Premier has reportedly been claiming to be affiliated with the Lebanon Chamber and that the Chamber supports the advertising company’s current promotions or sales.
“They’re saying the Chamber is promoting their program, but we have nothing to do with it,” Vanatta said.
Vanatta also said she called Premier at least twice to inform them of this practice and has been received with skepticism. She said the company told her their sales representatives would not make false claims, but Vanatta pointed out several businesses were saying otherwise.
Mark Hinesley, president of the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Chamber of Commerce, said he has not received calls from businesses in Mt. Juliet reporting the same activity. He noted that this isn’t the first time he’s heard of something like this happening.
“We over the years have had people like that crop up,” Hinesley said, referring to companies making false claims to be working in tandem with the Chamber.
If businesses are skeptical of another business’s association with either Chamber, Hinesley said they are always welcome to call and double check. He said if a business receives a call that seems unscrupulous the caller will often back off if the business says they are calling the Chamber to verify.
“Whenever our customers aren’t sure, they can always just give us a call to check,” Hinesley said.
The Better Business Bureau’s website showed that Premier Impressions is a division of Universal Adcom also located in Arlington, Texas. That company has an “F” rating with the BBB, indicating that 377 complaints have been filed against them with the BBB in the past 36 months.
Of these complaints, 165 involved sales practices like those reported by some businesses in Wilson County. According to the Bureau’s website, the business has also been involved in multiple lawsuits in several states.
“Whenever someone is going to be selling this for us, we send a letter to our members with our letterhead, or have something in our newsletter that let’s them know people will be calling,” said Andrea Wilke, office manager for the Lebanon Chamber.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.