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Better Business Bureau Helps Consumers, Businesses Avoid Fraud

Better Business Bureau
More than 100 years ago, a group of business leaders in Minneapolis coalesced to form a self-governing entity that promoted an ethical marketplace and denounced substandard behavior. While the company’s presence has now grown to include the international marketplace, the Better Business Bureau’s mission of being a leader in advancing marketplace trust continues to guide its practices and services.

One of its most well-known services is handling complaints filed by businesses and consumers; last year, the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota handled 24,000 complaints with an 89 percent resolution rate, explained Chief Executive Officer Dana Badgerow. Filing a complaint is free of charge, and the company offers a helpline that is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with operators who can assist businesses and consumers with a variety of issues such as a potential scam or business/vendor research.

A crucial component of BBB being able to monitor the marketplace for ethical activity is cultivating a rich database of businesses; Badgerow said the Minnesota database is quite robust, but the company is working to shore up its North Dakota database. She encourages business owners to contact BBB to create a report for their business, which can then be promoted to consumers as a channel to provide customer reviews. BBB validates all consumer reviews to ensure the integrity of its reporting system by verifying that the consumer did indeed have a transaction with the company being reviewed. In addition, a consumer can’t file both a complaint and a customer review, further ensuring the validity of information provided.

Companies can also benefit from BBB Accreditation, which is earned after meeting rigorous standards. Being accredited entitles a company to use the BBB logo on its marketing materials, website and vehicles, to signify its ethical practices.

BBB regularly posts updates and alerts about scams in the area at www.bbb.org. If you encounter a suspicious offer, call 800.646.6222 to speak with a BBB representative.

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