Accredited Business Benefits
BBB Business Reviews
BBB Serving Western Ontario receives thousands of telephone calls each year from consumers requesting information before doing business with a particular firm. Anyone can telephone BBB for a BBB Business Review. A BBB Business Review is a summary of the performance of the company as reflected in BBB files, supplemented by special BBB investigations, if needed. In addition, BBB can draw upon information compiled by the international BBB network.
Before a consumer files a formal complaint with BBB, we urge the consumer to resolve the problem directly with the company. In many cases, the matter can be quickly settled by giving the company the opportunity to resolve the issue. If the consumer remains dissatisfied, he or she may submit the complaint to BBB in writing.
When a written complaint is received, BBB sends it to the company concerned for its review and reply. In most instances, the matter is satisfactorily resolved and the complainant is informed of the settlement.
However, if the firm does not cooperate, or fails to resolve a complaint, the complainant is informed and the fact is noted in the firm’s file. In some instances, the complaint is referred to the BBB’s mediation/arbitration program.
Mediation is a program administered by BBB as a bridge between complaint resolution and binding arbitration. Trained mediators meet with the concerned parties and facilitate a solution to an ongoing problem or dispute. The solution is arrived by the parties themselves. Mediation has proven to be a successful format for dispute resolution. The cost is minimal and BBB makes every attempt to schedule the meeting in a short time frame.
Arbitration is a program administered by BBB to settle consumer-business disputes. Arbitration is used only when all efforts to resolve complaints through normal conciliation efforts fail. When both parties voluntarily agree to arbitrate, the parties sign a contract which allows a trained BBB volunteer arbitrator, acceptable to both parties, to conduct a fact-finding hearing and make a final decision in the matter. The procedure is fast, fair, and economical, as well as convenient and confidential.
Charitable Evaluation Program:
BBB helps donors make sound giving decisions. We encourage fair and honest solicitation practices. The BBB evaluates charities based on public accountability, use of funds, solicitation and information materials, fund raising and governance. Consult us to find objective information regarding charitable contributions or donations.
BBB reviews numerous sources of advertisements (newspaper, TV, Internet, and radio to be sure advertisers are in compliance with the BBB Code of Advertising. We receive complaints of unfair ads from both competitors and consumers. We review all complaints and, if within our purview, contact the advertiser and ask for substantiation, modification, or discontinuation of the ad, so that it meets the ethical standards of the BBB.
Educating the Consumer:
The best way for consumers to protect themselves is to become better informed and to develop sound buying habits. As an aid, the BBB is engaged in a continuous information program – speaking to business organizations, civic groups, and schools; appearing on radio and TV talk shows; and distributing consumer pamphlets. This information can help consumers make wise decisions in the marketplace and reduce consumer complaints.
When scams and schemes are uncovered, the BBB will investigate those which occur in our service area. Information discovered is then given to the appropriate enforcement agencies.