Better Business Bureau Services
You may refer to your local BBB to find services that you need. The Better Business Bureau website provides consumer reports on accredited businesses, which have to meet membership criteria and are graded for up-to-date compliance with BBB standards.
Grades are based on numerous factors, including complaints, actions taken against a company by the government, and the length of time in business.
Is the BBB Reliable?
BBB reports are one of the best consumer resources, despite some critical opinions about their veracity. Companies which can't maintain a satisfactory grade loose their accreditation. That's why you won't see members with a low score in the BBB directory.
When compared with other review boards, the BBB methodology appears to be a thorough and impartial procedure, which delivers up-to-date information. It promotes business improvement and shuts the door before many "fly by night" companies.
Having said that, one has to remember that no system is perfect. Stellar grades and reviews shouldn't be taken at their face value as a rock solid recommendation to hire.
According to the BBB's own admission they're only quality indicators. Consumers are advised to consider carefully all other available information before making their decisions.
So, to be on a safe side regard BBB assessments at most as a useful source of leads, but don't feel free to forgo your own investigation before you hire someone.
File A Complaint With BBB
Better Business Bureau can assume the role of an intermediary to help consumers and businesses with resolving differences. If you're already in a dispute with some company you may ask the BBB to give you a helping hand.
Complaints can be filed on any company, even on a non-accreditted business. The Bureau will pass your objections to the company and ask for a response. If you dismiss it as unsatisfacory, the BBB will send another request for a further clarification.
All BBB members have a commitment to answer in a cooperative manner. Otherwise, they'll be risking a lower grade or loosing their accreditation.
Non-members don't have to respond. Yet, consumers are more empowered nowadays and the prospect of having a bad publicity on the web prompts most companies to show a good will.
Find BBB Phone Number
To determine office locations and their contact information use BBB search tool.
When a complaint can't be resolved through the initial conciliation, the Bureau will offer its mediation and arbitration assistance.
While complaints are filed and processed for free, these services have to be paid for. Fees are equal for consumers and businesses, and setting the matter will cost less than court proceedings.
The BBB mediator is a neutral third party, who helps both sides to have a rational discussion and find a reasonable solution.
Mediation helps to achieve a settlement but doesn't guarantee it. If both sides agree to the BBB arbitration they can be sure the matter will be closed. The arbitrator hears arguments from either side and decides on a binding judgement how to resolve the dispute.