A lot of people tend to think the Better Business Bureau is a government agency. However, we are NOT a government agency, nor do we receive tax dollars. Rather we are a non-profit agency supported by our 6,300 Accredited -- or member -- Businesses in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Why do companies support us? They do it for a wide variety of reasons, of course. Some certainly become accredited with us for the services and programs we provide in return – such as increased visibility, co-branding opportunities and free mediation and arbitration services. Some because they know 7 out of 10 people prefer to do business with companies who belong to the Better Business Bureau.* But all of our member companies believe in an organization devoted to encouraging ethical behavior and maintaining a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other; they believe in the work that we do and the things that we stand for.
Our member companies know that we serve and support the communities they do business in and that we offer valuable educational outreach to students, seniors and everyone in between. They know that every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the BBB has trained operators available to answer questions from the public and help them make informed purchasing decisions. They know that we’re constantly monitoring the marketplace for scams which target both businesses and consumers. Finally, they know that every dollar we prevent consumers from losing to scams and fraudulent offers is a dollar they have to spend with legitimate businesses.
The Better Business Bureau plays a pivotal role in the health of our marketplace. Thanks to the support of our Accredited Businesses we’re able to: provide a forum where businesses and customers can resolve their differences amicably; monitor advertising in Minnesota and North Dakota and challenge questionable claims by advertisers; offer free Business Reviews on companies (both accredited and non-accredited); and provide the public with timely fraud alerts and updates regarding unethical business practices. Our presence helps minimize the need for more restrictive government regulations.
The marketplace has changed a lot since 1912, the year the Better Business Bureau was founded (right here in Minneapolis!), but one thing that won’t ever change is the need for an organization devoted to making businesses better and standing up for the little guy. Those two things might seem somewhat contradictory, but actually one of our roles is to gently remind businesses that they become better when they stand up for the little guy.
Business or customer, we’re your Better Business Bureau! We appreciate the support of our Accredited Businesses and hope that you’ll support them as well!
*According to a 2007 Princeton Research Survey