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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Minnesota and North Dakota
Community Mediation Center

In today’s competitive marketplace, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent to resolve consumer lawsuits. These lawsuits can shake the public’s confidence in even the best businesses. When a dispute ends up in court, often neither party comes out a winner.

Since 1975, the Better Business Bureau’s Community Mediation Center has been helping business owners and consumers maintain working relationships by providing Alternative Dispute Resolution services (ADR). With ADR you get a resolution to your dispute without the high costs of litigation.

For more information on arbitration/mediation and other dispute resolution services, please contact maureen.slater@thefirstbbb.org.

Benefits of BBB Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Minimal fee to consumers and companies
  • The company and consumer can reach a mutually beneficial resolution
  • Does not require an attorney
  • Hearings held at convenient times and places
  • Receive a final decision in days as compared to months in the court system
  • Focuses on common positives
  • Scheduled and managed by BBB staff

Alternative Dispute Resolution Services

Mediation
Mediation is an informal and voluntary conversation between a business and a consumer that is facilitated by Qualified Neutral.

Arbitration
Arbitration is a process in which a dispute is submitted to a neutral, trained and certified volunteer who listens to testimony, examines evidence and then renders a decision.

Court Appointed Mediations
The BBB is recognized by the Minnesota Supreme Court as a Qualified Neutral organization under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice. This entitles the BBB to moderate court appointed pre-settlement hearings.

Services Available for Accredited Businesses

Pre-Complaint Assistance
BBB works with both businesses and consumers to help resolve disputes every day. Accredited Businesses can leverage our Pre-Complaint Assistance Program at no cost. If you are dealing with a challenging or unhappy customer, you can contact us and we will reach out to the consumer on your behalf to try to resolve an issue before it becomes a formal complaint. This program has helped area businesses save time, money and reputation, as well as avoid potential litigation or loss of a customer.

Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause
The BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota offers our Accredited Businesses the opportunity to insert a pre-dispute arbitration clause into their consumer contracts. An arbitration clause is fairly standard on most consumer contracts, which requires all the parties to use arbitration through the BBB to obtain a binding resolution to any disputes instead of going to court. It is called “pre-dispute”, because it is agreed to at the time of the initial consumer/business transaction – before any dispute arises.

Conflict Management Training
The BBB targets skill training in developing active listening skills, clarifying facts, seeking common ground, reality testing, diffusing anger, and recognizing people’s needs versus their positions. You will learn the full range of mediation, conflict resolution, customer satisfaction and telephone techniques.

For more information, questions, or to obtain a free template of a pre-dispute arbitration clause which can be used in your contracts, please contact Maureen Slater at maureen.slater@thefirstbbb.org. Please note: The BBB must first approve all contracts using the BBB’s arbitration clause prior to use.

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