The Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization founded in 1912. The mission of the bureau is to advance marketplace trust. Its members include 97 independently incorporated local businesses. The organization helps consumers avoid scams and bad businesses by exposing them to ethical standards. To become a member, a business must be legitimate and have a history of honesty.
The organization works through local chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Its members include retailers, manufacturers, advertising agencies, and media representatives. In all, there are over 100,000 businesses in the BBB’s database. The organization has more than 150 branches across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Better Business Bureau is governed by a council that works to foster honest relationships between businesses and consumers.
Business owners can become accredited by the Better Business Bureau by paying annual dues and following ethical guidelines. Accredited companies can use the BBB logo to promote themselves as legitimate. The cost for becoming accredited ranges from $200 to more than $10,000 per year, depending on the size of the organization. Most BBBs are funded by membership dues and corporate partnerships.
The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that promotes ethical business practices. The organization’s Accredited Businesses program assigns rankings to businesses and charities. It also maintains data about businesses and implements dispute resolution procedures. These procedures are set up by the Council of the Better Business Bureaus and are administered by the local BBBs. Consumers may file a complaint against an accredited business and the Bureau will take action.
Businesses that are accredited by the BBB are expected to respond to complaints in a timely manner. Non-accredited businesses are not required to do so, but it can help boost their BBB rating. If a business is unable to respond within 14 days, the BBB will send a second letter to the company. Once a business responds, the BBB will inform consumers and let them know that it resolved the issue.
The Better Business Bureau encourages businesses to respond to customer complaints within 30 days. In addition, they are required to contact the business when a dispute is resolved. Otherwise, the BBB will close the case and remove it from their database. If a business does not respond within the stipulated time frame, a negative mark will be posted against the business.
The BBB rates businesses based on various factors, including complaints and public feedback. Before, businesses were only rated satisfactory or unsatisfactory, but since January 2009, businesses are now rated from A+ to F. This new system is based on 16 factors and is posted on the BBB’s business database.