Author: Cherie Reese
My name is Cherie Reese. I’m the Vice President of the Kansas City Better Business Bureau and I’ve been working here for 23 years. Over the years, BBB has changed in so many ways. Many of the changes came with the transition from paper processes to using computers and posting information online for the world to see.
Today, we’re more efficient and have better information about businesses and consumers that’s easier to find.
I remember when our office had Rolodexes that contained all the information we had about companies. They were cumbersome and time-consuming to use when we needed to find anything. Now, the BBB has an easy to use website and phone lines that provide automated reports read to callers by our friendly “bot”.
Did you know that 20 years ago, companies couldn’t put BBB logos on their advertisements?
The reason for this is that once it was in print, it couldn’t be changed easily if the company should suddenly have their membership dropped or revoked. The only way a consumer could find out if the company in question was a member was to call the Better Business Bureau office and ask! It was much easier for a “scam” company to hide its identity, because they would rely on consumers not doing their research before they paid for goods or services.
Before the internet, businesses had no idea how many consumers checked with BBB about their company rating.
BBB computers track calls for companies. Each time a call comes into the BBB office and a report for a company is pulled up, it’s tallied on that company record. Accredited businesses can log into the BBB website and see their stats as well as add video and pictures to their reports, read newsletters, check the calendar for BBB events and respond to their customer review comments.
Another change that’s taken a long time to implement is our company rating system.
Previously the BBB only reported a company to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory and nothing in between. Now, a business earns a letter grade from A+ to F. BBB grades companies based on our standards of trust. A company must sign and agree to the standards (Code of Business Practice) and qualify, at the time of their BBB accreditation. The standards are listed here.
BBB Accredited businesses work hard to maintain these standards, but if they should slip below a B-, then BBB must revoke their accreditation and report it for one year.
The BBB strives to stay relevant to businesses and consumers and instilling trust in the marketplace. Just as it has for the last 100 years!