Dallas, TX, February 16, 2012 -- In 2011, the Better Business Bureau serving Dallas and Northeast Texas provided a total of 5,885,694 instances of service, up 16% from 2010. Requests for BBB Business Reviews were up 19% for a total of 2,329,833, and visits to the BBB Dallas website increased 8%, to 2,576,030. With the launch of the BBB app for iPhone, iPod and iPad, visits to mobile apps totaled 79,391 in 2011.
Most contacts to the BBB are pre-purchase inquiries from customers who want to check out a particular business or find BBB Accredited Businesses. The BBB provides Business Reviews on both BBB Accredited Businesses and non-accredited businesses. BBB Business Reviews give basic information on a business, including whether the business is BBB accredited, and show the BBB Rating for the business on a scale from A+ to F.
BBB Business Reviews are provided online at www.bbb.org, through mobile apps, and through an automated information line. In all, BBB Dallas provided 2,329,833 Business Reviews in 2011, up 19% from 2010.
The types of business with the most inquiries to BBB Dallas were:
1. Roofing Contractors – 116,203
2. Electric Companies – 63,119
3. Dating Services – 50,581
4. Air Conditioning Contractors – 49,791
5. Auto Dealers – Used Cars – 41,685
6. Collection Agencies – 37,520
7. Foundation Repair – 37,328
8. Credit Card Processing – 35,014
9. Consumer Finance & Loan – 34,637
10. Debt Relief – 32,592
The BBB also provides tips on marketplace issues and refers consumers to other BBBs or agencies when indicated. For questions and complaints that are out of BBB purview or otherwise cannot be handled, the BBB suggests other steps. BBB Dallas provided 21,012 instances of counseling and referral in 2011.
The BBB accepts customer complaints on both BBB Accredited Businesses and non-accredited businesses. Complaints may be filed online at www.bbb.org by clicking “File a Complaint”, or may be sent in a letter. The BBB sends complaints to the business and asks for a response. Then the BBB checks with the customer to see if the matter is resolved. The outcome of the complaint may affect the BBB rating for the business.
In 2011, BBB Dallas received 35,521 complaints, almost the same as the previous year (35,272 in 2010). The top types of businesses with complaints were:
1. Consumer Finance & Loan – 1,917
2. Telephone Companies – 1,074
3. Dating Services – 683
4. Auto Dealers – New Cars – 596
5. Buses – Charter & Rental – 555
6. Electric Companies – 553
7. Mortgage Brokers – 459
8. Travel Clubs – 451
9. Internet Marketing Services – 438
10. Department Stores – 433
BBB arbitration is available to help resolve complaints. In BBB arbitration, a trained community volunteer conducts a hearing. Both the business and consumer agree to abide by the arbitrator’s decision. In 2011, BBB Dallas administered 51 arbitration hearings, more than double the number of hearings in 2010.
Fulfilling its original mission to promote truth in advertising, the BBB conducts a local advertising review program. The BBB monitors local ads and also receives complaints from the public. The ads are reviewed for compliance with the BBB Code of Advertising, which sets out basic principles for truthful advertising.
For ads that may not meet BBB standards, the BBB contacts the advertiser and asks that the claims be substantiated, modified, or discontinued. The outcome of an advertising review case may affect the BBB rating for a business.
In 2011, BBB Dallas closed 127 advertising review cases. Businesses responded to the BBB in most cases, and either substantiated, modified, or discontinued the challenged claims.
The BBB in Dallas provides timely and helpful marketplace information, including tips and scam alerts for consumers and businesses.
In 2011, the BBB in Dallas sent 21 news releases. On the BBB Dallas website, 240 items were added to the News Center, an increase of 61% over 2010. An email newsletter goes to BBB Accredited Businesses, and distribution totaled 154,468 in 2011, an increase of 8% over 2010.
BBB Accredited Businesses
The BBB is an independent, non-profit, business-supported organization. The Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc., was founded in 1920 and today is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses throughout the BBB’s 13-county service area.
A business becomes BBB accredited by applying and providing information, and showing that it meets accreditation standards. BBB Accredited Businesses must continue to meet the BBB Code of Business Practices, which is based on the BBB Standards for Trust: Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, Safeguard Privacy, and Embody Integrity.
BBB Celebrates Centennial
This year, the BBB system celebrates its centennial. The city of Dallas played a role in founding the BBB 100 years ago. In 1912, at a convention of advertising executives held in Dallas, an initiative was launched to promote truth in advertising. Most early BBBs were born out of local advertising club projects. The name Better Business Bureau was officially adopted in 1916, and the BBB in Dallas was founded in 1920 by the Dallas Advertising League. Today 116 BBBs provide over 87 million instances of service to the public. Learn more about the BBB's centennial celebration at http://www.bbb.org/100-year/.
To check out a business, find BBB Accredited Businesses, see tips and alerts, file a customer complaint, or report misleading advertising, start at www.bbb.org. For the free BBB iPhone app, see www.bbb.org/iphone/ . On an Internet-enabled device, see m.bbb.org.