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BBB investigating legitimacy of COVID testing company with sites in West Michigan

BBBs in other states have launched their own investigations into Center for Covid Control, an Illinois-based company, that runs the testing sites.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Better Business Bureau is investigating the legitimacy of a COVID testing company with testing sites across the country including West Michigan.

BBBs in other states have launched their own investigations into Center for Covid Control, an Illinois-based company, that runs the testing sites.

The testing site Joshua Coulter of Grand Rapids went to is located near 28th and Breton in Grand Rapids.

"I was taking a test before heading home for the holidays," he said. 

Around Thanksgiving, Coulter got a COVID test at the testing site which is located in a suite now but at the time it was a shipping container. Coulter says there were numerous red flags including the testers not wearing masks. 

"My instant test came back almost immediately, which makes sense. About 15 minutes later, but then three days later, I got, supposedly, the PCR test, but that came with the exact same .pdf. They sent me the same .pdf document twice."

Coulter said he was asked to upload a picture of both sides of his driver's license and didn't have to provide insurance information. 

"There's lots of red flags on their website. Their links don't take you to appropriate places. There's not clickable links where they should be." 

RELATED: Attorney General's office, Better Business Bureau warn against fake COVID-19 test scams

The BBB of West Michigan said the company is unresponsive to complaints and has an 'F' rating.

"We're looking into the business," said Katie Grevious, a Communications Specialist with BBB of Western Michigan. "We're seeing, is this is a legitimate business that has bad business practices or is this a total scam? That part we haven't ironed out yet."

Coulter hopes others will avoid making the same mistake he did.

"To help people like us who're just trying to get tested and do our part through this pandemic. Make better decisions and use our critical thinking skills."

13 On Your Side reached out to the company for comment, and the person who answered the phone took our message. 

If the company is found to not have good practices, then the Michigan Attorney General's Office can get involved.

The Attorney General's Office released a statement about the company, saying that they're working with the BBB:

"We are aware of recent media reports regarding the Center for Covid Control.  We have received a very small number of consumer complaints and inquiries regarding this company.

 At this time, we do not know enough about this business to comment about its practices. 

 We have been communicating with our partners at the BBB and urge consumers who have experiences like those detailed in recent reports to alert their local health department and to file a complaint with our Consumer Protection team. Since concerns about Covid testing locations may implicate both public health and consumer protection, the Attorney General is committed to ensuring priority attention is given to these complaints.  We cannot, however, comment on ongoing investigations.

 We urge consumers to do their homework before choosing Covid testing locations.  Talk with your health care professional, or visit MDHHS' website to find approved test sites where testing is provided without cost.  Research companies that provide testing just like you would research any other company selling a good or service—check the BBB and other sources of online reviews."

If people already went to these sites, the BBB advises people to monitor their credit and make sure their identity isn't being used to take out loans in their name.

Lastly, go through your doctor to find a legitimate testing site or go to your local health department's website.

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