POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 26, 2011
Question: How can a person find out if there are complaints with the Better Business Bureau against someone or some business?
Answer: You can view any BBB Business Review online at www.bbb.org or www.hawaii.bbb.org. Consumers can also call into the BBB, email, write or walk into our office with an inquiry on any business.
Q: How does a person file a complaint with the BBB?
A: Anyone can go online to file a complaint with BBB, or you put your complaint in writing to our office. Walk-in is welcome, too.
Q: What does the BBB do after it receives a complaint?
A: BBB will begin our dispute resolution process by forwarding the complaint to the company within two days. BBB acts as an intermediary and opens a dialogue between the consumer and a business to help them come to a resolution. The dispute resolution process is usually completed within 30 calendar days. BBB encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve complaints directly with the company. However, BBB will not reject a complaint if a consumer has not taken this step. All complaints are processed by local BBBs. Over 70 percent of complaints filed through BBB are resolved. In some cases, BBB mediation or arbitration may be offered to assist in resolution.
Q: What types of complaints does the BBB take?
A: BBB accepts complaints if it relates to a marketplace issue. The complaint alleges a problem experienced with the services or products that the company provided or allegedly agreed to provide; the complaint is not in litigation and has not been resolved by a previous court action, arbitration or settlement between the parties.
Q: Does the BBB have any authority to act on a complaint, such as penalize or fine a person or business, or to pass on the information to an entity with more authority?
A: We are a nonprofit organization, and BBB generally does not handle complaints which are more effectively handled by other government or private agencies or the legal system, such as complaints involving employment practices, discrimination or matters in litigation. Although BBB does not have legal and policing powers, we provide information about marketplace fraud through alerts on scams to the public or poor business practices. BBB works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, providing them with valuable information on potential frauds.
Q: Can the BBB recommend businesses?
A: Our policy is to refrain from recommending or endorsing any business, product or service. This is done to ensure continued public trust in our fairness. BBB’s value to the business community is based on our marketplace neutrality.
Q: What does it mean if a business or service is BBB accredited?
A: If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the company has demonstrated responsible business practices and meets our BBB standards for trust that includes building trust in the marketplace with their commitment to advertise honestly, honor promises, being responsive and addressing marketplace disputes quickly, respectfully and reasonably.
— Interviewed by Dave Segal
Editor’s note: “Akamai Money” seeks out local experts to answer questions about business in Hawaii. If you have an issue you would like us to tackle, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.