BBB Logo

Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Wisconsin
More Consumers Using BBB Services Than Ever Before
February 14, 2011

Wisconsin BBB Annual Report: More Consumers Using BBB Services Than Ever Before

 

Milwaukee, Wis. – Consumers turned to the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) nearly 3.5 million times last year, a 55 percent increase in activity from 2009.

“For more than 70 years, the Wisconsin BBB has stood for high ethics and exceptional business standards,” said Randall Hoth, president/CEO of the Wisconsin BBB. “Last year’s statistics show that the BBB remains the go-to source for information on how businesses conduct themselves with customers, suppliers and other companies, even in the Internet age.”

BBB Business Reviews and letter grades from A+ to F reflect customers’ experience with businesses over a three-year period. Grades are based on 16 factors, including how long a company has been in business, number of customers served, how it handles disputes and whether complaints are addressed promptly, among other variables.

Requests for BBB reports on businesses jumped to 1,084,842, up 47 percent from 2009. The number of complaints opened with the Wisconsin BBB rose slightly by 2 percent to 15,228. The BBB fielded 19,001 telephone calls. However, the bulk of traffic came through the local BBB website, which logged 2.25 million page views for the year.

The BBB’s dispute resolution service was able to obtain responses for 82 percent of the complaints filed with the BBB by consumers, and, of those complaints, more than 90 percent were resolved.

Monitoring of advertising remains an important function at the BBB, which challenged 165 ads for questionable claims or noncompliance with BBB standards, an increase of more than 300 percent from 2009. The BBB asked the companies to modify their ads to eliminate false or misleading information.

Another important function of the BBB is consumer education, which occurs through media alerts, social media sites, consumer newsletters and educational events, such as ShredFest - the BBB’s bi-annual free community shredding event. In 2010, the Wisconsin BBB collected, shredded and recycled more than 87,000 pounds of personal documents from consumers, which is up more than 36 percent from material collected in 2009.

BBB services to the public are free. Consumers may obtain Business Reviews 24 hours a day by going online to www.bbb.org or by calling 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Northeast Wisconsin) or 800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). The Wisconsin BBB’s social media sites are www.twitter.com/WisconsinBBB, www.facebook.com/WisconsinBBB and www.youtube.com/BBBTVChannel.

Top 10 Industries For BBB Inquiries

 

1.

Roofing Contractors

46,266

2.

Construction & Remodeling Services

37,825

3.

Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors

28,994

4.

Auto Dealers – Used Cars

20,554

5.

Auto Repair & Service

20,547

6.

Home Builders

20,340

7.

Windows – Installation & Service

20,306

8.

Home Improvement Contractors

20,176

9.

Landscape Contractors

18,008

10.

Mortgage Brokers

17,774

 

Total for all industries

1,084,842

 

Top 10 Industries For BBB Complaints

 

1.

Mail Order & Catalog Shopping

639

2.

Auto Repair & Service

595

3.

Auto Dealers-Used Cars

452

4.

Internet Shopping

447

5.

Furniture-Retail

426

6.

Auto Dealers-New Cars

414

7.

Department Stores

380

8.

Insurance Services

319

9.

Consumer Finance & Loan

274

10.

Tanning Salons

264

 

Total for all industries

15,228


For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), (920)-734-4352 (Appleton) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).