BBB Reviews: A Simple Overview

bbb reviews

A Better Business Bureau review carries a lot of weight with potential customers. Every favorable customer review can greatly boost your business.

One of the best aspects of BBB customer reviews is that they are real, based on a real experience between consumer and company. The BBB verifies the source and substance of customer reviews before they are published.

Part of a Business Community

As a small business owner, you are part of a business community and often someone else’s customer as well. You can do some investigation before a purchase by scanning business profiles and reviews on the BBB website.

The BBB has been serving our business community for more than 100 years.

People put their trust in the BBB trademark, and also value reviews posted on the BBB’s website.

But how does it all work?

How the Better Business Bureau Handles Customer Reviews and Complaints

The Better Business Bureau goes through a step-by-step process before publishing customer reviews or a complaint to a business’s page.

Step one. The BBB confirms that there was a marketplace interaction between the reviewer and the business. The BBB accomplishes this verification by checking the reviewer’s email address or phone number. The Better Business Bureau also confirms the information with the business.

Anonymous reviews are not allowed. Reviews can’t include foul language.

Step two. The customer review is published to the business’s profile page on the BBB website.

The Better Business Bureau has a dispute resolution program for businesses. Through the program, the business can address a complaint or other unfavorable BBB customer reviews. For more, see the process here.

How to Find BBB Customer Reviews and Complaints

As a small business owner, you may want to find a Better Business Bureau review or complaint against your own company or competitor. You can find a review or complaint left by consumers about their experience with your company or the experience other business owners had with companies you may be thinking of using.

You may be a potential employee who’d like to learn more about a potential employer. You may be a business owner who wants to see what customers are saying about you, a business owner considering a transaction with another company, or looking to find how to dispute a BBB complaint.

The process for searching is the same:

Go to the BBB website. From there, scroll to the bottom of the page. Use the tabs to search according to types of businesses, or by the business’s name. You can search for information about “electricians” or “contractors”, if you don’t know a company name.

What Are Customers Saying about You?

Go to your business profile page and read the reviews and complaints. Quickly responding to any complaint will help keep your rating high with the BBB.

You can also learn more about customer experiences interacting with your business, via the all-important customer review. Do customer reviews overall praise the product, but not the shopping experience? Did a customer have a negative experience with an employee?

Every customer review can be a valuable tool you can use to improve your company.

What Are Customers Saying about Other Businesses?

You can check customer reviews before buying from a company.

But there’s another reason to search BBB for profiles of other businesses — to see a customer review or complaint a competitor has received. How do they match up according to their BBB rating? Can you do better?

About the BBB

The Better Business Bureau was established in 1912, and it’s been a vital part of the business community since that time. The Better Business Bureau reports on both accredited and non-accredited businesses. Accreditation, and a favorable rating with the BBB, tells the consumer what to expect from a company.

International Association of Better Business Bureaus

Each separately incorporated Better Business Bureau is part of an International Association of Better Business Bureau organizations that span the US, Canada and Mexico. Within the International Association of Better Business Bureau organizations are individual and regional BBBs.

For more on the International Association of Better Business Bureaus read: Do You Know How to Improve your BBB Ranking?

There are more than 100 separately incorporated Better Business Bureaus within the International (US, Canada and Mexico) BBB. They are organized locally and regionally by zip code.

The Better Business Bureau includes the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust is a 501 (c) (3) foundation. It works within the network of each incorporated Better Business Bureau to promote educational programs for people within communities.

Studies show that consumers trust businesses accredited by the BBB. The BBB credo is to promote “honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers.”

How do I check a company with the Better Business Bureau?

From the BBB home page, you can use tabs at the bottom of the page to search for a company by name or type (such as contractor, used car sales, electrician).

Once you find the profile page for the company, you can look at its history of reviews and complaints. The business home page will also show the company location and rating.

How can I verify a business is legitimate?

The business profile as listed with the BBB will give you a lot of information about a company. This information has already been checked by the BBB.

The business profile will show the business location and contact info, and its years of operation. The profile is also the starting place for you to look at a customer review.

If the type of company requires professional licensing, bonding and registration, the BBB notes that on the business profile. The BBB encourages potential consumers to check with the appropriate agency to verify that information.

A business that is accredited has gone through an additional process through the BBB. Accredited businesses have applied, and supplied any required documentation to the Better Business Bureau. The company has also undergone a “check” by the BBB, which includes a review of public records, and a personal visit to its location or phone call.

A company is not accredited until it has met the BBB standards. Once it is accredited, the business can use the BBB trademarks in its advertising. By learning how to get BBB accredited, you can take advantage of all the benefits it offers.

How do I write a review for the BBB?

Want to add your opinion to a business profile through the BBB? Have a dispute about business practices? Start with the BBB home page. Find the business profile and get ready to enter information there.

Your opinion can’t be anonymous. The BBB must verify you’re an actual customer who had an interaction with the businesses. You must provide contact information such as email address and a contact phone number.

Image: Small Business Trends

Lisa Price Lisa Price is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 4 years. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She is also a freelance writer and previously worked as a newspaper circulation district manager and radio station commercial writer. In 2019, Lisa received the (Pennsylvania) Keystone Award.