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In 2013 Consumers Used BBB for Help in Recovering 51.5 Million Dollars in Disputed Transactions

Last year, over 3.1 million unique visitors turned to Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont for free services ranging from BBB Business Reviews and educational tips to submitting customer reviews on businesses.

The number of local, trusted BBB Accredited Businesses increased 6 percent from 7,843 in 2012 to 8,336 in 2013. Accredited Businesses must meet and maintain standards that BBB sets forth.

BBB Business Reviews were viewed over 4 million times this past year, a 30 percent increase from 2012. Reviews on mortgage lenders topped the list of most read BBB Business Reviews, followed by Internet shopping and used car dealers.

When people visit BBB’s website, they see how businesses have satisfied previous consumers by reading customer reviews and/or reading complaints. In addition, BBB Business Reviews provide a BBB rating, services offered, refund policy, customer reviews, complaints, and inquiry activity and more.

Many consumers go on to request further information from BBB Accredited Businesses through BBB’s free Request Pricing service. Potential customers sent 9,183 requests to local Accredited Businesses in 2013, up 41 percent from 2012. Consumers use the service to obtain estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited Businesses by providing a description of what they are looking for including budget, size, color(s), terms, etc.

Accredited Businesses with the Accredited Business Seal installed on their website showed an increase in click-throughs with 357,698 clicks, up 18 percent from 2012. Businesses who display the BBB Seal on their website meet BBB Accreditation Standards and operate with trust.

Customers who filed complaints against businesses located in our service area disputed over 51.5 million dollars in transactions, up 62 percent over 2012. BBB was successful in resolving 82 percent of all complaints filed.

The most complained about type of businesses were collection agencies with 857 complaints. The second highest were against banks with 815 complaints.

BBB challenged 216 local ads that did not comply with BBB’s Code of Advertising or that violated state or federal laws. In addition BBB conducted 135 investigations into businesses with questionable business practices.

People can check out a business by visting BBB at bbb.org/boston.

The below charts show the top 10 most inquired about types of businesses in 2013 and the top 10 BBB Business Reviews read in 2013.

Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont*

Top 10 Most Inquired about Types of Businesses in 2013

  1. MORTGAGES-LENDER

  2. ONLINE & INTERNET SHOPPING

  3. AUTOMOBILE DEALERS-USED CARS

  4. FURNITURE DEALERS-RETAIL

  5. SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

  6. INSURANCE COMPANIES

  7. ROOFING CONTRACTORS

  8. CONTRACTORS-GENERAL RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

  9. HOME IMPROVEMENT

  10. MOVERS

Source: Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont

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