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Start the New Year with Your BBB

Start the New Year with Your BBB - The Beacon


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By: Jason

Start the New Year with Your BBB

It’s the beginning of a new year and your Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to remind you of the services that we offer that can help you this year.

Your BBB provides business reports on all businesses that we have record of in our service area whether they are accredited or not. Our business reports include a letter-grade rating system ranging from A+ (the highest) to F (the lowest). Items that raise or lower the rating are listed along with the company’s accreditation status. Reports also include complaint data for the past three years. This includes the number and category of complaints and how the complaints were closed. Recent complaints also include the content of the correspondence between the consumer and business.

BBB reports also include any actions that a government agency has taken against the business that we are aware of and any review that we have done of the company’s advertising. You can also find the names of principals of the business along with the services they provide. The BBB does not endorse or recommend any particular business over another but rather provides information free of charge to the public to help consumers use their own best judgment to make an informed decision whether to do business with a particular company or not. Your BBB also provided reviews of charities.

This information can help you make an informed decision regarding donating to a particular charity. To check on a business or charity report, go to and select the “Check out a Business or Charity” option in the “Consumer” section or call 812-473-0202.

Your Better Business Bureau also offers an Accreditation program for businesses and charities. When you see “BBB Accredited” on a business report that means the company has agreed to uphold BBB ethical standards in the marketplace. BBB Accredited businesses are reviewed before accreditation is granted and are continuously monitored. Part of accreditation includes the company making a good-faith effort to resolve complaints that are filed with the BBB by consumers. Accredited businesses do pay a monitoring fee for their accreditation which helps us provide our services to the public for free. Accreditation for charities means that the charity meets the 20 standards for charitable accountability. Charity reports include which of the 20 BBB standards are met and which ones are not to help you make an informed decision regarding donations.

If you are a customer of a business and have an issue that you cannot resolve with them, your BBB offers a complaint process. When you file a complaint with the BBB, we review your complaint to make sure that it is within our purview (meaning that it is an issue we can bring to the business) and if so we forward your complaint to the business and encourage them to address your issue with the goal of resolving the matter.

The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization so we do not have legal authority to force a business to take a particular action however we find that most businesses are willing to make a good-faith effort to address complaints that they receive from the BBB. If a business does not make a good-faith effort to address a complaint, that is reflected on their BBB report and can affect their letter-grade rating.

All complaints that we process are reflected on the BBB report for three years regardless of the outcome. The Better Business Bureau is a neutral party in the complaint process and does not take sides in the matter but does encourage businesses to make a good-faith effort to address consumers’ concerns. As a non-profit organization there are limitations on what complaints we can process. If your issue is one that we cannot assist you with we will try to direct you to an agency or organization that can help you. To file a complaint with the BBB you can file online either on the company’s report or at Feel free to contact us at 812-473-0202, or toll-free (800) 359-0979 if you need assistance in filing.

If you are a regular reader of our blog then you are already aware of our efforts to provide information, tips and warnings to consumers. Your BBB is committed to consumer education and promoting trust in the marketplace. There are numerous other services that the BBB offers in addition to the main ones discussed above. For more information about the BBB and to take advantage of our services, visit our website at, where you can Start With Trust®.

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Jason was the Manager of Dispute Resolution Services with the BBB and primary handled consumer complaints. He also assisted consumers with business inquiries. He was a regular contributor to the blog.