The Better Business Bureau (BBB) was in the news once again when its Eastern North Carolina branch recently gave the Fortnite game an F rating. Owned by Epic Games, the game is enjoyed by an estimated 125 million players worldwide. The BBB, which has given a F rating to only 1% of businesses selling products and services, said that of the 279 complaints it had received (mainly concerning problems with refunds and exchanges), the company had only responded to 247 of them.
A spokesperson for Epic Games said that it wasn’t a member of the BBB, and referred all complainants to its customer services department. The issue raises questions about how the BBB works.
What are the objectives of the BBB?
Established in 1912 and with a workforce of 2,500 people across the States, the main objective of the Better Business Bureau is to ensure that firms providing consumerswith goods and/or services are self-regulating. Consumers can use the search tool on the home page of its website, enter the type of company they’re interested in and specify their location (by entering a city, state or zip code). From the list of companies in their locality, they can check its rating (which goes from A to F) and/or any customer reviews. This means they can pay for goods and services without worrying that they’ll be ripped off or misled because all accredited businesses abide by its Standards of Trust.
To ensure complete impartiality, the BBB makes no claims about the quality of products sold or the competency of services offered, but that the business is committed to following certain business standards of integrity. The fact that a company (like Fornite’s parent company, Epic Games) isn’t a member of the BBB shouldn’t be taken as a sign that it’s in some way disreputable, but only that it hasn’t actively sought accreditation.
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What are the BBB’s 8 Standards of Trust?
One of the underlying principles of good business practices is the question of trust and integrity. Consumers can rely on BBB-accredited firms as they agree to tell the truth about their goods and services and to advertise honestly.
Transparency is another principle that firms emphasise. In other words, all policies, guarantees and/or procedures are disclosed to the would-be consumer before they purchase anything. Similarly, they agree to stick to any promises they make (whether written or oral).
When it comes to disputes which might arise between the firm and customers, they agree to settle them both quickly and satisfactorily. In this way, the intervention of the BBB is unnecessary.
Finally, BBB-accredited companies agree to respect the privacy of their customers by both protecting their data (from fraudsters and hackers, for example) and only keeping their personal data for as long as is necessary.