Better Business Bureau

BBB5x5Occasionally when doing business in Nova Scotia, things don’t always go as planned. The company hired to do a job may not fulfil their obligations, and they leave the customer less than satisfied. Of course, when this happens we could always bitch to our friend or the guy sitting next to us at the bar, but if we honestly feel a company has wronged us, there is always the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

But what is the BBB, and what does it do?

From their website: The BBB is a non- profit, independent organization devoted to helping businesses serve their customers. We receive 60,000+ inquiries per year, 80% representing pre-purchase inquiries. The BBB influences $30 millions in purchase inquires per year. Most importantly, we serve as a resource for consumer topics and issue anti-fraud warnings.

Wow! More than 60,000 inquires a year. That’s a lot of sharing of information.

The BBB will not settle a disagreement between an employee and employer, it will not get involved with someone who has a problem because they bought a second-hand vehicle off Kijiji and it won’t handle disputes between tenants and landlords. It also doesn’t act as a collection agency to collect past due accounts.

So what does it do?

The BBB “reports on a firm’s marketplace practices.” The “BBB reliability reports contain information about the nature of the business, its principal officers, (and) a three-year summary of any complaints processed.”BBB5x5Works

It can’t prevent scams and rip-offs, but it can alert the public to them through press releases, limiting their impact.

To help consumers become informed before going into a working relationship with a company, the BBB provides information about the complaints online. But this works only if one thing happens: companies that break contracts and have bad business practices are reported.

If you believe you have a legitimate complaint about a business—even a business that publishes books—check out the Better Business Bureau online. You can file a complaint by completing an online form or contacting the BBB office.

While you’re on its website, you can search for the business with which you have a complaint to see if one has already been filed.

If enough complaints are received, the BBB can launch an investigation into the company, and if they suspect laws were broken, they can alert the RCMP.

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