The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a corporation consisting of several private local BBB organizations based in the United States and Canada, which work together through the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). The BBB goal is to foster a fair and effective marketplace, so that buyers and sellers can trust each other ("Start With Trust"). Many BBB services can be accessed online through their website.
BBBs gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve disputes. News media frequently turn to the CBBB and local BBBs as expert sources of news about scams and consumer issues.
The BBB is not a government agency. Not what you thought? Instead, it is a private organization of companies operating independently in their local regions, not responsible to any oversight!
The BBB has had numerous complaints against it for extortion over the years. The Bureau is known to force members to pay just to remove bad remarks. Upon quitting, they immediately receive poor remarks unless they resume payments.
The validity of BB ratings is seriously in question. If someone has an A rating with the BBB, did they pay for it? If another business has an F rating, is the BBB currently holding them hostage? There’s no way to know.
Our position is to NOT join the BBB. We don’t feel that there is any credibility with this organization and we refuse to support in any way its activities by paying for a membership.
On 12 November 2010, 20/20 aired a segment outlining many problems with the BBB, including problems holding Wolfgang Puck and the Ritz Carlton hostage with an F rating. Clearly these organizations don’t deserve this rating!