The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization that provides dispute resolution services between consumers and businesses. Founded in 1912, there are over 100 independent local BBB organizations in the USA and Canada. The BBB ranks over 4 million businesses and handles hundreds of thousands of complaints each year as a neutral third party.
Anyone can file a complaint against a business using the BBB’s service. The BBB will contact the business in question and offer to mediate the dispute, whether or not the business is accredited by the BBB.
BBB Accredited businesses pledge to adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practice, including upholding the BBB Standards for Trust which include building trust, advertising honestly, telling the truth, being transparent, honoring promises, etc. Businesses who the BBB accredits pay a membership fee to be part of the program, and are given permission to display the BBB Trademark and symbols on their marketing material. Members commonly display the BBB’s logo on their websites, linking to their listing on the BBB’s website.
Businesses who are not members of the BBB are not necessarily less legitimate than paying members; some businesses view membership as an unnecessarily expense, some question whether the BBB truly acts as a neutral party, and some simply do not wish to encourage their customers to file public complaints against their business.
Whether or not a business participates in the program is simply a preference.
The BBB assigns businesses a rating from A+, all the way down to F. An A+ represents a score of 97 or above, a B+ represents a score between 87-89.99, while an F is a score below 59.99. Some businesses do not have ratings, as indicated by NR, or “No Rating” on the BBB’s website.
Factors that impact a rating include: the number of total complaints, the number of unanswered complaints, the number of unresolved complaints, transparency of business practices, the age of the business, etc. The BBB does stress however that,
Survey taking and the BBB
If an online survey panel is a member of the BBB, it may be easier to resolve disputes. BBB accredited businesses are often more proactive in handling complaints, and want to maintain a high rating. As such, they may respond to complaints faster so that disputes are closed. To file a complaint against a business, simply visit the BBB’s website, search their online database and locate the company you wish to file a dispute with, complete the instruction form and submit your complaint.
The business will then be contacted with your complaint. Using the BBB’s interface, you will be able to interact with the business until the dispute has been resolved. Complaints are marked as “closed” only after a consumer indicates that they have accepted the response from the business.
If you’re looking to take paid surveys and only want to deal with BBB accredited companies, take a look at the table below. It includes a comprehensive list of BBB accredited survey sites who operate online survey panels:
|Parent Company||Survey Panels Operated||BBB Listing|
|Decision Analyst||American Consumer Opinion|
Contractor Advisory Board
Executive Advisory Board
Medical Advisory Board
Physicians Advisory Council
Technology Advisory Board
|Hagen/Sinclair Research Recruiting||Hagen Sinclair||BBB link|
|Innovate MR||PointClub||BBB link|
|McMillion Research||Mindfield Online||BBB link|
|Branded Research||Branded Surveys||BBB link|
|Nielsen|| Harris Poll Online|
Homescan Consumer Panel
Nielsen Computer & Mobile
National Consumer Panel
Nielsen Consumer Panel
Nielsen Mobile Panel
|The NPD Group||VIP Voice||BBB link|
|Survey Junkie||Survey Junkie||BBB link|
|Toluna USA||Finger on the Pulse Community|
Tech Leader Forum
Voice of Today’s Consumer
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