BBB Continues To Set Records and Releases 2008 Top Ten
February 26, 2009

DAYTON, OHIO, February 26, 2009 - Your Better Business Bureau is the place to Start With Trust. To people looking for businesses to hire, it’s the resource to find unbiased and reliable information that evaluates the trustworthiness of companies based on a set of high standards so they can have confidence in their choices. Your BBB continued to set records in 2008, whether it was for providing prepurchase information or helping with marketplace disputes. Today, your BBB releases its top ten industries for inquiries and complaints last year.

In 2008, your Better Business Bureau provided more than 1.2 million instances of service, an 18 percent increase over its previous record in 2007. Most people were checking companies out before making purchases. Over 339,000 business reliability reports were requested in 2008. Your BBB also handled more complaints than ever before, processing nearly 5,900 complaints in 2008, 7 percent over 2007. Its Web site, www.bbb.org, had nearly 148,000 separate Web site visits last year with nearly 834,000 Web pages viewed.

Your Better Business Bureau is releasing its top ten industries for 2008. The first list is the most called or inquired about industries. The second lists the industries which received the most complaints in 2008.

Top Ten Inquiries

1. Home Improvement

2. Roofing Contractors

3. Heating & Air Conditioning

4. Tree Service

5. Mortgages

6. Local Charities

7. Plumbing Contractors

8. Home Builders

9. Credit Card Processing Service

10. Landscape Contractors

Top Ten Complaints

1. Credit Card Processing Service

2. Home Improvement

3. Real Estate Management

4. New Car Dealers

5. Tree Service

6. Heating & Air Conditioning

7. Television - Cable & Satellite

8. Mortgages

9. Retail Sporting Goods

10. Lawn Maintenance

Local charities and landscape contractors are new to the inquiry list this year. Your BBB believes the increases in these inquiries are due to people understanding they need to check out companies they do business with or donate money to. And, now your BBB has more information available on the Web than ever, making it easier for people to find trustworthy businesses.

John North, BBB President and CEO, adds, "People are checking companies out more and more on your BBB Web site. Local charities is a good example. People check on charities most often through the Web site. And, we encourage people to do so because our written reports on local charities are comprehensive, including a brief financial summary, program information and more."

New to the complaint list in 2008 are television - cable and satellite; retail sporting goods; and lawn maintenance. Companies within the television - cable and satellite industry have been doing a lot of advertising offering more services with the opportunity for more problems. For instance, people can now bundle services, such as television, phone and Internet services. One company in the retail sporting goods industry is behind most of the complaints in this industry. It was an Internet-based company that was taking orders and money nationwide and not shipping products. The company is now out of business. Automatic renewal issues continue to plague the lawn maintenance industry. People need to remember if they want to cancel service, they need to cancel exactly as outlined in the agreement with the company or it could be automatically renewed.

Damage from windstorms in 2008 is behind the increases in inquiries on companies in the home improvement, roofing and tree service industries. Before people are hiring companies to make repairs, they are checking out companies’ BBB reliability reports. In fact, people often call with lists of companies to check out. Your BBB has also seen a decrease in complaints in the home improvement industry, an indicator people are doing their homework before hiring companies.

Your BBB has also seen a decrease in complaints about new car dealers. Unfortunately, this is likely due to the fact business in this industry overall is down. In fact, several new car dealers have closed up shop.

John North adds, "Start With Trust by turning to your Better Business Bureau as you do business. Check companies out at www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301. It’s also beneficial to look for BBB Accredited Businesses because they strive to do the right thing daily in all they do. They build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth and are transparent. They also honor promises, are responsive, safeguard your privacy and embody integrity. Don’t take chances on companies you do business with. BBB Business Accreditation...don’t do business without it."

Additional information about the industries on your Better Business Bureau’s top ten lists is on the following page.

About Your BBB Serving Dayton and the Miami Valley

Your BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses earning BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Your BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 126 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring nearly 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Your BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley serves Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Darke, Miami, Preble, Shelby and northern Warren counties. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about your BBB.

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