By the numbers, Better Business Bureau broke records last year, serving consumers and businesses across eastern and southwest Missouri and southern Illinois nearly 10.4 million times, a 1.4 percent increase from 2016.“Our results reflect the dedication of BBB staff and volunteers who serve the needs of consumers and businesses across the region, including regional offices in Springfield, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Columbia, Mo., and Quincy, Ill.” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. “We stand ready to provide BBB Business Profiles and Charity Reviews, help companies and customers resolve marketplace disputes and provide standards and other valuable services that promote marketplace trust.”Technology has allowed BBB to provide many of its services online, around the clock. BBB’s website was used more than 5.4 million times by consumers in eastern and southwest Missouri and southern Illinois. An additional 4.8 million consumers interacted with BBB electronically through newsletters and social media. Businesses earning BBB Accreditation grew to 9,364 at year-end, up 19 percent from 7,551 at the end of 2016.Requests to check out a company through BBB Business Profiles reached 3 million. Inquiries about construction and remodeling contractors topped the list of requests at 532,987, followed by inquiries about roofing and siding companies. Charity Review requests reached 20,941. When consumers call or check BBB’s website, they can learn whether businesses have received customer complaints, and if so, how they satisfied the customers. BBB Business Profiles display a rating from A+ to F, tell how long a company has been in business and give contact information and details such as products or services a company offers. BBB’s Request A Quote service usage reached 25,204, a 155 percent increase from just under 10,000 in 2016. Consumers posted 12,326 Customer Reviews about local businesses last year, up 69 percent from 2016. BBB Scam Tracker received 1,144 reports about scams trending in the area from concerned consumers, up 55 percent from the 510 reports received in 2016.BBB received 21,841 consumer complaints filed against companies in eastern and southwest Missouri and southern Illinois, and 85 percent of those complaints were resolved. Complaints against construction and home improvement companies led the list of industries with the most complaints in BBB St. Louis’ region. The second highest number of complaints were against cable, television and satellite companies.The number of Accredited Charities meeting BBB’s 20 Standards of Charity Accountability grew to 258, up 6.2 percent from 243 at the end of 2016. BBB challenged 379 local ads that appeared to be in violation of BBB’s Code of Advertising or state or federal laws and requested those companies cease using the ads, modify them or offer substantiation to support their claims. BBB issued 168 press releases, including 52 that warned of substandard or fraudulent business practices uncovered by the 363 investigations conducted at BBB St. Louis. Other releases provided timely advice to consumers seeking repair contractors after major storms, tips on protecting their identities, and avoiding current scams and other consumer topics.Consumers can learn how to protect themselves or find BBB Business Profiles or BBB Charity Reviews by calling (314) 645-3300 or by going online to www.bbb.org.(Listed below are the top categories for BBB Business Profiles and complaints about companies in BBB’s 116-county service area.) BBB Scam Tracker is a great place to research and report scams. For more advice on or to find BBB Business Profiles of businesses or charities, call 888-996-3887 or go online to bbb.org. About BBBBBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.St. Louis area media contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgShellie Kreter, PR & Communications Director, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), email@example.comDon O’Brien, Investigator, (314) 584-6785, firstname.lastname@example.orgRebecca Phoenix, Investigator, (314) 584-6727, email@example.comColumbia media contact: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgCape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, email@example.comQuincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.orgSpringfield media contact: Stephanie Garland, BBB Springfield Regional Director, (417) 380-5074, email@example.com Better Business BureauServing Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois* Top 10 Industries for BBB Business Profiles in 2017 Contractors - General 146,575Roofing Contractors 137,478Auto Service Contract Companies 135,581Construction & Remodeling Services 81,278Heating & Air Conditioning 65,772Auto Dealers - Used Cars 57,241Contact Lenses 49,352Tree Service 43,664Mortgage Brokers 42,891Plumbers 42,435 Top 10 Industries for Complaints in 2017 Television - Cable, CATV & Satellite 6789Auto Dealers - New Cars 724Auto Dealers - Used Cars 599Collection Agencies 573Auto Service Contract Companies 411Furniture - Rustic 378Contractors - General 331Apartments 287Auto Repair & Service 280Investment Securities 257 *Statistics are based on inquiries and complaints about companies in the 116 counties served by BBB Serving Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois and may not be indicative of trends nationwide.