Better Business Bureau Dispute Resolution Services Offer Avenue to Solution

March 15, 2017

handshakeBetter Business Bureau serves its mission through a variety of programs and services for both businesses and consumers but, BBB has a reputation for its dispute resolution services. BBB pursues complaints filed by consumers, against businesses, that allege a deficiency in marketplace practices. If you are not sure if your complaint is something BBB can assist with, trained staff is available to guide you through the process.

Better Business Bureau of Central New England processed nearly 3,000 complaints in 2016, with 78% of them resolved or answered in good faith by a business. As a neutral third party, the goal is to facilitate a resolution between the two parties. Consumers must have a resolution that meets BBB policy, which includes a request for refund, job completion, return or exchange, as some of the most common requests to BBB.  

Start your consumer process by being a savvy consumer and researching companies before you agree to do business with them. BBB has Business Profiles that provide you with comprehensive background information to help your research. Knowing who you are doing business with and being aware of their reputation can help you avoid complaints. However, in the instance you do need assistance from BBB, these tips can help the process go smoothly:

  • Don’t respond emotionally. This only makes the process more difficult. It is important to stick to the facts and attempt to leave your emotions out of it. It helps BBB and the business gain a better understanding of your complaint and leaves the business more willing to address the concerns. Being rude, overly emotional or hard to deal with pushes the business away, making resolution difficult.
  • Be prepared.  BBB is neutral, consumer need to be prepared to present their position and have documentation and information to back it up. The better prepared you are to state your issue the more effective the process becomes. Keep copies of written communications to the business. Save all documentation of your interaction including estimates, receipts, contracts and warranty documents.
  • Try to work it out with the business first. Sometimes it is a simple misunderstanding that can be addressed quickly by going directly to the business. Consider trying to work it out with the business first before coming to BBB. If your complaint doesn’t get addressed then file a complaint and we will work to conciliate the matter.
  • Know your rights. Review your contract or bill of sale. Know what you want as a resolution. Communicate clearly with the company about your expectations.
  • Most businesses want to resolve the issue. Be willing to work with the business to come to a resolution. Often times a business will propose a resolution that may not be the same as your desired resolution, but a fair offer to resolve the complaint. Consider what they have to say and be willing to negotiate and work together.

As a facilitator, BBB reaches out to a business to present them with your complaint and offers them an opportunity to provide their position. Accredited Businesses have agreed to respond to any complaint presented to them by BBB. BBB Business Profiles include the complaint history of a business, which includes highlighted details of the complaint and how the business handled the issue. BBB’s dispute resolution services are an alternative to legal action or other avenues of recourse however, it is important to remember that BBB is not a government or enforcement agency; we cannot force a business to respond or comply with a desired resolution.

To learn more about BBB’s dispute resolution process: