Seeking Justice: How to File a Proper BBB Complaint

The Best Way to File a BBB Complaint against a Business That’s Done Wrong

Have you recently had a disagreement with a business you’d like to report? The Better Business Bureau (BBB) helps consumers by offering them a safe place to report legitimate complaints against businesses who have wronged them during a transaction.

When it comes to filing a BBB complaint, it’s better to have all your ducks in a row with regard to communication, documentation, and follow up. This will help ensure your complaint is attributed to the right business, and it will also help to expedite the overall complaint procedure.

How to Prepare BBB Complaint Documentation

The BBB’s goal is to try and resolve any complaint filed with them. They work with both parties to attempt to reach fair ground between the business and the customer. With that in mind, here are some key guidelines to follow when filing a complaint with the BBB.

Before Filing a Complaint, Make Sure:

  • You’ve contacted the business at least once to try and resolve the issue directly.

  • You’ve kept track of the names of everyone you’ve spoken with and the dates you spoke to them. If possible, get everything in writing via email, PDF or Word documents.

  • Your complaint follows the Acceptable Guidelines and meets the listed criteria.

  • You know where the business you wish to file a complaint against is headquartered so you can file the complaint with the local BBB there.

  • You’ve edited your complaint exactly as you want it to read. A complaint cannot be changed once it has been submitted.

  • You refrain from including your own personal information, as copies of complaints are posted on many BBB’s local websites

  • You’re truthful about your experience with the business, and refrain from using profanity.

Once you file a complaint with the BBB, as long as it meets all the acceptable guidelines, your complaint will be forwarded to the business within 3 business days. The business is given 20 days to respond, and if they do, you will be given notice. If the business fails to respond within 20 days, you will be notified of that as well.

Filing Complaints against Out-Of-State Merchants

  • BBB keeps track of complaints by using the business’ zip code.

  • Every BBB handles complaints of businesses are located in their service area.

  • Zip codes help to ensure complaints are handled by the correct BBB office.

  • Once you find the zip code of the headquarters of the business you wish to file a complaint against, you can use the BBB Locator to find the appropriate BBB to file your claim with.

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About Lance Trebesch

Lance Trebesch is the CEO of the BBB Accredited and Ticket River. He lives in Montana, serves on the Board of the BBB Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana, and loves building companies.