BBB Accredited Business
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BBB Accredited Business
Is BBB Accreditation new?
Yes. Prior to October 1, 2007, BBB Accredited Businesses referred to themselves as BBB members.
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.
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.
Do BBBs monitor Accredited Businesses for continuing compliance with standards?
Yes. Every BBB Accredited Business is monitored for continuing adherence to BBB standards.
Check out a Business
Why do I have to call a BBB long distance to get a report on a business?
There are 128 BBB offices in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Each office maintains files on businesses headquartered in its service area, which may extend as far as a 200 mile radius. BBBs have the most current information on businesses from their complaint files, plus additional information gathered from various area sources such as local, state and federal government agencies. BBBs also carry reports on national businesses. The good news is - you no longer have to call us 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. In addition, BBB representatives are available to assist you on the phones during normal business hours.
Why won't the BBB recommend a reputable business for me to deal with?
The basic policy of the BBB is to refrain from recommending or endorsing any business, product or service. This is done to ensure continued public trust in our fairness.
BBB accredited businesses must meet certain standards to qualify for accredited business status and to remain an accredited business. Many BBBs publish their entire accredited business list, or you may request a list of BBB accredited businesses in a specific business category. Reliability reports from most BBBs also state whether a business is accredited.
Why doesn't the BBB report on private actions and small claims court actions against businesses?
BBB reliability reports contain information on actions against businesses 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 businesses, or between businesses and their customers, do not necessarily involve violations of law and involve private disputes that cannot fairly or meaningfully be reported to the public.
Doesn't the BBB report only on its accredited businesses?
No. BBBs issue reports on accredited businesses and non accredited businesses alike. We, as a matter of policy do not endorse or recommend any business, product or service, apply the same standards to reporting on businesses, regardless of their BBB accredited business status. Our reports may, however, note the fact of a business' accredited status in the BBB.
Because BBB accredited businesses must qualify for accredited business status by adhering to certain standards, a business with a bad report will be disqualified for accredited business status. However, this does NOT mean that a business that is not an accredited business has a bad report or would not qualify for accredited business status.
If all your funding comes from business, how can you be fair to the consumer?
The BBBs value to the business community is based on our neutrality. Our purpose 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.
How can a BBB be unbiased when it gets a complaint about an accredited business?
The BBBs integrity is on the line every time we review and process a complaint. If we were to favor an accredited business over a non-accredited business in a complaint, such action would destroy our most valuable asset-- the public trust that we have held for over 80 years. Our 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.
I filed a complaint with the BBB. The business 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 businesses 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 lose their accredited business status if they do not. Most other businesses, regardless of whether they are BBB accredited businesses, also cooperate with the BBB.
However, some businesses do not want to work with the BBB and/or their customers to resolve complaints. Because we are not a government or law enforcement agency, we cannot force a reply from a business; nor can we administer sanctions. However, a business' unwillingness to respond to us or a customer will be noted in the business' reliability report we provide to the public. The customer is free to pursue other alternatives such as legal action.
I called the BBB and was told that what I'm asking from the business is unreasonable. Isn't the BBB supposed to be on the consumer's side?
The BBB is neutral, working 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. We try to do what's right, rather than take sides.
The BBB is allowing a customer to file what I feel is an unfair complaint about my business. I'm an accredited business of the BBB; aren't you supposed to be on my side?
No. While the BBB is supported by the dues paid by accredited businesses, it remains impartial and does not take sides in disputes between customers and businesses, whether accredited businesses or not.
What good is the BBB if it can't help me resolve my problem?
BBBs can 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.
We do a lot more than help settle disputes. Through the support of their accredited businesses, BBBs work for 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.
Doesn't the BBB give credit reports?
The BBB reports on a business' marketplace practices. It does not report either individual or business credit information. Our 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 business' marketplace practices. Most BBBs will also report a business' accredited business status in its public report and note whether it participates in any special BBB programs to improve customer satisfaction.
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.
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, we do not operate as collection agencies for individuals or businesses.
Why can't the BBB stop rip-offs and scams?
Many times, BBBs do. Although we do not have legal and policing powers, we provide information about marketplace fraud through scam 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 we are the first organization to know about a developing scam and alert authorities and the public. When a scam develops in one part of the country, the news travels quickly between BBBs 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 us before they do business with an unknown company and by notifying us of a potential scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.