File a Complaint with the BBB…But Do It Right

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Learn how to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They help with sales, contracts, customer service, warranty and refund issues.

Knowing the techniques and deceptions used by illegal businesses is the best approach to avoid work-at-home and home business frauds. If you suspect you’ve been scammed or have a problem with a firm, there are options available to assist you. Learning how to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one viable alternative.

Suppose the business that has harmed you is not a member of the Better Business Bureau. If you file a complaint, the BBB will still accept it and try to help.

What is the BBB and what does it do when you file a complaint?

The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization. Their mission is to create an ethical economy where buyers and sellers can trust one another. Its purpose is to advance marketplace trust as a leader. The goal is to provide consumers with an objective resource to help them make decisions and resolve issues.

Businesses pay fees for accreditation with the BBB depending on the number of full-time equivalent employees they have.

Membership in the BBB is voluntary. Fees start at $500 per year for one to six full-time employees (FTE). They go up to $11,787 per year for companies with 2,000 or more FTEs.

Accredited firms must meet a set of ethical standards established by the BBB. They then assess them on a scale of A+ to F based on their track record. Previously, the BBB employed a numerical scale. As of 2020, the BBB has profiles for over 5.4 million businesses.

Each BBB office has files on businesses based in their service region. Every office in the United States and Canada provides its reliability reports on the BBB online website.

What happens when you file a complaint with the BBB?

The Better Business Bureau receives complaints about all types of businesses. This includes those that are online, offline, BBB-accredited, and non-BBB-accredited. Complaints against charities and non-profits are also accepted.

When you file a complaint, you’re creating a record of your issue. Therefore, other customers may see if a company has had past complaints. They may then make a more informed judgment about whether or not to put their trust in that company. The BBB keeps records of company answers, so you can use it to see if a firm has attempted to resolve the issue.

Just because a firm has a history of BBB complaints doesn’t mean it’s untrustworthy. It could, however, be a red flag that prevents someone else from getting scammed or having a negative experience. The trick is to figure out what the complaint is about and how the company responds.

What the BBB isn’t going to do.

The BBB is not a government or law enforcement organization. It is, therefore, unable to enforce laws or compel businesses to take action.

The BBB does not accept complaints on matters that are currently in litigation. It does not deal with things such as discrimination, or employee-employer disputes.

Furthermore, it doesn’t take complaints about government agencies or demonstrations against current or proposed legislation.

Three points to consider.

  • The BBB does not review anonymous complaints. Therefore, you must include your contact information in any complaint you submit.
  • Additionally, BBB complaints must include the firm’s name as well as other information. This allows the complaint to be forwarded to the company.
  • Finally, the complaint has to be a customer-to-business or a business-to-business interaction in order to concern the BBB. In addition, it must include a product or service that was advertised and sold.

You can file a complaint with the BBB online. Here’s how.

  • First, go to BBB’s website.
    • If your complaint is with a countrywide firm, look up the name of the company.
    • If it’s a national company, look up the location where you did business.
  • From the list of results, select the firm you want to make a complaint against.
  • On the corporate profile, click the “File a Complaint” link.
  • After that you’ll have three choices:
    • “File a complaint.”
    • “File a review.”
    • “File a scam report.”
  • If you’re searching for a refund or alternative settlement, choose “Submit a complaint.” That way the BBB can intervene on your behalf.
  • Then, if your complaint hasn’t been resolved satisfactorily, you can file a review and/or a scam report.

After you file a complaint, what should you expect?

After you successfully file a complaint with the BBB, you’ll receive an email confirmation. It should include which BBB office is processing your complaint.

In addition, it should have a link to a PDF version of your complaint for your records. Furthermore, a Dispute Resolution Specialist may contact you directly. They will work with you until the case is resolved or the BBB encounters a dead end.

Recovering funds after you file a complaint.

It’s true that having the BBB mediate your complaint can occasionally result in a refund. However, the BBB cannot compel businesses to resolve disputes.

Therefore, there are a couple of additional areas where you can report a problem that may or may not result in a refund.

Suppose the company does not refund you under its own policies. The easiest option to get your money back is to file a fraud complaint with your bank or credit card provider. It’s usually a good idea to complete your research and due diligence on a company before doing business with them.

The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource for learning about businesses. It’s also helpful in discovering whether or not they have received any complaints. In addition, they are helpful when you are seeking assistance in resolving issues.

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