Columbus BBB merges with East AL, preparing new services for consumers

Columbus, GA (WTVM) - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offices in East Alabama and Columbus will now come together, merging to protect people from scams and bad businesses.

All employees will relocate to the Columbus office, and part of the merger includes adding new tools for consumers to reach out and report unethical business behavior.

Kelvin Collins, president and CEO of BBB Columbus, said the company is working to set up live chats with local offices.

To reassure watchdog consumers, Collins said, BBB will still keep an eye on phone scams and bad business practices.

Collins said part of the agency's new strategy will involve using social media to actively alert people about shady behavior in businesses right in the Valley.

At the same time, he said employees are working on new projects to educate the community before they purchase anything.

"Over the summer, we do want to provide a senior expo and try to target seniors that need information on avoiding scams," Collins said.

Collins said BBB wants to put all consumers in touch with businesses that are working to enhance their daily lives.

Another part of BBB's future outreach includes going out to schools and teaching students about ethics and providing tips on how to, for example, buy a car.

With this merger, BBB in Columbus will now work with two other Georgia offices – in Augusta and Macon – to monitor businesses in 83 counties, extending from Alabama to South Carolina.

Most importantly, Collins also confirmed that no employee working for either BBB in Columbus or East Alabama will lose his or her job.

Copyright WTVM 2017. All rights reserved.