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BBB revises rating system to regain consumer trust

By • Nov 19th, 2010 • Category: Consumer Help

The executive committee of the Council of Better Business Bureaus held a special meeting on Tuesday, November, 16, 2010, to discuss public concerns recently raised by an ABC News 20/20 broadcast last week.

In the highly publicized expose, the popular news magazine featured disenchanted companies who openly criticized the gigantic international consumer watchdog organization's pay-to-play rating system, accreditation process and sales practices.

In response to mounting criticism from both angry consumers and business owners, Steve Cox, the BBB's President and CEO, outlined a change in attitude and a new set of guidelines on Thursday that each of the Council's 120+ offices will be begin to implement immediately.

According to Cox, the committee is still conducting a review of its internal processes for accrediting businesses beyond the steps cited in the press release. He still maintains, however, that “Any attempt to question the integrity of the entire BBB organization is completely without merit.”

Click here to see the entire message, including the long list of comments entered by the public. 

A Message from the President of CBBB
Posted: November 18th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 149 Comments »

The executive committee of the Council of Better Business Bureaus held a special meeting to discuss concerns recently raised about the BBB rating system, accreditation process and sales practices. While we do not agree with all that’s been said, we acknowledge that public trust in the BBB and its business reviews can be adversely affected by any business practice that gives even the appearance of being unfair. As a result, today, the BBB unveiled a plan to take specific actions, including:

  • By next week, the BBB ratings system will no longer give additional points to accredited businesses because of their accredited status. While we believe that businesses that have been approved for accreditation and commit to abide by these standards warrant additional points, we have acknowledged that others view this as creating an appearance of unfairness. What matters most now is to make changes to address those concerns—which is exactly the steps we have taken. BBB will continue to issue ratings based on the other 16 ratings factors currently used.
  • Immediately, BBB will make available on its website a streamlined process for receiving complaints on BBB sales practices and will implement procedures for investigating each complaint.
  • BBB will conduct a review of its process for accrediting businesses, and as soon as possible, make changes that will apply system-wide.
  • BBB will engage an independent third party to assist us in our review process.

We are moving ahead with implementing changes right away. Some are immediate, others will take longer to complete. All will support our commitment to help consumers easily and quickly find trustworthy businesses.

We are taking these steps to better serve consumers and small businesses and eliminate any attempts to question BBB’s fairness. Any attempt to question the integrity of the entire BBB organization is completely without merit. On behalf of the great BBBs in communities across the nation that are providing valuable services to protect consumers and promote ethical business behavior, I thank you for your support.

Thank you for visiting our site.

Steve Cox
President and CEO
Council of Better Business Bureaus


Related Articles:

Can You Trust the Better Business Bureau? – The AARP Magazine

Movers applaud BBB rating scam uncovered in 20/20 expose – RELO Roundtable

Top executive at Better Business Bureau's L.A. branch earns more than $400,000 a year – Los Angeles Times

Read more about BBB and 20/20 (includes CEO's video message) – BBB Information Center

Do BBB Members Get Better Ratings? – ABC News

How to Find a Reputable Mover: Check with the Better Business Bureau – RELO Roundtable


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