I have had very few times in my life where I have had to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has happened. Here is the why, when, and how to filing a complaint against a company with the BBB.
Keep in mind that the BBB cannot file legal action against the company, but they can act as a third party for dispute resolution, especially if you are not getting anywhere with trying to work directly with the company. The company does not have to respond to the complaint, and if they don’t, or if their response is not to your satisfaction, you can bring legal action against the company on your own, but that is our discretion. If you choose to do so, I recommend seeking legal counsel prior to moving forward.
If you have had interaction with a company where the company has not met your expectations, within certain parameters, then you should file a complaint with the BBB.
- They did not fulfill a promised price for a product/service
- They did not fulfill a contractual commitment (i.e. they did not deliver goods or services or they did not honor a warranty)
- You believe you have been the victim of a scam
- They misused your personal information without your authorization or consent
- They misled you through what they told you, or through false advertising
Please note that there are some disputes that the BBB does not handle, such as employment, debt collection, discrimination, health related disputes, or any complaint where litigation has been involved.
Before filing a complaint with the BBB, there are a few things you should do to attempt to resolve the issue:
- Contact the business, at least one time, to attempt to resolve the issue through their channels
- Track all communication you have had with the company, including dates and times of what was supposed to happen and did not; dates, times, and whom you spoke with about the issue; what the company offered to resolved the issue, if anything
- Ensure you know the address of the business you are filing a complaint against, and their headquarters information if applicable
Keep in mind that the BBB is there to help you resolve the dispute if you have not been able to resolve it yourself, so having all of the documentation you can is very important.
Here is a step-by-step process to filing a complaint through the BBB.
Checking a Business
You can also look up a business, their BBB rating, the complaints filed against the business, and their responses to other complaints. This is helpful when looking for a new company to do business with whether it is for work on your home, financial services, or really anything you need to use a company’s services for.