The Better Business Burea website is an excellent starting place for making decisions regarding if you want to do business with an organization or not. However, if you don’t understand what you are looking at, or worse, look at the wrong organization, then you could make a decision based on inaccurate information.
So, to help make sure that readers understand what they are looking at when they look at review found on bbb.org, I have compiled a list of 7 things to consider.
1. Do you have the correct company?
It is helpful to have the full company name and/ or address for the company you are attempting to research. Why? This is why:
If you don’t know enough about the company you are wanting to research, then you could land on the wrong company. Knowing the address ensures that you are able to land on the correct company in the search results.
Once you land on the correct company page, there are several parts of the page with important information. The companies full address is on the left, you will want to verify that. After that, what you will probably quickly notice are the Alerts:
Now, there are some things to keep in mind about alerts. Alerts do not mean that anything has been proven, if you read the details of the alert above, a warning letter was sent. Just because an alert exists, doesn’t mean that the company hasn’t addressed the alert. The company in this article has implemented a compliance group that actively checks the social media, web pages, etc of ambassadors and will report posts that violate branding or marketing language. But it’s good to know if those have been issued.
Now, not having accreditation does not mean that the company is a bad company to do business with, it just means that they didn’t pay to be accredited. In order to be accredited, a company must first meet certain ethical and moral business performance standards, and then they pay a fee and agree to operate in a manner that upholds the highest standards of the BBB. They also agree to random reviews to ensure that they are meeting those standards. So, accreditation does mean that a business is likely a good business to work with, but not having it doesn’t mean that they are a bad business to work with. Make sense?
And, of course, there is that all important rating. There are a lot of factors that go into the rating.
The BBB uses a 100 point scoring scale to rate businesses, and it only takes the loss of three points to drop from an A+ to an A rated business.
There are some areas where a business “earns” points and other areas where a business can only lose points.
A business can earn points in the following areas (the value of points that can be earned in these categories, when summed, is 100):
- Complaint Volume- weighted by age
- Unanswered complaints
- Unresolved complaints
- Delayed complaint resolution
- Time in business
They can lose points in the following areas:
- Failure to address complaint patterns
- Type of business
- Transparent Business Practices
- Failure to honor mediation/ arbitration
- Competency Licensing
- Government Action
- Advertising Review
- BBB Trademark Infringement
5. Customer Reviews & Complaints
If you scroll down, then you will see a section on the right for customer reviews. Keep in mind that people will complain long before they will praise when you look at reviews (that is something to keep in mind when you look at reviews ANYWHERE- be that the BBB, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, or any other place that offers the option to review businesses).
You can click to see specifics of the reviews. You can also see customer complaints, which the BBB reviewed and will usually provide details, findings, and the companies reply. In the case of MLM businesses this can be particularly insightful as you learn that perhaps the fault is not so much with the company as it is with improperly trained, and as yet uncaught, representatives of the company.
The composite is probably the most helpful part, in my opinion. It’s a combined score based on the BBB rating and the customer reviews of the company. You can hit the ? to get information on the composite was determined, and the weighting of certain factors.
So, there are the 6 things that you want to look at when reviewing a company on the BBB website. You might also look up similar companies to see how the company you are looking at compares. Some industries are prone to more or fewer complaints than others, but unless you are familiar with those industries, you may not realize that until you start looking at several of the same types.
What do you look for when doing business with a company?