Is BBB Accreditation new?
Does BBB Accreditation mean something different from BBB membership?
What are the BBB standards against which businesses that request are evaluated?
Do BBBs monitor Accredited Businesses for continuing compliance with standards?
If all your funding comes from business, how can you be fair to the consumer?
How can a BBB be unbiased when it gets a complaint about a BBB Accredited Business?
Why do I have to call a BBB long distance to get a report on a company?
I filed a complaint with the BBB. The company has not responded. Why can't the BBB make a business satisfy my complaint?
Why won't the BBB recommend a reputable company for me to deal with?
I called the BBB and was told that what I'm asking from the company is unreasonable. Isn't the BBB supposed to be on the consumer's side?
The BBB is allowing a customer to file what I feel is an unfair complaint about my business. I'm a BBB accredited Business; aren't you supposed to be on my side?
Doesn't the BBB give credit reports?
Isn't the BBB part of the government?
Isn't the BBB the same as a Chamber of Commerce?
Can the BBB help me collect past due accounts?
Why can't the BBB stop rip-offs and scams?
Why doesn't the BBB report on private actions and small claims court actions against companies?
Doesn't the BBB report only on its Accredited Businesses?
What good is the BBB if it cannot help me resolve my problem?
1. Is BBB Accreditation new?
Yes. Prior to October 1, 2007, BBB Accredited Businesses referred to themselves as BBB members.
2. Does BBB Accreditation mean something different from BBB membership?
No. The two are synonyms. From BBB inception, businesses that apply to the BBB have undergone a detailed review process and committed to abide by a set of ethical standards for marketplace conduct.
3. What are the BBB standards against which businesses that request are evaluated?
The standards are a comprehensive set of best practices for how businesses should treat the public in a fair and honest manner. To view the standards click here.
4. Do BBBs monitor Accredited Businesses for continuing compliance with standards?
Yes. Every BBB Accredited Business is monitored for continuing adherence to BBB standards.
5. If all your funding comes from business, how can you be fair to the consumer?
The BBB's value to the business community is based on our neutrality. The purpose of the BBB system is not to act as an advocate for businesses or consumers, but to act as a mutually trusted intermediary to resolve disputes, to facilitate communication, and to provide information on ethical business practices. Businesses have supported the BBB for over 80 years because an ethical marketplace is in everyone's best interest.
6. How can a BBB be unbiased when it gets a complaint about a BBB Accredited Business?
The BBB's integrity is on the line every time we review and process a complaint. If a BBB were to favor BBB Accredited Business over non-BBB Accredited Businesses in a complaint, such action would destroy our most valuable asset-- the public trust that we have held for over 80 years. BBB Accredited Businesses support us because they know we will act as a neutral third party, giving them an opportunity to learn of and respond to customer problems.
7. Why do I have to call a BBB long distance to get a report on a company?
There are more than 130 BBB offices in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Each office maintains files on companies headquartered in its service area, which may extend as far as a 200-mile radius. Local BBB’s have the most current information on companies from their complaint files, and additional information gathered from various area sources such as local, state, and federal government agencies. BBB’s also carry reports on companies that conduct business nationally.
The good news is - you no longer have to call the local BBB office for information. Every BBB in the U.S. and Canada posts its reliability reports on the web, and you can locate a report via our central lookup screen at http://search.bbb.org/search.html . In addition, local BBB representatives are available to assist you on the phones during normal business hours.
8. I filed a complaint with the BBB. The company has not responded. Why can't the BBB make a business satisfy my complaint?
When a BBB receives a complaint, we present the complaint to the business and request its assistance in working out the problem with the unhappy customer. Most companies are grateful for the opportunity to resolve problems with their customers since it often means their patronage will be preserved.
BBB Accredited Businesses agree to respond to consumer complaints presented by the BBB, and their Accreditation will be revoked if they do not. Most other companies, regardless of whether they are BBB Accredited Businesses, also cooperate with the BBB.
However, some companies do not want to work with the BBB and/or their customers to resolve complaints. Since the BBB is not a government or law enforcement agency, the BBB cannot force a reply from a company; nor can it administer sanctions. However, a company's unwillingness to respond to the BBB or a customer will be noted in the company's reliability report the BBB provides to the public. The customer is free to pursue other alternatives such as legal action.
9. Why won't the BBB recommend a reputable company for me to deal with?
The basic policy of the BBB is to refrain from recommending or endorsing any company, product, or service. This is done to ensure continued public trust in our fairness.
BBB Accredited Businesses must meet certain standards to qualify for BBB Accreditation and to remain a BBB Accredited Business. Many BBBs publish their entire Accredited Business lists, or you may request a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in a specific business category. Reliability reports from most BBBs also state whether a company is a BBB Accredited Business.
10. I called the BBB and was told that what I'm asking from the company is unreasonable. Isn't the BBB supposed to be on the consumer's side?
The BBB is neutral, and works to promote an ethical marketplace. It tries to seek a mutually satisfactory outcome in disputes between business and customers. Businesses and customers both have rights and responsibilities in the marketplace. The BBB tries to help both parties do what is right, rather than take sides.
11. The BBB is allowing a customer to file what I feel is an unfair complaint about my business. I'm a BBB accredited Business; aren't you supposed to be on my side?
No. While the BBB is supported by the dues paid by BBB Accredited Businesses, it remains impartial and does not take sides in disputes between customers and businesses.
12. Doesn't the BBB give credit reports?
The BBB reports on a firm's marketplace practices. It does not report either individual or business credit information. BBB reliability reports contain information about the nature of the business, its principal officers, a three-year summary of any complaints processed, and any government action involving the company's marketplace practices. Most BBBs will also report a company's BBB Accreditation in its public report and note whether it participates in any special BBB programs to improve customer satisfaction.
13. Isn't the BBB part of the government?
No. The BBB is a private, non-profit organization developed to monitor and report marketplace activities to the public. BBBs are licensed by the Council of Better Business, and governed by their own local Boards of Directors. Funding for BBB activities is primarily derived from local business support.
14. Isn't the BBB the same as a Chamber of Commerce?
No. BBBs work closely with Chambers of Commerce in their communities, but have different purposes. Chambers are designed to PROMOTE their communities through economic development and other activities. BBBs exist to PROTECT the citizens and businesses in the communities they serve, and to work to promote an ethical marketplace.
15. Can the BBB help me collect past due accounts?
Although some BBBs have specialized programs to help resolve complaints that result in non-payment of bills, BBBs do not operate as collection agencies for individuals or businesses.
16. Why can't the BBB stop rip-offs and scams?
Many times, the BBB does. Although the BBB system does not have legal and policing powers, BBBs provide information about marketplace fraud through reports to the public, media releases and alerts.
BBBs work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, providing them with valuable information on potentially fraudulent activities. Many times BBBs are the first organization to know about a developing scam and they alert authorities and the public. When a scam develops in one part of the country, the news travels quickly between BBB offices in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico that in turn alert the public in their communities.
The public can help to stop rip-offs and scams by contacting the BBB before they do business with an unknown company and by notifying their BBB of a potential scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
17. Why doesn't the BBB report on private actions and small claims court actions against companies?
BBB reliability reports contain information on actions against companies and/or their principals brought by government agencies that allege violations of laws or regulations relevant to marketplace activities and that are relevant to consumer's buying decisions. Private civil actions between companies, or between companies and their customers, do not necessarily involve violations of law and involve private disputes that cannot fairly or meaningfully be reported to the public.
18. Doesn't the BBB report only on its Accredited Businesses?
No. BBBs issue reports on BBB Accredited Businesses and non-BBB Accredited Businesses. BBBs, which as a matter of policy do not endorse or recommend any company, product, or service, apply the same standards to reporting on companies, regardless of their BBB Accreditation, BBB reports, however, will note a company's BBB Accreditation.
Because BBB Accredited Businesses must qualify for Accreditation by adhering to certain standards, a company with a bad report will be disqualified for accreditation. However, this does NOT mean that a company that is not a BBB Accredited Business has a bad report or would not qualify for BBB Accreditation.
19. What good is the BBB if it cannot help me resolve my problem?
BBBs try to help solve consumer/business problems. As private non-profit organizations, however, they cannot force a solution on parties to a dispute. Most BBBs do offer mediation and arbitration to help resolve consumer disputes, which can save both businesses and consumers the time and expense of going to court.
However, Better Business Bureau’s do a lot more in the community than resolve disputes. Through the support of their local BBB Accredited Businesses, BBBs work towards an ethical marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses and providing information to consumers before they purchase products and services.