What does the BBB really do?
Essentially, the BBB collects, investigates, researches and shares information on business practices. The BBB is not an enforcement agency and does not have police powers. However, the BBB works closely with several government agencies, providing investigation and information collaboration. The BBB also provides mediation and arbitration services.
Myth: The BBB is a government agency.
Fact: The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas is a non profit 501(c)(6) organization.
Fact: The Better Business Bureau Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity.
Myth: There is no difference between being an Accredited Business (Member) and simply having a good rating.
Fact: Actually, the opposite is true. Members are held to a higher standard of conduct than non-members but any company has the opportunity to achieve the A+ rating. You will see on some blogs the misperception that membership is only a revenue-generating tool and as long as you pay your dues you are immune from complaints etc. Logically, if that were the case, then we would never revoke a membership; however, we revoke memberships consistently and make the information public.
In order to maintain transparency, the Houston BBB posts all recent revocations on our webpage. http://houston.bbb.org/revocations
As you can see, membership does not entitle any business to lower their standards. Members are held under greater scrutiny and must respond promptly to complaints, or face revocation.
Myth: Each individual bureau is under total control of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB).
Fact: Each individual bureau is autonomous, with its own governing board of directors (members) and executive staff. The CBBB monitors core standards and logo usage.
Myth: The BBB’s only function is to process complaints.
Fact: While conciliating disputes between businesses and customers is a core function of the BBB, we also:
· Mediate and arbitrate disputes
· Work with local and national media to expose scams
· Review local advertising for violations of advertising protocol
· Provide our members with business growth resources
· Travel and speak to consumer and business groups
· Provide information to assist in charitable giving
· Educate consumers, young and old, on scams, schemes and fraud
Fact: The BBB provides Business Reviews on accredited and non-accredited businesses alike. These reviews note a business' accreditation status and its rating.
Myth: The BBB is a credit reporting bureau.
Fact: The BBB has nothing to do with credit reporting.
Myth: The BBB sides in favor of business in disputes.
Fact: To side with only businesses would be counterproductive to the BBB core mission and to the BBB itself. Since our credibility is based on mutual trust between the consumer and business, it is in everyone’s best interest that we remain neutral and objective. This coincides with our policy to remain neutral on political and legislative matters.