Resolving Complaints


Speed is essential in responding to customer dissatisfaction. Your customer should be assured that you care and that prompt remedial action will be taken to resolve any reasonable problem.

Acknowledgement: When an issue cannot be resolved immediately, it is important to let your customer know that the matter is receiving your attention. Prompt acknowledgment will set your customer at ease, demonstrate that you do care, and begin the process of preserving goodwill. Whenever possible, tell your customer how long it will take you to complete your action on the complaint. If there is further delay, be sure your customer is advised.

Investigation: A high priority must be given to a review of the facts involved. Your records should be organized to allow quick access for complaint investigation.

Decision: The decision should be based on principles of equity and must be consistent with your established customer relations policy.

Response: Your response should be clear and appropriate. Clear in terms of being understandable; appropriate in that it addresses the issues raised in the customer’s original complaint. Be helpful in your response. An explanation of your decision may preserve the goodwill of your customer, even if the decision itself is adverse.

Causes of Customer Dissatisfaction:

  • poor complaint handling
  • delays in delivery of goods or services
  • inadequate repair service and poor repair work
  • poor product quality and difficulty of maintenance
  • billing errors
  • failure to provide refunds and adjustments as promised
  • failure to fulfill warranties
  • deceptive or inaccurate advertising
  • misleading or false representation by sales personnel
  • incompetent and discourteous employees

The purpose of the BBB’s complaint system is to assist both the consumer and business in resolving disputes. The complaint process is about resolution, not retribution. It is an informal process designed to create an environment where negotiations can take place.

A common misconception is that having a complaint on your record is a “demerit” or “blemish.” It is the BBB policy to emphasize the resolution of the complaint, not the complaint itself. If your record reports resolved complaint(s) or indicates you have made a good faith effort to resolve them, it may actually give consumers the confidence to call you. Consumers see that your company will not disappear into the night, but rather will address issues head on.

Once the BBB has received a formal complaint in writing, we forward it to the company and request a response in writing. The company may submit their written response through our online complaint system, mail, fax, or email. The BBB then forwards it to the consumer for their review. If the BBB receives the consumer’s rebuttal, it would be sent to the company for further clarification on their position. If the complaint cannot be resolved through the initial complaint conciliation process, we would then offer mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue.