Respond to a Complaint


BBB has made it fast and easy for people to file complaints. We take complaints involving all types of businesses - online, offline, BBB Accredited Businesses or non-accredited businesses. We also accept complaints against charities and non-profit organizations. We primarily handle complaints relating to marketplace transactions, including advertising claims.

Tips When Responding to a Consumer Complaint

In our experience here at the BBB, the following tips and suggestions are often used by businesses to respond to complaints in an effective and professional manner. We offer these as suggestions you may wish to consider when preparing your response. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance during this process.

Before Preparing the Response
1. Respond when calm, keeping emotions out of the response.
2. Look for win-win situations that will benefit all parties involved.
3. Work to find common ground with the consumer.
4. Try to see things from the consumer's perspective.

While Composing the Response
1. Acknowledge the feelings, positions, and interests of the consumer.
2. Stick to the facts, being as detailed and accurate as possible. Include documentation supporting your position, and explaining what action was taken to resolve the issue.
3. If the consumer misstates the facts in a complaint, politely correct them.
4. Be honest about mistakes, and include what the company is willing to do to resolve the issue.
5. Avoid judgmental or opinion statements about the consumer.
6. Avoid comments regarding the consumer's intentions or motives.

General Concepts to Keep in Mind
1. Respond timely. A timely response will often indicate to the consumer a desire on your part to resolve the issue.
2. Keep in mind that your response whether in whole or in part could end up being posted for the public to see.
3. If your response is posted for the public to see, consumers may use it to form an opinion about the company more often than judging the consumer who filed the complaint.