Back in the BBB

The down-but-not-out Priceline.com operation got back a little
of its own today as the Connecticut Better Business Bureau said the
Norwalk-based company has been fully restored as a member in good standing.

“After a review of the ongoing enhancements Priceline.com is making to its
Web site and customer service, we believe that (the company) has aligned its
business in accordance with the tenets of the Better Business Bureau,” said
Jacqueline Bucar, chairman of the Connecticut BBB. “We are pleased to welcome
them back into the organization as a member in good standing and return the
Better Business Bureau seal to priceline.com.”

Priceline.com, which earlier this month cut its work force 11 percent and

refocused on its core business
, was ousted from the BBB last fall after a
variety of consumer complaints surfaced from residents of the company’s home
state.

“We listened closely to what the Better Business Bureau had to say, and much
of their feedback mirrored what we were hearing from our customers,” said
Daniel H. Schulman, Priceline.com’s president and CEO. “Our entire
organization worked hard to distill that commentary into a series of ongoing
enhancements for our customers.”

“We are pleased with the Better Business Bureau’s decision and look forward
to renewing a close working relationship with them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Priceline.com said it has named former New York State Attorney
General and nationally known consumer advocate Robert Abrams as an advisor to
provide ongoing feedback on the company’s products and practices.

Abrams’ suggestions were factored into Priceline.com’s most recent
enhancements, which the company said it shared last month with the Better
Business Bureau.

“Priceline.com’s reinstatement was the appropriate action and I commend both
organizations,” said Abrams. “As one of the nation’s foremost consumer
advocacy groups, the Better Business Bureau did its job to raise questions
and Priceline.com addressed them in a responsible, timely manner. I’ve found
priceline.com to be a company that is committed to customer satisfaction and
is willing to invest the time and resources to make meaningful
consumer-friendly changes.”

Priceline’s troubles began early in the fall when its advertising was called
into question and consumer complaints surfaced. The company later

bailed out of the grocery business
as its stock began to go into free
fall. The company’s shares were trading at $1.31 at mid-morning, up 6 cents
but down from an all-time high of more than $104.

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