BBB Helps Local Consumers Tackle More Than $8.6 Million in Purchase Disputes in 2016

January 20, 2017

Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland released its annual report today for 2016 activity.

Unhappy buyers filed 8,490 complaints with BBB Serving Greater Cleveland about local businesses, on par with 2015 numbers.  In 2016, 48% of consumers filing complaints provided a dollar value for their dispute.  The total reported exceeded $8.6 million in purchase disputes.

What types of businesses generated the most complaints for Cleveland-area buyers?  

  1. Cellular Telephone Service & Supplies

  2. Used car dealers (2nd year in a row)

  3. Cable and satellite providers

  4. New car dealers

  5. Telephone equipment/services (not exclusively cellular)

Complaint Detail is a Popular Feature - Consumers visiting cannot only file customer complaints, they can also read the details of complaints filed by others along with the companies’ responses.   This has proven to be a very popular resource with over 145,000 pages of complaint details viewed this past year - a 14% increase over 2015.

Consumers Continue to Submit Customer Reviews
-  BBB also saw a 13%  increase in the number of customer reviews filed about local businesses in 2016 with over 3,900 reviews submitted.  These were viewed more than 106,000 times by consumers researching business at BBB’s website.

More Reports Issued on Businesses and Charities - Consumers continue to find BBB a valuable source for information on area businesses.  In 2016, more than 1.4 million BBB Business Profiles on local companies were issued to buyers. This was up 9% from the previous year.  Donors were also busy checking out charities through BBB’s Charity Evaluation service.  Over 31,000 reports were requested about local charities.

Scam Tracker Increasingly Popular -  BBB’s Scam Tracker feature, found at, has logged over 46,000 scam reports since it launched in 2015.  Consumers and businesses can report scam activity and view scams reported by others. Users can filter searches to see activity across North America, or focus on what is happening in their local communities. To date, more than 46,000 scams have been reported.  

The top five types of scams reported by Clevelanders in 2016 were:

  1. Tax collection

  2. Sweepstakes

  3. Debt collectors

  4. Government grant offers

  5. Tech support

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB services are offered at no cost to the public thanks to the support of BBB Accredited Businesses.