The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1912. According to the Better Business Bureau’s website, its vision is to create “an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.”
As of 2020, over 400,000 businesses in North America were accredited by the BBB. Accredited businesses pledge to adhere to the organization’s Code of Business Practices, which put a premium on ethical, transparent, and customer service-oriented practices.
The Better Business Bureau provides business owners and consumers with a wide range of tools with which to create connections. These tools include:
- Business locator
- Scam search feature
- Scam research and studies
- Establishing a BBB business profile
- BBB accreditation procedures
- Consumer review tools
- Consumer complaint filing tools
For the purposes of this guide to removing BBB complaints, the consumer review and consumer complaint tools stand out. These tools are designed to allow consumers to make fair and honest assessments of the companies they do business with. In other words, the goal is to share a truthful account of a customer’s unique experience. Unfortunately, these tools can be abused, potentially putting your brand reputation at risk.
The BBB receives thousands of defamatory, fake, and malicious complaints and reviews each week. Automated tools sift out these complaints from legitimate ones, but any complaint that slips through the cracks puts your business in the crosshairs of negative feedback.
Your BBB Profile
Business owners can create a business profile on the BBB website by submitting basic information on the name, location address, and type of business. Once the basic information is added to the BBB’s online form, business owners have the option to check the box labeled “I’d like to learn more about becoming a BBB Accredited Business.”
Once the form is completed, click “Add my Business to the Directory” and the Better Business Bureau will create a profile.
BBB’s Rating Criteria
The Better Business Bureau does not rate only accredited businesses; the organization rates every business — even non-accredited businesses — that submits a profile request to the BBB directory.
The BBB rating system implemented a new format in 2009, where businesses receive a letter-style grade from A+ to F. There are 16 grading elements in the BBB rating system, including:
- Complaint history
- Complaints volume
- Unanswered/unresolved complaints
- Action by government agencies
- Background information
- Type of business
- Time in business
- Advertising issues are known to BBB
Each of these grading elements corresponds to a points system; points can be earned or deducted based on the BBB’s analysis of the business in question. The key takeaway is that the rating system is designed to show how well — or how poorly — a given business interacts with its customers.
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