Game industry

How to handle a BBB complaint against your business

When businesses receive a complaint through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it can really hurt market confidence. BBB complaints are not only publicly available, but they also impact your overall BBB rating.

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus includes separately incorporated Better Business Bureaus, including organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Separately incorporated Better Business Bureau organizations also include the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.

Here’s how to handle a complaint against your business filed with BBB organizations in the United States or Canada and Mexico.



1. Reply

Sandy Gamby, Director of Operations at Better Business Bureau Akron Branch, explains why it is important to respond to complaints immediately:

“It’s not necessarily just a complaint that can damage a company’s reputation. Most businesses receive complaints at some point. But it looks bad if the volume of complaints is large relative to the size of your business, if there is a model where the same type of complaint is filed multiple times, or if the complaint is considered serious as if a customer had paid for something and received nothing in return.

2. Acknowledge and apologize

In your response, the BBB recommends addressing each issue raised by the customer. Gamby also said the company needs to be fair and reasonable, recognize the customer experience and stick to the facts.

3. Provide documents

If the customer’s story about your business doesn’t match their actual experience, provide documentation for your side of the story. It may not be possible, but it adds credibility to businesses since BBB complaints and resolutions are publicly available.

4. Be proactive

Often, Gamby said, clients contact the companies themselves before filing a complaint with the BBB.

Sometimes customers just ask for an acknowledgment and an apology. Other times a refund or other resolution. Taking action before a complaint helps businesses avoid a BBB complaint.

5. Have solid contracts

Have clear contracts with clients and clients. Let people know exactly what to expect. Exaggerated expectations will cause them to complain later.

The BBB will review members’ contracts. This makes them less likely to cause problems later.

6. Be respectful

Gamby says business owners and representatives should show up on time. Treat people with respect and courtesy. Make sure customer service is a top priority. These steps eliminate a number of potential complaints.

What happens when a customer complains to the BBB?

When a customer complains to the BBB, a business has 10 days to respond. If a BBB accredited the company is unable to respond within 10 business days for any reason, contact the local BBB agency to explain the reason. Otherwise, the complaint will be recorded as unanswered, showing that the companies failed to resolve the issue, resulting in lower ratings.

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