The Better Business Bureau provides an avenue for consumers to complain about the service they've received from companies serving their area. It's a useful service for both consumers and the member businesses. The BBB provides consumers with a means of redress for their grievances, and member businesses have the opportunity to make things right with an unhappy customer. If you've filed a complaint against a business and wish to know its status, you must follow up personally with the office handling the complaint.
Look up the address of the company you've filed the complaint against and make a note of its ZIP code.
Enter the ZIP code into the BBB locator, found on the "Find a BBB" page of the Better Business Bureau's website. It will provide you with contact information for the BBB branch closest to the offending company, which will handle your complaint.
Contact the appropriate BBB branch by post, email, fax or telephone. The BBB locator provides the necessary information, and you can choose whichever method you find most comfortable.
Provide a brief summary of the complaint when you contact the BBB, specifying the name and full address of the offending company. That helps the staffer who responds to your inquiry to quickly find the correct file.
- Bear in mind that a business might choose not to respond to the BBB's inquiry. The bureau's role is advocacy, mediation and reporting, and it has no regulatory or coercive function. At worst, member companies can be dropped from the BBB program for non-response to complaints.
- If your complaint is serious and the company doesn't respond to the BBB, you might need to seek redress in the civil courts.
Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.