I sometimes get asked what the point is of filing a complaint with BBB. What does BBB do to the business? I say, well that’s a good question! And then I explain that one common misconception about the BBB is that we are a government agency. We aren’t, in fact, we are a nonprofit organization, so we do not have the same authority as government agencies to take action against businesses.
However, what we CAN do with consumer complaints is….
(1) Report on consumers’ experience and make that information part of a company’s public BBB Business Review so that other consumers will be informed about the experience and the complaint. Depending on the type of response from the business about the complaint, the fact that you filed a complaint may impact the business’ BBB rating (included on their Business Review) as well.
(2) Report on trends and the volume of complaints we are getting about a company, scam or industry and make that trend data available as a resource for government and regulatory agencies that do have the authority to investigate and prosecute and regulate businesses.
(3) Report consumer complaint information to the media! We work closely with local and national media outlets to publicize what we’re hearing from consumers like you (here you can see several recent interviews on Dateline, FOX, KXAN, WOAI, and there’s always more on our Facebook page).
(4) The dispute resolution process (what you go through when you file a complaint) also allows businesses an opportunity to respond to customer concerns and many consumers are able to achieve resolution with BBB intervention that they may not have otherwise received.
Truthfully, if you really ask me, the best response that I always try to leave people with is to consider that last year (2010) we received over 25,000 complaints and more than 84% of them were resolved. In other words, getting your resolution is the point!
If you’ve filed a complaint with BBB, let us know what made you decide to do so. What was the point for you?