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What is the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nongovernmental organization designed to enhance marketplace trust. The BBB, established in 1912, is a private nonprofit organization that has independently incorporated organizations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Organizations receive consumer complaints and rate the performance and reliability of businesses based on specific criteria. The BBB accredits approximately 400,000 firms.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit organization that monitors and reports the trustworthiness of businesses and tracks scams and frauds that affect consumers.
  2. BBB Accreditation signifies trust and integrity, and an unwavering commitment to consumers.
  3. The BBB also collects customer complaints and seeks to resolve many of those complaints.

How does the Better Business Bureau (BBB) work?

The BBB promotes ethical business practices so buyers and sellers can trust each other. The BBB publishes complaints about businesses along with verified reviews. Additionally, BBB helps consumers resolve complaints with businesses and fosters fair marketplace standards. Companies must adhere to the mandated standards in order to receive BBB Accredited Business status.

Consumers can file disputes with the BBB about unfair business practices and other marketplace issues. The BBB successfully resolves about 70% of filed complaints through mediation and arbitration. Other regulatory bodies handle complaints against service professionals, such as doctors and attorneys. The BBB does not examine the following issues:

  1. Employer-employee disputes
  2. Discrimination claims
  3. Non-business-related complaints
  4. Complaints countering laws
  5. Complaints against government agencies
  6. Concerns currently in litigation or those previously litigated

A business that has been operational for at least a year may apply for BBB Accreditation. To qualify, a company must be transparent in its practices, properly licensed, comply with BBB advertising codes, and have no unresolved complaints. Annual dues are based on the size of the organization and range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year. Additional fees are charged for membership plaques and the licensed use of the BBB logo on websites.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) promotes ethical business practices and accredits approximately 400,000 businesses in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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