How BBB can help you become a savvier consumer

3/1/2010

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March 7 is the kickoff to National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) and Better Business Bureau is a proud supporter of this nationwide effort to educate the public on how to become savvier consumers. For anyone looking for advice on how to spend money wisely, your Better Business Bureau is here to help, not just during National Consumer Protection Week but all year long.

For NCPW, hundreds of national and local organizations work together to educate consumers on the importance of taking control of their personal finances.  The theme of this year’s NCPW is Dollars and Sense, Rated A for All Ages and highlights consumer education for every stage of life – from grade school to retirement.

“The economy is still in a slump and, now more than ever, consumers need to take control of their spending habits and be vigilant against fraud and scams,” said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. “We encourage everyone to take time to get educated during National Consumer Protection Week and keep BBB in their back pocket as a tool for protecting their hard earned dollars in the coming year.”

Following are just a few ways that BBB can help consumers shop smarter and safer.  BBB is here to help if…

  • You need every-day advice on how to manage your money and be a savvy consumer. BBB has created hundreds of tips columns and consumer alerts on personal finance topics such as how to build a family budget, hire a contractor or avoid the latest scams. Advice you can trust is available online at bbb.org.
  • You need help finding a business you can trust. The BBB Accredited Business Locator can help you find businesses in your area that uphold BBB’s rigorous standards and have made a commitment to support the work of BBB. There are nearly 400,000 BBB accredited businesses across North America including retailers, contractors and online businesses.
  • You want to research a business before you buy. BBB maintains  reports on nearly 4 million businesses across North America. A business’s reliability report will tell you how many complaints the business has received, how they responded to complaints and their letter-grade rating reflecting BBB’s experience with the business.
  • You have a dispute with a business. Not only is BBB here to help educate consumers before they buy, BBB can also lend a hand if you have a dispute with a business. Every year BBB receives hundreds of thousands of complaints from disgruntled consumers and is usually able to help resolve the issue quickly and easily.
  • You have been ripped off by a scammer. While BBB isn’t a law enforcement agency and cannot arrest scammers or unscrupulous businesses, your complaint enables BBB to identify trends and warn other consumers and hopefully prevent others from being taken advantage of as well.

Check out all of the online resources and tools BBB provides at www.bbb.org. More information and advice is also available on the National Consumer Protection Week Web site.

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