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Better Business Bureau Revamps, Hopes to Right Restaurant Wrongs

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Back in 2009, it was revealed that the Better Business Bureau was in fact doing bad business themselves. The organization was giving out letter grades to restaurants based on who had paid them sums of money rather than on their merit. Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills Spago restaurant, which has since been remodeled, was one of them.

Through some investigation and a sting operation formed by local business owners, it was discovered that non-accredited eateries like Puck's received relatively low grades from the bureau, while lesser-known restaurants that paid dues to the organization were graded A-plus. The business owners paid dues for companies that didn't even exist, including one named after the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. The fake firms all received high marks. Hamas scored an A-minus.

But the BBB has just launched on online location, and hopes to open up an L.A. branch by fall. They have high hopes they can start with a clean image.

Says the L.A. Times:

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"Carrie Hurt, head of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus, acknowledged that most of the organization's revenue still comes from the dues of accredited companies, which is a potential conflict of interest because the bureau has a financial incentive to boost the grades of businesses that give it money."

In L.A., accreditation can run from about $500 to more than $1,000 a year, depending on the size of the company. It remains to be seen just how clean the new operations will be.

We're just thankful they weren't there the day those glass panels came crashing down on chef Bernhard Meringer and his date. That would have been a hot mess.