Aside from the occasional privacy gaffe or questionable quote from CEO Eric Schmidt, Google tends to have a fairly positive image, or at least has the trust of millions of individuals and business around the world who use its services everyday.

That's why we were surprised to learn that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) had given Google a grade of C-, according to Mike Blumenthal, a blogger who specializes in local search.

In a blog post published earlier today, Blumenthal compared Google's BBB ranking with that of other big tech companies like Apple (B+), Yahoo! (A+) and Microsoft (A+).

That's right, the companies responsible for Antennagate and Windows Vista both scored higher than the company we all trust with our email, documents, search history, and geographic whereabouts. Even often-criticized telecoms like AT&T (A+) and Verizon (B) scored relatively well.

Apparently, Google has failed to respond to 47 different complaints filed against it by consumers.

Writes Blumenthal:

Google has made a science out of making it difficult to get a problem looked at let alone solved. They have saved millions of dollars by not providing support. Most of the unhappy folks either do what I do (stamp my feet etc etc ) or they go away. But obviously, a very small percentage file a high profile complaint with the Better Business Bureau. There were 637 over the past 36 months and all Google has to do is respond to every complaint. How friggin' hard is that?

»Read Blumenthal's original post.

This isn't the first time Google has gotten poor marks from the BBB. Two years ago, the search giant was listed as having an "unsatisfactory record" by the BBB.

Do you think this is a fair assessment of Google's reliability as a company? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.