Ever heard of the Better Business Bureau, or do you know What it is? Since the inception of BBB in 1912, the Better Business bureau (BBB) has been one of the go-to resources for sizing up a business’s performance and trustworthiness.
If you are in search for a new wireless service provider or a local plumber for example, you might want to check out the BBB profiles of businesses you are considering for an added degree of confidence.
What is Better Business Bureau?
While BBB has helped millions of consumers flush out disreputable service providers, it turns out it is not foolproof either. This guide is a closer observation of how the BBB works and what is its limitations.
Features of Better Business Bureau
- Its mission is to promote market trust which it does by grading companies based on their trustworthiness and performance. And also, by serving as an intermediary when consumers have complaints.
- The bureau’s letter grade for a particular business derives from more factors, including the company’s history of handling consumer complaints.
- It has long fostered an image of itself as independent-arbiter of good business practices, critics note that receiving funds from members businesses may create a conflict of interest.
The 411 on the Better Business Bureau
BBB is a nonprofit membership organization with chapters at the North America that are focused on advancing marketplace trust. The company promotes its mission through two functions:
- Rating businesses based on their reliability and performance
- Facilitating the resolution of consumer complaints
It also provides consumer education and offers several programs aimed at helping businesses adopt best practices. The BBB collects revenue through memberships, allowing it to provide consumers access to its directory of business profiles at no cost.
Each profiles contains basic information about the company, including address, phone number, and number of operating years. It also shows the business BBB grade, as well as customer reviews and information about consumer complaints.
Accredited vs nonaccredited businesses
Companies can select to become accredited business which means thy support the mission and vision of BBB. BBB website provides information on both accredited and nonaccredited businesses. The status is displayed on the website and it is used by companies for marketing purposes.
Businesses pay anywhere from few hundred dollars for those with lot of employees to more than $11,000 for those with 2000 or more workers. The bureau also charges members organization for the use of accreditation in online and advertising. Also, companies have to meet some requirements to remain accredited, such as maintain a “B” or “A” grade, handling complaints in a satisfactory manner, and also demonstrating truthful advertising practices.
How Rating Work
Better business Bureau’s letter grades are a main factor in choosing if to engage with a particular business or loo elsewhere. These ratings depends on the variety of factors, with some components being weighed over others.
The numerical score is converted to letter grade, A score of 97 to 100 would be graded as “A+”, score of 94 to 96.99 is an “A”, and scores between 90 and 93.99 is an “A-”.
Another major role of BBB is to act as a facilitator for disputes between consumer and business. When checking a company BBB profile, consumer can click “File a Complaint” link to process a complain about the company. Accredited businesses must respond to complaints in a satisfactory manner so as to maintain their rank. For unaccredited company, responding to complaints is optional.
After a complaint is being filed, the business is required to respond within 14 days. If not responded to, BBB sends a second notice to the company. The BBB informs consumer when the business responds to the complaints or if it does not get a response.