For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses 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 the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.
BBB’s free dispute resolutions services continue to be core to its mission to enhance marketplace trust. In 2015, the top ten industries that received categories were the same as 2014, although the order shifted a bit.
Complaint Category (Industry) 2015 Total 2014 Total 2014 Rank Increase/decrease
#1 Cellular Telephone Service & Supplies 35,921 33,199 #1 + 8.2%
#2 Telephone Communications 28,315 29,659 #2 - 4.75%
#3 Auto Dealers - New Cars 26,567 25,568 #4 + 3.82%
#4 Television - Cable, CATV & Satellite 26,111 27,585 #3 -5.34%
#5 Collection Agencies 19,779 21,576 #5 -8.3%
#6 Auto Dealers - Used Cars 16,805 16,571 #6 +1.4%
#7 Furniture - Retail 14,433 12,779 #8 +12.9%
#8 Banks 10,982 11,265 #9 -2.5%
#9 Internet Shopping 10,476 12,936 #7 -19%
#10 Auto Repair & Service 9,653 10,474 #10 -7.8%
Total for all Industries 870,246 873,208 -0.34%
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Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin FAQ
Q: What is the mission of the BBB?
The mission of the BBB is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. We do this through:
Establishing a set of standards for businesses to follow and comply with
Celebrating marketplace role models through our annual Torch Awards
Calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behaviors
Creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities through our accreditation processes
Q: When you talk about marketplace trust – what does that mean?
The BBB sees trust as a function of two primary factors:
1. Integrity – which encompasses respect for consumers, having a standard of ethics and how a business or charity intends to interact with consumers
2. Performance – a business’ track record of delivering results in accordance with BB standards and/or addressing customer concerns in a timely and satisfactory manner.
Q: What are the 8 Standards of Trust that members are asked to comply with?
1. Start with Trust – establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace
2. Advertise Honestly – adhere to established standards of advertising and selling3. Tell the truth – honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms
4. Be transparent – openly identify the nature, location and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy
5. Honor promises – abide by all written agreements and verbal representations
6. Be responsive – address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally and in good faith
7. Safeguard Privacy – protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information
8. Embody integrity – approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.
Q: How does the BBB get information on Businesses?
The BBB relies on consumers and businesses for the information they receive. Members of course are required to complete an application which is then updated on an annual basis to ensure its current and accurate at all times.
Businesses who do not choose to be members can have a report completed on them with a letter grade given – they simply have to ask for it then complete the research process.
Consumers can call to share what they know as well. They can provide information on a business or organization to the BBB and they can also request that a report be completed on a business or organization by the BBB.
A report with the BBB is initiated when:
A company receives a customer review or complaint
A consumer searches for a company report at bbb.org and there is none – the consumer can contact the BBB and request one.
A company registers online at bbb.org and requests that the BBB build a report on them
A company applies for accreditation
Reports are updated:
Yearly for members
Yearly if a non-member has 5 or more inquiries from a consumer in a year
If a company has an NR rating a report request is sent to them for an update every 3 years.
Q: What does the BBB do besides be a vehicle for consumers to file a complaint with?
1. Investigations – the BBB works with law enforcement agencies to investigate scams and frauds against consumers
2. Advertising reviews – consumers may submit an ad they feel is misleading and we will review it. Ads that are found to be misleading are pursued and the company is requested to amend the ad.
3. Charity reviews – non-profit organizations can request a report by the BBB for their organization
4. Dispute resolution services such as Auto Line, Arbitration and Mediation Services
5. Events such as Shredfest, educational seminars and business information sessions
6. Torch Awards – a celebrations of marketplace role models
7. Students of Integrity Scholarships
8. Business reviews – with information that is research and validated
9. Customer reviews – with information that is researched and validated
10. National programs such as:
a. Mobile Mi$$ion
b. BBB Military Line
c. Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
d. d. Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative
Q: What is Scamtracker?
Launched in November of 2015 system-wide through a grand provided by the Target Corporation, Scamtracker was created to provide consumers with a place to report scams and fraud and to warn others of malicious or suspicious activities. All BBBs operating in Canada and the United States are now collecting information from consumers and processing data which is then shared with law enforcement agencies for use in identifying and prosecuting scammers. Scamtracker will also prompt BBB tips and alerts as well as serve as the basis for investigations, news releases, warnings and trend analysis. It’s also a great resource for the media. While we collect some personal information when a scam is reported, we ask if the victim would like to speak to the media however, we never give contact information without first calling to verify with a victim that they are interested in speaking with the media.
Q: What are the top 10 scams of 2015?
1. Tax Scam – you owe money to the government and you’re going to be arrested if you don’t pay now
2. Debt Collection Scam – you owe money for an old debt and you’ll be sued if you don’t pay now
3. Sweepstakes/prizes/gifts Scam – you’ve won a prize and all you have to do is pre-pay the taxes
4. Tech support scam – you have a computer problem but we’re from tech support and we can help you
5. Government Grant Scam – you qualified for a government grant, just send the processing fee first
6. Advance Fee Loan Scam – you’ve gotten the loan but first you need to pay a deposit or insurance
7. Credit card Scam – you can get a better interest rate, just tell us your credit card number and security code
8. Work from Home Scam – you got the job, now just give us a ton of personally identifiable information
9. Fake Check/Money Order Scam – we over paid you, but just send us the difference (and later the check will bounce)
10. Lottery Scam – you won a foreign lottery but you have to pay upfront for taxes and fees