How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (2023)

How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (1)How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (2)Camila Lopez - Suing a Business - October 16, 2022

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Have a dispute with a business? One way of resolving your dispute before going to small claims court is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau! The Better Business Bureau (also known as the BBB) serves as an intermediary between businesses and consumers.

In this article, learn about:

  • Reasons why businesses have incentives to respond to BBB Complaints.

  • Will the BBB accept your complaint?

  • Common types of complaints submitted to the BBB.

  • How to submit a BBB complaint.

  • What to expect once you submit your complaint.

  • BBB complaint didn't work, now what? Explore the option of filing a small claims lawsuit.

Reasons Why Some Businesses Respond to BBB Complaints

  • If the business is Accredited with the BBB and they don't respond to a BBB complaint, their accreditation may be revoked and the complaint becomes part of their BBB profile.

  • If the business is not Accredited with the BBB, the complaint will become part of their BBB profile.

  • BBB reviews provide other consumers with confidence when buying from a business. Businesses do not want negative BBB complaints.

Will the BBB accept your complaint?

For the BBB to accept your complaint, the BBB requires the following:

Normally the BBB will not accept the following types of disputes:

  • Disputes between employers and employees (for example, disputes over unpaid wages or late wages).

  • Disputes involving discrimination

  • Disputes that are currently filed in court

  • Disputes against an individual

  • Disputes against the government

Common Types of Complaints Submitted to the BBB

Common types of complaints against businesses submitted to the BBB:

  • Used and new car sales

  • Disputes with phone companies (bills, overcharges, returns)

    (Video) Better Business Bureau Complaints

  • Disputes against any business for their product or service

  • Deceptive advertising

  • Concerns with privacy policy or practices

  • Disputes against a charity

How to Submit Your Complaint

  1. Click here to go to the Better Business Bureau website.

  2. Review the BBB criteria (also listed above), then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button “Start Your Complaint.

  3. Provide the information for the following 6 categories:

Type of complaint

Business information

  • Under Step 2, type the business name in the search.

  • If you know the city and state where the business is located, then enter the city and state in the address box. Otherwise, leave it blank and press search.

  • A list of business names will come up. You may see a different business name than the one you typed. Try clicking on "view BBB review." You will be taken to a different page. Look under the "Business Details" section and see if the business name you typed is there as the business may have an alternative name.

  • Once you confirm that it is the correct business profile, go back to the other tab, click "select."

    (Video) The BBB: Should You Join The Better Business Bureau?

Type in your information for the following sections: Your Information, Your Complaint (Make sure to not include personally identifiable information in the public areas as they will be published online), Additional Details

What to Expect Once you Submit your Complaint to the BBB

  • The BBB will forward your complaint to the business within 2 business days.

  • The business will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made.

  • You will be notified of the business’s response when the BBB receives it (or notified that they received no response).

  • Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

Explore filing a Small Claims Lawsuit in California

The BBB complaint did not work, now what? Explore suing in California small claims court!

How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (3)How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (4)

California Small Claims Fees

Here are the basics:

How to prepare for a Small Claims Court Hearing?

You have filed your case and notified the person you sued. The next step is to start preparing for your Small Claims Court hearing.

  • Research the law. If you are unsure about you the laws involving your lawsuit (aka why you should win your lawsuit), consult an attorney, or conduct your own research about the law (a quick Google search goes a long way).

  • Prepare your evidence. Invoices, contracts, receipts, etc. You want to have your evidence organized with titles, dates, and why that piece of evidence is important. All your evidence should be geared towards showing the judge why you should win.

  • Prepare what to say. During the hearing, the judge will ask you why you are suing. If you are being sued, you will be asked why you don't owe the other party money.

  • Get your receipts for costs ready. For example, your filing fees and any process server costs. Make sure to let the judge know that you would like to be reimbursed for these costs.

    (Video) Ask BBB: How Do BBB Complaints Work?

  • Print enough copies of all your evidence. You will need at least three copies (one for you, one for the judge, one for the other side).

How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (5)How to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (6)

Camila Lopez

Chief Legal Architect & Co-Founder @ People Clerk. Camila is an attorney, consumer advocate, and certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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