BBB Logo

Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Metropolitan New York, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson Region
Category Descriptions
An explanation of the categories in this year's Top Ten

Automotive - This category includes new and used automobile sales, rental, leasing and repair, new and used motorcycle sales and repair, gas stations and towing services. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve credit and billing issues, receipt of defective or damaged merchandise, workmanship/repairs and selling practices.

Consumer Electronics - This category is comprised of firms selling consumer electronics, photographic equipment, cellular and household telephone equipment, major household appliances and security systems. Also included in this category are companies offering repair services for the above products. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve credit and billing issues, non-delivery of ordered goods, receipt of defective or damaged merchandise, receipt of incorrect or incomplete orders, and selling practices.

Financial Services - This category covers banks, accountants, insurance providers, mortgage and investment brokers, debt consolidation companies, collection agencies, as well as firms offering loans, credit card plans, portfolio management, and tax preparation services. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve non-delivery of product or service, dissatisfaction with product or service received, credit and billing issues, advertising, failure to provide promised adjustments, selling practices and failure to provide service.

Health and Beauty - This category includes spas, salons, athletic clubs and gyms, in addition to firms offering nutritional supplements, diet plans, cosmetic surgery, workout equipment and other athletic and fitness supplies. Complaints about firms in this category involve non-delivery of services, credit and billing issues, dissatisfaction with services provided, and advertising issues.

Household and Office Furnishings - This category is comprised of firms offering sales of mattresses and bedding, carpets, and home, office and outdoor furnishings, as well as housewares, kitchen & bath accessories, and furniture restoration services. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve non-delivery of ordered merchandise, receipt of damaged or used goods, credit and billing issues, advertising and selling practices.

Home Improvement and Construction - This category covers firms and individuals offering home improvement sales and services, including general contractors, carpet installers & cleaners, retail home & garden centers, roofing contractors, heating and air conditioning installers, landscapers, construction companies and swimming pool dealers. Complaints in this category generally involve credit and billing issues, failure to provide service and workmanship/repair issues.

Internet Sales and Services - This category includes computer software publishers and developers, and providers of electronic mail service, internets services, media download services, internet shopping services, internet web design, and internet-based telephone service.  Complaints in this category most frequently involve billing or collection issues, delivery, customer service, advertising, service, refund or guarantee/warranty issues.

Mail Order, Marketing and Promotions - This category is comprised of companies engaged in direct marketing, magazine sales and subscriptions, catalog sales, telemarketing and mail order services. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve non-delivery or late delivery of ordered merchandise, receipt of unordered merchandise, dissatisfaction with merchandise received, credit and billing issues, and failure to provide promised adjustments.

Publishing and Communications - This category covers cable television service, broadcast, online and print media publishers, terrestrial and satellite radio, television stations, and cellular and traditional telephone service providers. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve non-delivery of ordered merchandise or services, credit and billing issues, selling practices and failure to provide promised adjustments.

Retail - This category consists of retailers such as department stores, convenience stores, newsstands, book stores, variety stores, consignment shops, apparel retailers, toy stores, book stores, video sales & rental, shoe stores, baby accessories, and other types of retail establishments. Complaints in this category concern credit and billing issues, advertising and selling practices.