DUNS number · Credit scoring

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility - CreditBuilder or Credibility Concierge Services? Or neither? Why?


July 29th, 2016

I founded my company in 2007. Our revenue is around $1.5M and profitable. Due to several large projects happening simultaneously, our capital reserve is lower than I'd like, and until now, we've never needed outside funding or credit terms with vendors. I'm finding it difficult to get standard credit terms with our vendors because we have no credit history to speak of according to our report fromDun & Bradstreet.

Does anyone have any experience dealing with D&B from a business owner perspective?
Are there other ways besides paying fees to the reporting agency for having your credit record kept up to date? (seems like a conflict of interest to me)

I contacted D&B to see what was going on, and the following email is from a very talented, high-pressure salesperson with a "plan" for resolving our problem. I felt like I was being pressured into something I will regret later, so I asked her to send me the details in an email to review.

The salesperson stated with urgency that "their pricing will increase at the end of the month, but if we signed up now, the price wouldn't change". Then, sensing my reluctance to sign up, and without me asking, she told me she'd "talk with her boss to see about getting a lower price for us if we sign up right away". (it felt like a used car sales tactic...)

I notice that there are quite a few people in our group that either work or have worked for D&B. If you have opinions that's fine, but based on the hard-sell approach of the salesperson I've spoken with, I'm going to take what you have to say with a grain of salt.

Note: The self-reporting "Do-It-Yourself, Credit Builder" option costs ~$1500/year.


Thank you for your time today in reviewing the D&B report. After an extended review of your account I truly believe that you need a "hands on" approach to managing this company's D&B reports rather than just having the "do it yourself service" but here are the options:

-Do-it-yourself, Credit Builder

-Concierge/Account Manager (Which I would recommend at this point due to the work involved in really getting the report up to speed)

You have the free DUNS# which meets minimum requirements to work with the government. This file is in real need of your attention because almost all of your seven scores and ratings are mainly issued by your bill payment history and the scores are not even close to reflecting your company's current status and operations. Almost all of your scores are at the highest risk on the scale. The main factor in determining your scores & ratings is how you pay your bills and currently the report shows you have paid about $12,650 to run your business in the last two years, which would equate to a company that does about $30,000 in gross sales before expenses. There is much to do to fill in the gap as you area much larger business than what it appears to be on the report.

Just to clarify, you have 17 inquiries and alerts into your file. These are companies that have checked on your business credit report for one full year specifically by your DUNS# and your company name. Usually they are checking on your scores and ratings. Meaning that companies you are doing business with are directly monitoring your report. They are trying to assess the risk of doing business with you. Or, these companies are trying to decide what type of work they can extend out to you.

You have3 late/past due payments (as of today) on your report that really need to be investigated. You can disputes these for free once you authenticate your identity. (If you fail the authentication page, let me know and I will send you the form to fill out and mail in.) However, you are limited to only five investigations per cycle, and a cycle typically takes 21 business days on average to complete. If we do this for you with the Concierge service then we can do them all at once and fast track it.

I know how this process works in detail and it can be extremely time consuming, difficult and frustrating. I recommend that we take over the report for you immediately, and work diligently to showcase your company's true stature and its financial strength and stability in the best possible light.

The three main benefits to you and your company are, expedited processing, measurable outcomes, and white glove personal touch service with ONE point of contact. The following is what you can expect with our Credibility Business Concierge program:

o You have one point of contact (you will have the name and number), a Credit Professional, that will be available for you (8 am-6 pm MST) to assist with the report.

o Your Concierge not only knows what needs to happen, but has the resources and ability to make it happen.

o Complete transparency and accountability as you will have access to view progress vs. discussed strategy and solutions.

o There is a fine toothed comb process where all business info is updated to present the most accurate report possible. This process is repeated as needed throughout the year.

o Takes the responsibility off of your shoulders and into our hands.

Business Concierge total account management solution (where we do this all for you and expedite handling your file)would cost $8,999:

The following products are included:

o Credit Builder Premium

o Credibility Review Platinum/Verified Premium

o 10 Business Information reports

We are also providing Legal Zoom's Biz Advantage Plus and will be sending your basic information to them so that they may fulfill your product offering. Plus, due to our newest partnership, you will receive a free online Retail Supplier Education course by 8th and Walton.

Once you have reviewed the details and would like to activate the service, we can get started immediately, give me a call or simply reply back to this email and I will clear my schedule to get everything started. Please know if you have additional questions, I am here for you.

Please retain my contact information in your "D&B folder" in the event you or your colleagues have any questions or need assistance in the future. Please call directly or email back with the best time to reach you.

Winston Lee President at Tallamond Inc

July 29th, 2016

We used their paid service for 1 year in fact they didn't help us at all. After we paid nobody even contacted us within the whole year. Recently I discussed with a financial professor and he said it is not that useful to pay them.
Hope this is helpful.

Thank you!

Chris Maeda President & CEO, Brick Street Software, Inc.

July 29th, 2016

The one time I talked to a D&B sales guy on the phone, he said my company looked like "a teenager who got a credit card for the first time."  I had no idea what he meant so I hung up on him and will never take calls from D&B again.

My marketing guy got us a D&B account a couple years later.  I agreed on condition that he had to be the one to deal with D&B. I never saw any value in it and I'm about to cancel.

If someone is interested in a startup that will disrupt D&B, message me.  I'd be interested in helping and it wouldn't be the first time I've funded a startup because an arrogant incumbent vendor did not have enough competition.

Richard Reed

July 29th, 2016

LIke the previous commenter, I haven't found D&B to have accomplished much for the companies I have been involved with, although we engaged with them on a lesser level that what you are contemplating. 

I would make one other comment, have you considered other options such as AR factoring firms. If your company has a track record of profitability, sound financials and executed contracts for your upcoming projects, this may be another financing solution worth exploring.

Lester de Souza Building community for entrepreneurs

July 29th, 2016

Dear Anonymous

I have no personal experience with the US side services in this but was referred to fundandgrow dot com by another attorney who is reliable and recommended them.  I am in Canada and they are not authorised to provide the services outside the US. If this is of interest, I would be happy to provide a personal connection through one of the agents there that I had been in touch with.  You can email me directly to info at desouzas dot ca if it would help.

Cassio Spina Co-Founder na ZoeMob

July 29th, 2016

In my opinion, D&B is a very unethical company. They've approached one of my past companies, initially talking that they just update their records about my company and in the middle of the conversation, their representative started to try to push offers to me to "upgrade" our company record with them. This is not only highly unethical but there is a huge conflict of interest. I don't how some creditor/vendor can rely on their reports, since it seems if you "pay to them" you get a good credit report, if not, they give bad information about you.

Shelley Facius Head of Communications at Coretech, a WPP Company

July 29th, 2016

These tactics sound highly questionable to me. I would share your story with the press.

Rob G

July 29th, 2016

i would try hard to avoid D&B if at all possible.  Once upon a time (may still be required) companies were required to have a D&B number (DUNNS) to open an Apple developer account - no other option.  You give them some data points about the company and all they have to do is generate a number - no manual intervention required.  As i recall there was no option to auto generate the DUNNS number so i contacted customer service.... 4 times.  The first 2 times i was told we would have a DUNNS number within 30 days. didn't happen.  The next 2 times i talked to them i was told we would have a DUNNS number within 24 hours.  never happened.  gave up.  Apple gladly accepted our fee, but we opted not to develop an iOS app.  If D&B's customer service and follow through is this pathetic before they get $$ out of you i'd hate to see what it's like after they cash the check. 

Richard Gilbert Director, SME Partnerships & Business Development, North America at Payoneer

July 30th, 2016

The general sentiment here is that D&B and typical commercial banks aren't geared to support small businesses your size (despite your success and track record).  There are a number of reputable alternative lenders who are in business to support short term liquidity needs for businesses your size.  OnDeck, Lending Club, Kabbage, DealStruck all have a variety of fixed or short term lending products.  You need to pay attention to the APR but generally these are good short term vehicles.  Lendio is another that tends to operate more like a broker that prequalifies your company and presents you with alternatives.  

Wayne Willis CEO, Formula XO, Inc.

July 30th, 2016

I have an extremely negative view of D&B (for licensing their name) and to D&B Credibility Corp (for exploiting it).   After being misled and ripped off by them, I vowed NEVER to do business with them directly again.  I see that D&B bought D&BCC last year ... hopefully the parent company will try to repair some of the damage.  But maybe not.  Having paid $320m, the need to keep up the cashflow, I'm sure.

Anyway, as an established business, just ask your trade creditors a) to serve as a reference and b) to "report" you to D&B and any other credit reporting agency they subscribe to.  Most vendors only report the negative experiences.  BTW, this is the guts of the advice I got from the high pressure sales guy after he charged my credit card.  Essentially, it's a DIY program with some forms.  

Smart of you to ask.