinked by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., a company that monitors and rehabilitates small-business credit scores, according to an investigative report by the Wall Street Journal. A number of business owners say the company's salespeople convinced them to sign up for its CreditBuilder credit-rehab service by telling them that their credit ratings had gone down. A lower rating means that banks, suppliers and clients would shy away from working with them. Once they purchased the service, their rates improved.
According to a former Credibility employee, the company's salespeople misled entrepreneurs about the state of their credit report and the number of inquiries it had received from other companies. It appears that businesses may have been fooled by Credibility's close ties to its former parent company, Dun & Bradstreet Corp., the preeminent business credit-ratings firm. Dun & Bradstreet's credit score is widely used by banks to determine whether to provide capital to small businesses. Credibility has a license to use the D&B name, though D&B declined to say whether it gives the smaller firm special access to its database.
Visit the WSJ website to read the full story, and tell us what you think of Credibility's marketing tactics in the comments below.