Some days ago I was guiding one of my friends as he was trying to get his free Duns number from D&B. As he was new to the whole process I basically told him to apply for a free Duns number. It had already been more than 2 months since he applied. As expected he had already received 2 to 3 sales calls from Dun and Bradstreet. Of course I had asked him to politely decline and just wait for the free Duns number.Dun and Bradstreet will tell you that it takes 4 to 6 weeks to get a free duns number . In my friends case, it had been about 3 months since he took a little  longer setting up some of the other business-credit aspects that I had recommended.  He already had some lines of credit with certain vendors like Quills etc.  At this point we decided to call Dun & Bradstreet.

What followed was a classic example of what lengths D&B would go to just to make a sale.

An aggressive representative got on the phone. I had told my friend to act as an employee of the business (which technically speaking,  is  correct). The rep went on to explain that there is no way he can get a decent (!) duns number if he had not paid for it. My friend painstakingly mentioned that he had applied for a free Duns number. Also that the company he worked for had waited for more than two months for the free number and that should be long enough. He further explained that the company was certainly going to invest in one of D&Bs packages in the near future but for now he would like the free Duns number. And so it went, round and round. The rep claimed that he was checking the system and he could not find a duns number for the company and for such an such a dollar amount the duns number can be generated in “no time”.

The interesting part was this. As my friend was on the phone I was checking his business e mail. As my friend was being told that there was no Duns number I spotted an e mail from D&B with the free Duns number. That e mail was dated one month previous to that day.

Of-course I told my friend to politely say that he will let the relevant people in the company know and than to politely say goodbye.

Moral of this story: Be very careful what D&B tells you just to make a sale. Plus keep a very good relation with them since they are very important for business credit purposes.