When you see that little Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) badge on a company’s website, do you wonder what it really means? Is an A+ service provider really that different from a B- or even a D? How do they calculate who gets what, and can those just be bought?
The Better Business Bureau introduced the letter rating system for their Reliability Reports in an attempt to reflect an impartial assessment of how a given business treats their customers. In the past, a simple “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” grade was given, but the BBB realized that they could do better in providing some background on what contributed to that determination. The letter grades, introduced in 2009, also allowed for more varied levels of feedback, so consumers can decided for themselves what really matters as they shop for service.
Seventeen factors are evaluated based on information that the BBB validates regarding actual interactions between the company and its customers. Some of these factors include:
- How long the business has been around
- Whether the business has the appropriate industry licensing
- Number of unresolved complaints
- Number of unanswered complaints
- Advertising issues
- Failure to address complaints pattern
Each factor is weighted differently, with the biggest determination given to complaint history. Customers who have conducted business with the company can file a complaint at no cost, and then the BBB will work to arbitrate (in a manner of speaking) the issue to determine what really happened, who may be at fault, and attempt to facilitate a resolution by simply providing an unbiased means for communicating between the two parties.
Certain business or industries are not eligible for BBB rating, given the inherent concerns with the business model or how they operate.
To learn more about the BBB rating system, visit the Council of Better Business Bureaus rating overview.
All that to say, when you see an A+ rating, it does reflect a level of reliability as determined by a trusted entity that has been around since 1912. By looking into a business with BBB, you can review the Reliability Reports and see the actual complaints and issues on file (if any). The choice is your to make, but what a great resource to have available!