Business Columns & Blogs

Reader says caterer flunked graduation party job and won’t own up. What to do?

Q: Not too long ago, my son graduated from high school. It was quite the occasion, so we wanted to throw a graduation party for him, and invited our friends and family. It was a huge success – save for the caterers we hired. I don’t enjoy speaking ill of others, but these people were awful. They showed up with the food, which was cold, at 7 p.m. (they promised 5 p.m., the party started at 6 p.m.) and the delivery team was rude to us. I called the manager the next day and he ended up apologizing to me, and promised to refund us our deposit. It’s been two weeks and we still haven’t been refunded. They’ve ignored our calls and blocked us on social media. I tried going into their store, and the manager told me that he “changed his mind” and that if I ever showed up at the store again, he’d call the cops. Obviously, I’m quite livid and don’t know what to do. Any advice?

A: When facing a predicament such as this, it’s always good to consult your local Better Business Bureau. Go to and find that company’s business profile. On their business’ profile, you can see past complaints and reviews against the company in question and see if other folks have had similar experiences hiring them. But most importantly, if the company is not willing to resolve this issue, you have the option of filing a complaint with BBB. When filing a complaint with BBB, the company will receive your complaint within two business days and a response from them would be expected within the next two weeks thereafter. When the company sends a response back, you will be notified immediately. If the company chooses to not respond to your complaint, their rating with BBB may be affected.

When hiring a company in the future, you might want to check with BBB first. You can find businesses of all kinds in your area, and many of them are accredited businesses. When a business is accredited with BBB, they uphold and abide by BBB’s code of honesty and transparency in the marketplace, and have all their licenses and certifications up to date. Accredited businesses are obligated to respond to any and all complaints they receive through BBB, as well.

In regards to last week’s column about warding off mosquitoes…

A loyal reader reached out to me this week, correcting me that the best way to keep your backyard ponds mosquito-free is to add mosquitofish, who feed on the larvae of mosquitoes, among other things. This method reduces the mosquito population in your backyard, while also keeping the local ecosystem intact by not resorting to potentially harmful pesticides. For more information on mosquito-prevention methods, consult the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District’s website:

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the BetterBusiness Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or