Yes, Yukon, there really is a Better Business Bureau

Dissatisfied Yukon consumers hoping for a branch of the Better Business Bureau are in luck. The Yukon has had access to the bureau’s services…

Dissatisfied Yukon consumers hoping for a branch of the Better Business Bureau are in luck.

The Yukon has had access to the bureau’s services for years, but nobody seems to know about it.

For more than a decade, the bureau has provided service to consumers seeking information about Yukon businesses, and even holds two Whitehorse companies as permanent members.

“It’s not that we have anyone based in the Yukon, but we service the Yukon,” said Mark Fernandes, communications director for the bureau.

With branches throughout Canada, the Better Business Bureau collects complaint histories and other business information in order to provide unbiased company information to consumers.

However, the board’s existence in the Yukon has come as a surprise to many in the business community.

Chamber of Commerce president Rick Karp had never heard about the bureau’s presence in the North until local media informed him.

In the supposed absence of the bureau, the chamber has provided many of the same services, including offering business information, fielding complaints and resolving disputes.

“We’ve really been doing that function — free. And if the Better Business Bureau of British Columbia would like to take that over that would be really good,” said Karp.

Karp said that even if services have been offered, it’s clear that the bureau has not had much of a Yukon presence.

“It’s probably just an awareness issue,” said Fernandes.

He suggested that bureau representatives should travel to the territory in order to familiarize themselves with the unique business environment of the Yukon.

“It’s hard to do business from that far away,” said Karp.

“They don’t know Whitehorse businesses and how things operate here — and that’s why I’m saying they should visit,” he added.

“It would be really nice if they contacted us, gave us the contact information and came up here and maybe did a luncheon presentation on what is it and how does it work.”

The Better Business Bureau aims to secure a larger presence in the North, but Fernandes could not say whether the bureau ever intends to establish an office within any of the territories.

Even for representatives of the bureau itself, its Yukon operations seem to have come as a surprise.

The bureau website informs visitors that consumers in the territories should consult the bureau of the closest province.

However, phone representatives based at the Vancouver office inform callers that no service exists for the Yukon, and that all inquiries should be directed to the Consumer and Safety Services office of the Yukon government.

Consumer Services was also unaware of any Yukon operations of the bureau, said director Fiona Charbonneau.

Much like the bureau, Consumer Services also fields complaints and customer inquiries.

“We help consumers on a regular basis, I’ve never had anyone ask or suggest that we needed a Better Business Bureau,” said Charbonneau.

Despite the apparent lack of knowledge regarding the bureau’s territorial presence, it has received Yukon-focused inquiries.

But that’s only been at a trickle — a mere 23 were recorded in the previous year.

By contrast, the chamber of commerce fields several inquiries a week.

The bureau suspected that the small amount of traffic was due either to a lack of knowledge about the services offered, or it’s possible “companies in the Yukon are just doing a wonderful job, and people don’t have a reason to complain,” said Fernandes.

Just Posted

The Yukon’s current outbreak of COVID-19 is driven by close contact between people at gatherings, such as graduation parties. (Black Press file)
Yukon logs 21 active cases as COVID-19 spreads through graduation parties

Anyone who attended a graduation party is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Yukon RCMP and other emergency responders were on the scene of a collision at Robert Service Way and the Alaska Highway on June 12. (Black Press file)
June 12 collision sends several to hospital

The intersection at Robert Service Way and the Alaska Highway was closed… Continue reading

Artist Meshell Melvin examines her work mounted in the Yukon Arts Centre on June 7. The show includes over 1,000 individual portraits. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Double portrait show at the Yukon Arts Centre features art that looks back

“I hope they’ve been looked at fondly, and I’m hoping that fun looking comes back.”

Sarah Walz leads a softball training session in Dawson City. Photo submitted by Sport Yukon.
Girls and women are underserved in sport: Sport Yukon

Sport Yukon held a virtual event to celebrate and discuss girls and women in sport

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bagged meter fees could be discounted for patios

Council passes first reading at special meeting

Kluane Adamek, AFN Yukon’s regional chief, has signalled a postponement to a graduation ceremony scheduled for today due to COVID-19. She is seen here in her Whitehorse office on March 17. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
AFN Yukon’s post-secondary grad celebration postponed

The event scheduled for June 14 will be rescheduled when deemed safe

(Alexandra Newbould/Canadian Press)
In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on.
Terror charges laid against man accused in London attack against Muslim family

Liam Casey Canadian Press A vehicle attack against a Muslim family in… Continue reading

Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, poses for a portrait in the boardroom outside his office in Iqaluit, Nunavut, on Sept. 30, 2020. (Emma Tranter/Canadian Press)
Two cases of COVID-19 at Iqaluit school, 9 active in Nunavut

Nunavut’s chief public health officer says two COVID-19 cases at Iqaluit’s middle… Continue reading

The Village of Carmacks has received federal funding for an updated asset management plan. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Federal funding coming to Carmacks

The program is aimed at helping municipalities improve planning and decision-making around infrastructure

Paddlers start their 715 kilometre paddling journey from Rotary Park in Whitehorse on June 26, 2019. The 2021 Yukon River Quest will have a different look. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
The 22nd annual Yukon River Quest moves closer to start date

Although the race will be modified in 2021, a field of 48 teams are prepared to take the 715 kilometre journey from Whitehorse to Dawson City on the Yukon River

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its June 7 meeting

Letters to the editor.
This week’s mailbox: the impact of residential schools, Whitehorse Connects, wildfires

Dear Editor; Anguish – extreme pain, distress or anxiety. Justice – the… Continue reading

PROOF CEO Ben Sanders is seen with the PROOF team in Whitehorse. (Submitted)
Proof and Yukon Soaps listed as semifinalists for national award

The two companies were shortlisted from more than 400 nominated

Most Read