On July 31, the Better Business Bureau® of the Upstate (BBB) will join all BBBs in the country to make complaint details public on their free BBB Business Reviews®, an online directory service providing profile and rating information on companies.
Previously, complaints were classified into twelve categories and only the type of each complaint was reported, along with basic information on how that complaint was closed. Starting July 31, the actual text from consumer complaints will be included and made public, as well as the initial business response, and any subsequent business and consumer correspondence.
“A benefit to this transparency is that it will encourage both consumers and businesses to put their best foot forward and continue to work in tandem to resolve disputes amicably,” said Vee Daniel, president and CEO, Better Business Bureau of the Upstate. “We’ve consulted with other BBBs that have made this change and they’ve reported widespread consumer and business acceptance.”
Information that will not be published includes personal information, such as names, phone numbers and account, order, invoice or contract numbers. The BBB will not publish supporting materials like email correspondence or copies of contracts.
BBB’s complaint process works like this. In the 10-county Upstate area, consumers may file a complaint online at www.bbb.org or by calling the BBB office at (864) 242-5052. Once the complaint is initiated, BBB immediately sends a formal letter outlining the details of the complaint to the business. The business then has 10 days to respond. If the business does not respond, then BBB issues a second letter. Accredited Businesses who do not respond receive an automatic “F” rating and businesses that are not BBB accredited will still be listed in the BBB Business Reviews along with complaint details. Generally, most complaints are closed within 30 calendar days.
BBB is making this change in response to feedback solicited from consumers. Research showed that consumers were looking for more detailed information on the types of complaints companies received and how those complaints were ultimately resolved. This change also gives companies more of a voice in the complaint process, allowing consumers to directly observe their response to customer issues.
“More than 84 percent of complaints filed through BBB of the Upstate are resolved each year. About 17 percent of complaints are either unresolved or unanswered meaning that one of the parties did not respond. In some cases, BBB’s free mediation or arbitration is used to assist in resolution,” said Daniel. “Publishing the details of the complaints allows the business to respond in a way that visitors can see both sides of the story.”
BBB’s Business Reviews can be found at http://www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/.
About the Better Business Bureau® of the Upstate
Better Business Bureau of the Upstate is a private, non-profit organization that serves the public interest by promoting ethical business practices. BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust in the 10 counties served which includes Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville,Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee,
Pickens, Spartanburg and Union. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
For more information, call (864) 242-5052 or visit www.upstatesc.bbb.org. Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Better-Business-Bureau-Upstate-SC and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BBBUpstateSC.
About the Better Business Bureau® (BBB)
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.