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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Practicing for over 20 years and helped a number of businesses with litigation.
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Is it legal that DUN & BRADSTREET charge my business a

Customer Question

Is it legal that DUN & BRADSTREET charge my business a (heafy) fee to call vendors that I buy equipment and supplies from to verify my payment status and create a DUNS record for my business?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Did you contract with D & B to do this? If not, how are they justifying charging you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We were in the process of applying to be service provider for 7-11Corporation. We have been in business for 15 yrs, since 2001. We provide Air Conditioning n Kitchen equipnent service n repair. The 7-11 corporate application asked for our DUNS number before we could complete the app n provided a link with the DUNS number. Upon calling then tho request our number they informed us that we have a number but no business
credit rating or info. They explained that their fee is $1,500 per year to contact the vendors we buy from, confirm our payment status n create a record n rating for our business. It sounds unfair to me but DUN sd they are the BUSUNESS RATING COMPANY that business's go to for credit worthiness n have been in business for 175 years. We don't want credit, we want work.We have pd cash for iur equioment n supplies for 15 yrs, yet DUN told me the vendors we buy from are not required to report our payment status, therefore we only have a DUN number n no credit rating nor history.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

It is legal for D&B to charge you if you agree to pay them for their service. They can't just do it without your permission and then charge you.

They are, or at least used to be, the primary source of a company business rating but it really doesn't seem to be as important as it used to be for a small business.

I've never seen a small business particularly affected by not having a D&B rating.

So, to sum up and be clear, there is nothing that requires you to hire them to perform the service of increasing your score on their service but if you did agree and they did the work then you would be obligated to pay them.

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread.

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