Understanding The BBB Online Complaint System

By Alley Benton
Updated January 19, 2017
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Understanding The BBB Online Complaint SystemThe Better Business Bureau, or BBB, is a group of private organizations within Canada and the US that work to facilitate a fair marketplace for consumers and businesses alike. The organization is responsible for gathering information that relates to fraud, reliability, and the ethical practice of businesses, and helps to inform the public of scams and business issues. What's more, the BBB also gives consumers an option to file grievances through the BBB online complaint system. In these scenarios, the BBB acts as a mediator between the consumer and the business in question.

Here we'll look at how the BBB online complaint system works.

Contacting the Company Directly:

Before you contact the BBB online complaint system, it's often recommended that you try contacting the company you have the issue with directly. If you have a problem with a specific vendor, your first course of action should be to speak to that vendor, as you may be able to resolve the problem more quickly in that way. For instance, if you believe that the item you purchase doesn't match the product description advertise, you might be able to ask for a refund.

Making a Formal Request:

If your first attempt to resolve the problem with the vendor doesn't end up with a successful result, you should think about documenting your problem in writing. This will help you to give your vendor another chance to satisfy your concerns, and you will also have documentation to show to the BBB when you file your complaint.

In your written letter, you will need to identify the problem that you have faced and the resolution you would like to get from your interaction. You can also summarize a brief amount of information surrounding your efforts to solve the problem in the past. Try to make sure that you include the locations where you tried to make contact, and the dates in which that contact was made.

Keep Copies of All Documents:

In many circumstances, you might find that if your first attempt to solve the problem with the vendor wasn't resolved by speaking to them, you won't see much of a chance simply because you decide to put your complaint into the form of a letter. However, the purpose of the letter is largely to make sure that you have written documentation to provide to the BBB regarding your complaint. Make sure that you keep a copy of the letter, print it and sign it and scan a copy onto your hard drive too.

Understand what a BBB Complaint Can Do:

Crucially, it's worth noting that the BBB will only accept certain complaints and will do what they can to help you resolve disputes that you have with your company. However, there are a range of disputes that will not be accepted by the BBB. For example, the BBB will not deal with claims of discrimination, employer or employee disputes, or matters that are arbitrated or litigated. They also will not get involved in complaints against individuals that aren't involved in business, or matters that aren't related to marketplace problems.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.