Why Disneyland Gets an “F” Rating from the Better Business Bureau

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The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization that has been around for a while and focuses on consumer protection. This agency rates companies on a scale of A+ to F. Disneyland is supposed to be the highest rated. “Happiest place on Earth”, is there an F?

There are so many complaints

Disney is not certified by the Better Business Bureau. It has racked up over 100 complaints in 2021 alone. Many of these complaints relate to issues with products or services. That’s a lot of COVID-19 complaints and cost complaints. Disneyland tickets are notoriously expensive, so that’s not really a surprise. A user complained about “bait and switch tactics” that was the result of a lottery scheme.

Disney seems to be responsive in the comments. Almost all complaints are dealt with. While some are acceptable, others require a refund. A company as big as Disney is going to attract complaints, but an F rating should mean a company to be avoided at all costs… right?

Just a racket

The Better Business Bureau was criticized for its pay-per-play policies in the 2010s. ABC News did a paper proving that businesses that paid membership fees would automatically receive an A+ rating, while Fs were awarded to those that didn’t play ball. One business owner put it simply: “they are more interested in the money than their credibility”.

Non-members include Disneyland and Ritz-Carlton. Both had F ratings in 2010. An employee of Wolfgang PuckRitz Carlton at the time, he said “if you become a member… [they think] you should get an A. But if you don’t pay, it’s very hard to get an A.” The Better Business Bureau says its practices changed after hearing the shocking revelation.

We are now in 2022 and a lot has changed. Although the Ritz-Carlton is not yet accredited, many of its California properties have an A+ rating. Disney always has an F, not only for Disneyland but also for Disney World in Florida. He still doesn’t pay his accreditation fees, so maybe not much has changed.

Do you just have a problem with parks?

Perhaps the problem is not with Disney, but with the amusement park industry as a whole. Nearby Knott’s Berry Farm holds a D-but Universal Studios Hollywood B rating. These ratings are given by local chapters, so who knows what criteria they officially use.

It sure looks like Disney might raise its rating if it decides to pay, but in the end, it will make the money despite itself. The billions of dollars Disney parks bring in each year are unaffected by their Better Business Bureau rating.

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