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What Is the Better Business Bureau & What Does the BBB Do?

What is the Better Business Bureau? Learn how this consumer protection agency works and what it does for businesses and customers.

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January 17, 2023
EZ Texting
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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1912 created to help consumers know which businesses and charities to trust when spending their hard-earned money.

You may have come across the BBB when searching for services or looking up business ratings. And if you’ve ever experienced shady business dealings, the words “I’m reporting you to the Better Business Bureau!” may have crossed your mind.

If you’re a business owner or consumer and want to know how influential the BBB is, read on to learn more about them.

What Does the BBB Do?

BBB Logo

The BBB acts as a consumer watchdog and helps expose bad business practices so consumers can be informed before investing in a product or service.

Unlike review-based services, the Better Business Bureau allows people to file complaints against businesses and charities. When a customer files a complaint, the BBB reaches out to the organization to try to resolve the conflict. They have a variety of tools to help find a resolution, including trained mediators.

This kind of service can be very helpful for both businesses and consumers — finding a satisfactory resolution to the problem can keep the matter out of court. It’s also a chance for the business to present what happened to a neutral party and get a more positive rating. For customers or patrons, the website also offers:

  • A scam tracker. Are you getting an offer that seems too good to be true? You can use the BBB’s Scam Tracker to find out if what you’re experiencing is a known scam. You can also report if you’ve been scammed to help others avoid being scammed as well.
  • Tips on how to navigate customer service. Yelling, “representative!” at the top of your lungs to a phone bot can get old fast. The BBB provides hacks to help you get the service you need without raising your blood pressure.
  • A list of accredited businesses. You can search the BBB website for accredited businesses before picking the company or charity you want to work with. You can even get quotes.

The BBB can also help your business. As a business owner, you can reach out to the BBB to help you communicate with a customer to help resolve a conflict. Often involving a neutral party, like the BBB, allows both sides of the argument or dispute to come to an agreement earlier and easier than had they tried to resolve it themselves.

Is the BBB Truly Neutral?

Because businesses can become BBB accredited for a fee, folks often wonder if they are truly a legitimately neutral organization. Luckily, you can lower that skeptical eyebrow. The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit that does charge fees for operational purposes, but they do not exchange ratings for those fees. Every business must follow a list of BBB Accreditation Standards to qualify. This does not mean a business who is accredited gets ratings, or can avoid poor ratings should they be reported to the bureau. The BBB also makes it a point to never recommend businesses. They only list businesses and grade them based on a set of criteria, adding to the unbiased legitimacy of BBB accreditation.

So, are BBB ratings reliable? To understand whether a business is honest and quality, yes. Keep in mind that BBB accreditation doesn’t automatically guarantee highest quality or that a business is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s best to use the BBB as a starting point and continue your research from there.

How Do I Check on a Company with the Better Business Bureau?

They make it easy — go to their website and plug in the name of the company. It will show you the BBB rating, and list any complaints reported against the company, both resolved and outstanding. They also have reviews listed, though the reviews from customers don’t reflect the grade the BBB gives the business.

Is It Worth Filing a Complaint with the BBB?

Absolutely. Unlike leaving a scathing review and hoping the business sees it, the Better Business Bureau does their best to find a good solution for both you and the business. This means you can possibly get restitution without involving a small claims court.

How Do Companies Respond to BBB Complaints??

If the company is accredited by the BBB, they must follow the standards established by the bureau to stay on the list. If they’re not accredited, the only thing the BBB can do is give them an unfavorable rating. Companies are not required to work with or respond to the Better Business Bureau.

How Do I Register with the Better Business Bureau?

Registering with the BBB is incredibly easy and can be done online. Click on the business resources link on their website to apply to be accredited or to be listed.

How EZ Texting Can Help

If you’re a business owner, proper communication is essential. EZ Texting’s SMS marketing services offer an affordable way to keep your customers in the loop when it comes to sales, specials, or new items. Our blog also offers informative articles to help improve your business, including how to improve communication skills.

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