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Central Virginia
BBB Helps Consumers Find Trustworthy Businesses with New ‘Standards for Trust’
January 14, 2009

Standards for Trust showcase what it takes to be a BBB Accredited Business

Trust engraved on marble buildingArlington, VA – January 7 2008 – Today Better Business Bureau announced the adoption of its newly developed “Standards for Trust.” The eight standards concisely define marketplace behaviors that are contractually agreed to and upheld by BBB Accredited Businesses, and encompass issues relevant in today’s dynamic marketplace such as advertising practices, transparency, online privacy and business integrity.

BBB Standards for Trust – which concisely summarize BBB’s newly-revised Code of Business Practices – apply to each of the more than 400,000 businesses accredited by the 125 BBBs serving communities across the United States and Canada. All BBB Accredited Businesses have agreed to live up to the BBB Standards for Trust, which, in sum, form a set of policies, procedures and best practices focused on how businesses should treat the public – fairly and honestly in all circumstances. 

“Consumer trust in businesses is at an extremely low ebb right now, in fact, according to a recent BBB/Gallup survey, nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed say they have only ‘some, very little or no trust at all’ in companies they do business with in everyday life,” said Steve Cole, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Regardless of marketplace circumstances, BBB Standards for Trust provide a clear and concise explanation of exactly what consumers can expect from a BBB Accredited Business – integrity, ethics and performance.”

The BBB Standards for Trust are:

• Build Trust
Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.

• Advertise Honestly
Adhere to established standards of advertising and selling.

• Tell the Truth
Honestly represent products and services, including clear and adequate disclosures of all material terms.

• Be Transparent
Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly disclose all policies, guarantees and procedures that bear on a customer’s decision to buy.

• Honor Promises
Abide by all written agreements and verbal representations.

• Be Responsive
Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

• Safeguard Privacy
Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.

• Embody Integrity
Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity.

BBB Standards for Trust and the BBB Code of Business Practices are the product of an intensive year-long review and evaluation process. Both are key aspects of BBB’s Strategic Plan implementation which also includes a refreshed BBB brand featuring a new Web site, enhanced Web services and improved BBB Reliability ReportsTM with easy-to-understand letter grade ratings for more than four million businesses.

For more information on the BBB Standards for Trust and the principles upheld by BBB Accredited Businesses, contact Alison Preszler at 703-247-9376.

About BBB
BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. 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, 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, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.