BBB Helps Consumers Find Trustworthy Businesses with New 'Standards for Trust'

January 07, 2009

BBB Helps Consumers Find Trustworthy Businesses with New ‘Standards for Trust’

Standards for Trust showcase what it takes to be a BBB Accredited Business

Columbus, Oh – January 7 2008 – Today Better Business Bureau announced the adoption of its newly developed “Standards for Trust.” The eight standards concisely define marketplace behaviors that are contractually agreed to and upheld by BBB Accredited Businesses, and encompass issues relevant in today’s dynamic marketplace such as advertising practices, transparency, online privacy and business integrity.

BBB Standards for Trust – which concisely summarize BBB’s newly-revised Code of Business Practices – apply to each of the more than 400,000 businesses accredited by the 125 BBBs serving communities across the United States and Canada. All BBB Accredited Businesses have agreed to live up to the BBB Standards for Trust, which, in sum, form a set of policies, procedures and best practices focused on how businesses should treat the public – fairly and honestly in all circumstances.

“Consumer trust in businesses is at an extremely low ebb right now, in fact, according to a recent BBB/Gallup survey, nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed say they have only ‘some, very little or no trust at all’ in companies they do business with in everyday life,” said Kip Morse, president of the Central Ohio Better Business Bureau. “Regardless of marketplace circumstances, BBB Standards for Trust provide a clear and concise explanation of exactly what consumers can expect from a BBB Accredited Business – integrity, ethics and performance.”

The BBB Standards for Trust are:

  • Build Trust

Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.

  • Advertise Honestly

Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.

  • Tell the Truth

Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.

  • 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.

  • Honor Promises

Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.

  • Be Responsive

Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

  • Safeguard Privacy

Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.

  • Embody Integrity

Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

BBB Standards for Trust and the BBB Code of Business Practices are the product of an intensive year-long review and evaluation process. Both are key aspects of BBB’s Strategic Plan implementation which also includes a refreshed BBB brand featuring a new Web site, enhanced Web services and improved BBB Reliability ReportsTM with easy-to-understand letter grade ratings for more than four million businesses.

For more information on the BBB Standards for Trust and the principles upheld by BBB Accredited Businesses, contact Joan Coughlin at 614-754-4561.

About BBB

BBB of Central Ohio serves Columbus and 21 surrounding counties as a leader in advancing marketplace trust by encouraging best practices, celebrating role models, and denouncing substandard behavior. BBB sees trust as functions of respect, ethics, intent, delivering results and addressing concerns. Businesses and charities that earn BBB Accreditation have agreed to live up to our high standards and principals for trust. BBBs provide free and easily accessible Reliability Reports on businesses, Wise Giving Reports on charities, educational information, objective advice, and dispute resolution of marketplace complaints. The first BBB was founded in 1912, and today a network of 128 local BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 3 million businesses and charities. Please visit for more information about BBB.