Industry Warnings: Beware Unscrupulous Business Practices


SBTC Investigates JJ Keller's Business Practices

The SBTC is currently investigating the activities of a truck permitting and consulting firm called JJ Keller for alleged libelous conduct toward one of Keller's competitors, SBTC member-company DOTAuthority.com.

JJ Keller has put up an ad on Google that states:

  1. Be Aware of the SCAC Scam - JJKeller.com‎

    Adwww.jjkeller.com/
    OSHA, DOT, HR, Hazmat & More Trusted Source, Safety & Compliance
    J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc has 143 followers on Google+

This ad points to this February 23rd, 2015 statement on the JJ Keller website.

It appears this online ad is targetting DOTAuthority.com, whose ad appears directly above JJ Keller's. 

According to their website, JJ Keller competes with DOTAuthority.com at http://www.jjkeller.com/shop/Product/DOT-Authority-Services

JJ Keller's use of the phrase "DOT Authority," appears to be "confusingly similar" to DOTAuthority.com's duly issued registered service mark and brand, which may violate the Federal Lanham Act. These matters are currently under review by DOTAuthority.com's legal team.

In the meantime, DOTAuthority has asked Google to take the offending ad down.

It appears the SCAC "scam" allegation pertains to a February 23rd, 2015 email sent to certain carriers by DOTAuthority.com, educating them under what circumstances carriers must have or renew SCAC credentials. DOTAuthority.com has been partnered with NMFTA in the area of Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) related compliance services for over a decade and has not made any statements that DOT Numbers will be revoked if carriers fail to secure SCAC credentials as JJ Keller apparently/falsely alludes to on its website. It appears Keller is engaged in activity which may constitute malicious, tortious interference with its competitor. DOTAuthority.com lawyers are expected to issue a cease and desist letter shortly.

Although the SBTC previously believed JJ Keller to be a reputable company, we find this apparent libelous activity worthy of further review and investigation. In general, the SBTC warns its members to steer clear of companies that appear to be engaged in questionable negative marketing tactics and/or unfair trade practices to acquire your business. The SBTC believes a service-based company should be able to compete and do business on its own merits rather than through negative campaigning and making false allegations against its competitors online. 

March 12, 2015 UPDATE:

JJ Keller has removed the false accusation that had previously been posted at http://www.jjkeller.com/shop/Category/content_category_Transportation_article_Be-Aware-of-the-SCAC-Scam*022015_10151_-1_10551 and they have removed their Google ad that had been advertising this page.

Christian Arraya of NMFTA issued written confirmation today that there is no "SCAC scam" as Keller alleged through online advertising, and that DOTAuthority.com is a third party service provider that works with NMFTA.